Reality series Little People Big World may be in the past, but star and spokeswoman Amy Roloff is very much in the present. Spearheading the Amy Roloff Foundation, she takes her charity work to great heights. Roloff is all about giving back, helping the community, and making a better world for not only her own children, but children everywhere. As a busy working mother, she juggles kids, a husband, and work, just like anyone else. But, most other mothers don’t juggle charity work, a family farm, book writing, motivational speaking, and living life with the every-day challenges of being a little person on top of it all.
Well, of course, everyone knows you from your amazing documentary series Little People, Big World. I understand that the series originally was just a single project called Little People, Big Dreams? Can you tell me a bit about the start of it all?
I'll do my best. That was a long time ago. The one thing I'll regret is not keeping a detail journal of this huge event in our lives. Yes, I believe the show was about Big Dreams and also with 3 families. They pitched the show and no one picked it up that they pitched too. Our producer still felt there was a good story to tell with our family and decided to just try and do a show with just our family. Then we did another pilot and TLC picked it up. As they say, the rest is history.
So, what have the kids been up to since the series finale?
The twin boys are in a community college, preparing to transfer, Molly is finishing up her Jr. year and thinking about college and Jacob is finishing up 8th grade. Soccer still our sport and they are playing.
If you wouldn’t mind, please briefly tell me a little about the Roloff farm and its history with the family.
We bought it 21 years ago while I was pregnant with the twin boys. I let Matt make that decision because I just needed to get off of the farm road or we were going to have babies right now. He has been happy ever since I let him make that decision. It had fields growing grass hay, a small peach orchard and then it has grown into what people have seen today. Matt likes to build and have projects and not just sit around. I love the fall season, pumpkins seemed like a LP friendly crop to grown and going to a pumpkin farm is a family affair for others.
Is it difficult juggling family, the farm, and all of your speaking engagements?
Like any working mom, it is tough to be gone sometimes but my kids are older and I try and tell them as often as I can they are important to me. I try and make sure everyone knows what they should be doing, going, and enjoying when mom is away. Matt handles a lot of the farm and his other work so that does relieve me of that.
So, you and your husband both are great, philanthropic spokespeople. Can you share with me some of the messages you like to convey and express through your public appearances?
Diversity, schools , bullying, belief in yourself, overcoming challenges, perseverance, parenting, raising kids, being a dwarf, making opportunities instead of waiting for them....
Let’s get down to your charity, The Amy Roloff Foundation. What is the mission behind your organization?
I love being a Mom and kids are facing some overwhelming challenges these days. ARCF is about kids. Advocate and support kids that are facing social, intellectual, physical disabilities and challenges.
Tell me about some of the charities that are within your foundation.
Some of the charities that we have supported and who have been our beneficiaries are Bridge Meadows, who helps foster kids to adoption in an inter-generational community, find teen homes for pregnant moms, homeless and warming shelter; the Shiners Hospital of Portland; the Special Olympics; and the Dwarf Athletic Association of America.
What kind of events do you hold to raise money for the foundation and its charities?
We are having our 3rd annual fundraising dinner gala and auction and golf event September 17th (my birthday) and September 18th, I participate in other events to help them raise funds and awareness about ARCF as a beneficiary. Next year my goal is to have two key fundraising events.
How do you raise awareness for these events and what they stand for?
I'm hands on. I engage myself to be a part of their event, websites, appearances, speaking, and media.
Any upcoming events you’d like to talk about?
3rd annual Amy Roloff Charity Foundation Starry Night Summer's Day Gala - Dinner Auction and Golf Event - September 17th and 18th. Go to www.amyroloffcf.org for more information to support, donate, sponsor, and participate.
So, why do you feel it is so important to help others in need and to give back to the community?
I had my challenges I've overcome and still deal with today. I've also had some wonderful opportunities. I wanted to use my celebrity to benefit and help others. I think it is very important. My tag line is - a little difference for a BIG world - matters.
Aside from the event in September, what do you see happening with The Amy Roloff Foundation this year?
For the 3rd year, doing more to increase the amount we raise to help kids. Letting people know about what I'm doing. It's important.
How about with the family?
We are doing good. Just family routine back in swing, school for the kids, college for the boys, Zach is working, ‘Jer’ is looking for a summer job, I'm speaking, there’s my book, charity work, and I’m exploring other projects. Matt is always keeping busy - speaking, projects, and moving dirt.