Melissa Joan Hart

Courtesy Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for Melissa Joan Hart

Giving back to the community has always been important for Melissa Joan Hart.

The Melissa and Joey and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch alum recently opened up to E! News about her charity work. 

"I've always realized how blessed my family was, eight children in my family that were all healthy, happy, well-adjusted, were raised blue collar, pretty broke, definitely lower class," Hart said. "But we were all very healthy and very happy and just realized how blessed we are and it just made me well aware, and especially being the oldest of eight kids, looking after them and always feeling like I had to protect them."

"I've always had a maternal instinct, and especially since having kids, it's actually made it harder to go do charitable work because going to visit kids in the hospital, it can sometimes make you feel really guilty and it's hard to cry in front of those children and it's always been very difficult but also at the same time very important," she said. "Any way I can I give back."

Hart started a clothing line, King of Harts, whose proceeds are donated to many different organizations.

"I think that I've been very blessed and a big part of my career has been charity work, and the thing is everyone always asks why I haven't started my own foundation," the actress told E! News. "But the thing is that there are so many great ones out there and I'd rather give to them than compete with them. And in this case, it was a perfect opportunity to partner with charities that benefit kids in the U.S. We're a young boys line so the main thing I wanted to donate was clothes."

She found a children's charity through Proper Daily, which ties celebrities with non-profit organizations.

"Since I'm very family oriented, and the company is family owned, we decided Youth Villages was the perfect partner for us," Hart said. "The work they're doing, they have 20 different locations around the country, they help so many children get back on their feet from trafficking, sexual abuse, physical abuse, aging out of foster care and adoption, kids that are having a really hard time."

"What they do is help these children get on the right track, they give them counseling, and a lot of times these children are a danger to themselves, so they try and help them gain more self-confidence," she said. "They are really doing an amazing job."

Hart has also supported the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for years. She said the group "has always done such a good job, it's such a great cause, and Elizabeth Glaser was such an amazing woman."

Last weekend, the organization hosted its annual A Time For Heroes Festival. Hart had a booth to help raise awareness of King of Harts, in support of EGPAF.

"Giving back is so crucial and [relies] way too much on the government these days to take care of our communities and we need to be the ones stepping out," Hart told E! News. "It puts things in perspective, it shows you what's important, that just having a roof over your head...my sons and I say a prayer every night based on the saying, 'What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?'"

"Every night we thank God for the food in our bellies, and the roof over our head, and the clothes on our back, our friends, and our family, our love, and our happiness so that we wake up with those things the next day," she said. "And I think a lot of times in this world, we get so spoiled, especially here in the U.S."

She said she thinks it's not only important to be an example for one's children, but also to go out and show people they're loved and cared for.

"If you find something that really, whether it's giving blood at the Red Cross or going out when there is a natural disaster relief in your community, I just think it's so important for us to help take care of our community and not rely on the government to do it," she said. "And I think we really need to take care of each other, build our community into a stronger place for our families to grow."

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