Actress and comedienne Niecy Nash is ‘flushing’ for a cause – and she is encouraging others to help improve the world’s sanitation problems. The Dancing with the Stars alum handed out free subway tickets in Flushing, NY to raise awareness about the lack of access to flushing, or good sanitation around the world. Proud mom to three kids – Dominic, 18, Donielle, 15, and Dia, 10 – Niecy opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about this great cause and how we can become involved. She also spoke about her hit show Clean House, her three kids and her life-changing stint on DWTS.
CBS: Please tell us all about Flushing for a Cause.
NN: “I had the opportunity to partner with the World Toilet Organization and Clorox to try to bring awareness to the fact that there are nearly 2 billion people in the world’s population that don’t have access to proper sanitation or clean toilets. When I started hearing about these numbers I said to myself, ‘Wait a minute.’ And then I found out that a lot of the deaths that are plaguing people belong to children. As a mom, that broke my heart.
What is happening is that when people don’t have proper sanitation, they’re using their local body of water. Once they do that, they cook with it and drink it and use it for bathing. There are so many sicknesses that are taking place because of this. I wanted to try to help out by teaming up with Clorox and the World Toilet Organization. There’s a website that I’ve been encouraging people to go to where they can flush a virtual toilet and for everyone who does that, Clorox donates $1 to the World Toilet Organization.”
CBS: How can we help get the word out about this worthy cause?
NN: “I just think that letting other mothers know that there are other people’s children who have to go to the bathroom can’t just go down the hall. These kids are actually getting sick and it could take their lives.”
CBS: Have you ever traveled to any poverty-stricken areas that have had poor sanitation issues?
NN: “Oh yah, I’ve been to parts of Africa with this problem and it’s just heartbreaking.”
CBS: Tell us all about Clean House.
NN: “Clean House is about a whole lot of mayhem and foolishness! There are so many families that are plagued with clutter. I come in, clear it all out, sell it at a yard sale, match the proceeds into the property. It really is a journey that you go on with the family to figure out how did they get all this clutter and how can help them get rid of it.”
CBS: Why do you think so many people hoard their stuff?
NN: “Clutter is an outward expression of an inward thing. A lot of times, there is something else going on where you’re holding onto a lot of clutter.”
CBS: Tell us about your kids.
NN: “My son Dominic is 18, my daughter Donielle is 15, and Dia is my last baby girl and she’s 10. They get along as much as siblings do. My son will be going into his first year of college, my daughter will be in tenth grade and the baby will be in sixth grade.”
CBS: It sounds like you’re entrenched in the teen years.
NN: “Girl you don’t even want me to walk in the next room! There’s so many kids over here now, it’s enough to make you go crazy. And I don’t know why they always have to come over here. I have a house full of their friends. They talk loud, make noise, they’re watching TV, playing video games all as we speak!”
CBS: Do you have full custody of your kids since you are no longer with their dad?
NN: “We have joint custody, but I have them Monday through Friday.”
CBS: So you get to play a little bit on the weekends.
NN: “Oh girl, I live for the weekends (laughs).”
CBS: Was being on Dancing with the Stars life changing in some ways?
NN: “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m so grateful that I did it. I was able to overcome a challenge. It was just amazing! I had a really, really, really good time! It wasn’t about increasing my celebrity, it was about living out a childhood dream. That’s what I was able to do.”
CBS: You were on a season with a lot of drama amidst the competitors.
NN: “Girl, I worry about my own self and I stay in my own lane. I think a lot of the other people on the show were arguing with their partners….girl, because they were hungry! I said, ‘Y’all don’t eat enough around here for me!’”
CBS: Tell us about your involvement in MAVIS.
NN: “MAVIS was an organization that was started when my brother was killed on his high school campus. My mother started the organization. MAVIS stands for Mothers Against Violence In Schools. The goal was to help children with conflict resolution and to have zero tolerance for any type of violence on the school campus. The organization also gave a scholarship in my brother’s name – his name was Michael. That’s what we were doing, but it eventually became too painful for my mother to keep it up. So, she has put it aside for a little while now.”
CBS: Are you working on any other projects or charities?
NN: “My charity of choice is Dress for Success. It’s more than just giving a woman a suit to enter back into the work place. They also do a lot of career building. They really help women enter back into the workforce. I love the fact that they’ve recently opened an office on the west coast.
I’m still doing my show Clean House and I sit on the desk every night on the Insider which is a sister show to Entertainment Tonight. I also have a film project in development.
So, I’m working through it, trying to take care of these kids as best I can. I’m trying to do as much as I can without going outside in a short skirt and some clear heals (laughs). Because school is expensive!”