• UO Giving Guide: Clare Gillies

    The best gift is giving back. We're highlighting 8 inspiring young creatives and joining them in supporting 8 deserving charities this holiday season. See what they're wishing for this year, and learn more about how you can give back too.

    This holiday season, model and voice actress Clare Gillies tells us why giving back is so important. We worked with her to support the Animal Welfare Institute by donating $5k on her behalf. Follow @AWIOnline to learn more and donate!
    Photos by Danny Scott Lane

    Name: Clare Gillies
    Occupation: Model and voice-over actress
    Charity: Animal Welfare Institute

    Hi Clare! Can you tell us about your charity?
    is a charity that deals with the welfare and humane treatment of animals. They focus on humane farming, the treatment of animals in research and abolishing inhumane trapping/killing of wild animals. They also help to preserve species that are threatened with extinction. These are just a few highlights of the amazing work AWI does -- you can find out more on their website.

    What makes it so important to you?
    Animals are a huge part of our delicate and complicated world and ecosystem. The inhumane way in which most farming (for meat) takes place in our country has a huge impact on the environment and on our health. If people want the luxury of eating animals, they need to be responsible about it. Though I'm personally not a meat eater, I see the importance in advocating for responsible farming. It's imperative for the future of our planet. I grew up in a house with many pets, so from a young age I've been a witness and recipient of the immense love and wisdom that animals give! In short, animals have rights just like you and I and they deserve to be protected.

    What other causes are important to you right now?
    There is so much happening right now it is difficult to know where to focus your attention! I would say the protection of the environment and aid for those impacted by recent natural disasters. If we treat the planet better, hopefully we won't see as much destruction in general.

    What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten from someone?
    In recent years my parents have been gifting an "experience" to my siblings and me. We get to pick a place we want to go or something new to try... that is definitely my favorite kind of gift. 

    Favorite gift you’ve ever given someone?
    I went to Japan this summer for two months and I brought back a bunch of vintage kimonos to gift my friends and family. They're all so beautifully made and magical so I was pretty excited about that.

    What’s on your wish list this year?
    I've been getting more and more into photography and now I want to try out video. I want to find a cute little camera to explore video with! :) 

    Favorite holiday tradition?
    I think some of my fondest memories revolve around the smell of gingerbread! My mom used to make it from scratch for gingerbread houses and gingerbread men... so fun.

    What holiday movie can you watch on repeat?
    Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962). 

    Proudest moment from this past year?
    Hmm, I'm not sure! My boyfriend and I took the plunge and moved from NYC to LA...

    What are your hopes and dreams for 2018?
    I think my hopes for the new year are the same as always -- to keep learning, growing, and finding new adventures! 

    Read more about Clare's charity, Animal Welfare Institute, here