The Ultimate Advocate: Eva Longoria's Projects & Causes

Happy birthday, Eva Longoria! The beautiful, generous, and smart Mexican-American star turns 39 today. In honor of Longoria's special day, we're taking at look at some of this ultimate advocate's projects and causes (Keep making us proud, Eva!):

1. Hispanic Activist in Washington

Hispanic Activist

In 2013, the 39-year-old actress took on the role of Hispanic activist and power player in Washington, D.C. The Wall Street Journal reported that one of Longoria's primary aims as Hispanic activist is to make the case that "Latinos aren't a drain on the economy or criminals crossing the border" and are the "most are hardworking people who are America's emerging market."

2. Spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cancer

Spokesperson

For the past several years, Longoria has served as spokesperson for PADRES Contra El Cancer. "My wish is for PADRES to become a nationally recognized organization attracting sponsors, donations and support from all communities, not only our own, to join in the battle against cancer," she said. "When these children see me on TV, I want them to know that there is an organization devoted just to them and that they have hope."

3. Eva's Heroes

Eva's Heroes

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Eva's Heroes was cofounded by Longoria in 2006. It is is an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual special needs. “I was extremely fortunate to grow up with an intellectually disabled sister," she said. "My mother became a special education teacher because of her, and therefore, I have been involved with all facets of this community since I could walk and talk.”

4. Producer for Devious Maids

Producer

Longoria went from on-screen beauty to behind-the-scenes genius when she took on the role of producer for Lifetime's Devious Maids. The show received tons of criticism upon its debut, but Longoria was there to defend it. "I take pride in the fact that this is the first show to feature an all-Latina lead cast," she wrote in an op-ed piece for The Huffington Post. "I take pride in the fact that these characters are not one-dimensional or limited to their job title."

"Are Latinas teachers, and doctors and lawyers in America today? Yes." she continued. "Should their stories be told as well? Absolutely. But, this show is called Devious Maids, not 'Latinas in America.'"

5. Directing Out of the Blue

Director

The Mexican-American beauty came together with with Canon's Project Imaginat10n in October 2013 to direct a short film titled Out of the Blue. "This particular project was so challenging because I'm not only writing and directing this project, but I'm also acting in it!" Longoria told us during an interview. The actress also directed the first episode of Devious Maids' upcoming second season.

6. Eva Longoria Foundation

Eva Longoria Foundation

 

Longoria launched the Eva Longoria Foundation in 2012. And what does the foundation do? “Our vision is to empower Latinas to reach their potential through education and entrepreneurship. The Eva Longoria Foundation supports programs which help Latinas excel in school and attend college. Additionally, we work to provide Latina entrepreneurs with career training, mentorship, capital and opportunity. By investing in Latinas, we hope to build a stronger future for our country.”

7. Eva Longoria Fund

Eva Longoria Fund

Established by Longoria in 2010, the Eva Longoria Fund was established primarily for, but not limited to, two charitable causes: children and the Latino community.