Wellness Wednesday

Soap Hub Wellness Wednesday: Michelle Stafford Finds Joy in Giving

Michelle Stafford is honored for experiencing the joy of giving.

michelle stafford and the young and the restless created a toy drive.Michelle Stafford is honored after creating a toy drive.

The Young and the Restless star Michelle Stafford can attest to the adage that it’s better to give than to receive. The actress talked to Soap Hub for Wellness Wednesday about her and her castmates’ efforts to bring toys to children over the holidays.

Michelle Stafford: Season of Giving

Recently, Stafford and her Y&R pals were acknowledged by the NAACP for a toy drive Stafford began spearheading during the height of the COVID pandemic. It all started in the summer of 2020 when Y&R went back to work following an initial production shutdown that affected all of Hollywood and the entertainment business. “Nobody was working,” Stafford recalls. “People in my immediate life were getting laid off.”

The actress says she learned of folks who’d lost their homes and were living out of their cars. “I thought, ‘What can we do as there are families with the holidays coming up?‘” Stafford shares. She reached out to Reverend Fred Shaw, who heads up the NAACP Inglewood South Bay branch. “We [at Y&R] were working,” she says. “And there were so many people not allowed to work. You’ve got to do something for others.”

Y&R Umbrella Storyline

Recently, Phyllis Summers jumped through hoops to frame Diane (Susan Walters) for her “death,” but it took no effort at all for Stafford to put her plan to help kids during the holidays in motion. “It wasn’t hard,” she says. “I put out an email. People want to do good things for others innately. Gosh, most everybody gave — crew, production staff, and actors. Also, CBS gave a sizeable donation. I think people were very appreciative that I helped give them this avenue to help.”

Michelle Stafford: Thanks and Awareness

Stafford says she didn’t set out to do this for any type of recognition, but Rev. Shaw explained to her that the NAACP truly wanted to acknowledge what she and the folks at Y&R had accomplished. “Fred was like, people need to know that your company is doing this for us,” she says. Stafford concurs that the ceremony honoring her efforts will also spotlight the toy drive, which may help promote future campaigns.

While the actress was a fan of dolls growing up, she was pleased to see that the drive included some educational toys. “I thought it’d be great if a kid got something that encouraged music, and they played with it one day and became a great musician,” Stafford muses. “That would be a great story. [They] might not know how to play this, but if they learned, they’d become a great player. I’m hoping something like that happens.” Not surprisingly, Stafford says she’ll continue to do future drives. “Oh, yeah,” she says. “We can’t not do it now.”

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