Eva Longoria Reveals How Becoming a Mother Has 'Intensified' Her Passion to Give Back (Exclusive)

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Charity and philanthropy have been longtime passions for Eva Longoria, and with the birth of her son, her drive to make the world a better place has only gotten stronger.

ET caught up with the actress and producer at the HollyRod Foundation's 21st Annual DesignCare Gala at the Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu on Saturday, and she opened up about how her baby boy, Santiago, has impacted her philanthropic efforts.

"The surprising thing about motherhood to me, so far, has been how it has intensified my activism and philanthropy," Longoria explained. "Because now I'm like, 'I have to leave the world a better place for my son!'"

"It really, really matters and so, for me, I think it's not about telling Santi how to be, it's about showing him by example," she continued. "I'm really blessed to have my amazing family that all leads by example. Hopefully he'll follow those steps."

Her adorable baby boy recently celebrated his first birthday last month and Longoria said it was "crazy" how quickly the experience has flown past.

"It's gone by so fast. Especially since I did Dora when he was just born and now Dora's coming out," she said of her upcoming live-action adaptation of Dora the Explorer, titled, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which comes out Aug. 9. "It's always surreal. The days are long but the years are fast."

Longoria was in attendance at the DesignCare Gala on Saturday to accept an award recognizing her humanitarian efforts, and the actress shared what the honor meant to her.

"I'm so excited," Longoria shared. "To be honored here tonight is beyond an honor."

"I don't like to receive awards for philanthropy because it's really not what it's about, so I get a little shy and nervous," Longoria added. "The only reason I said yes this time is because I wanted to bring more awareness to the HollyRod Foundation."

The non-profit organization -- which was founded by actress Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL star Rodney Peete -- is dedicated to providing care and resources to those living with autism and Parkinson's, and the families of those who are diagnosed with the ailments.

"I think the myth about philanthropy or charity is that you have to be rich and famous, and that's not true," Longoria shared. "Anybody can just look across the street and find somebody in need. Your neighbors and your community, your school, there's always manpower that's needed. Not only raising funds but bringing awareness to these issues, educating people on what is happening in certain communities, and so I think there's always a need for helping others."

For more of interview with Longoria, tune into Monday's Entertainment Tonight. Check here for local listings.

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