Drew Barrymore is learning how to co-parent following her split from estranged husband Will Kopelman, but it was the less fortunate children of Africa that brought her to tears during a speech on Tuesday.
In one of her first public appearances since she and Kopelman called it quits, the actress was overwhelmed by emotion when she took the stage as the guest speaker of a Pierre Hotel luncheon benefiting the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
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"Everything is needed - always be thinking of children's needs, whether you think it's too soon or too late," she said, still donning her wedding ring. "Life has shown me it is the way to think and live."
Barrymore has two children (3-year-old daughter Olive and 1-year-old daughter Frankie), but instead of focusing on herself and her own family, she recounted how a news article in 2004 influenced her to make a trip to Kenya with the United Nations to help their youth.
"I thought about getting ready to have my own children," Barrymore shared, reading from her autobiography, Wildflower. "It was time to start learning and investing in what it would mean to become a loving mother, and I knew I was ready."
Her involvement on the trip to Kenya marked the beginning of many activism efforts for the Miss You Already star, including the Barrymore Learning Center.
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As for her own kids, Barrymore told Good Housekeeping that she will never let her daughters become child actors like she was. In the interview, which took place before her breakup, Barrymore promises to keep them out of show business until they're at least 18. However, keeping them out of her makeup drawer seems to be a much tougher task.
"I have to hide my makeup," she told the magazine. "I have ruined carpets -- the entire room -- with mascara and eyeshadow. [Olive] gets into anything."