TODAY

TODAY   |  September 11, 2013

Meet two women who are changing people’s lives

Each year Self magazine honors women who are making a difference in the world.  Editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger introduces two women who are part of the special issue: Katie Lowes, who helps bring the arts to hospital-bound children, and Marla Smith-Nilson, an advocate for clean water in impoverished areas of the world.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> every year self magazine honors inspirational women making a difference in the world globely, nationally and in their communities.

>> when she is not playing quin she volunteers for the lollipop theater network.

>> marla is the founder of water first.

>> and lucy is the editor in chief of self magazine. and hoda woman is emceeing your event tonight.

>> i have to say it is a spectacular event. you spot light inspirational women and makes you feel like you are doing nothing with your life when you are done emceeing that event.

>> she walks the dog.

>> that's enough.

>> you are a busy actress. you are working with this lollipop theater i was just learning about it.

>> it is an organization that brings movies that are currently in the theater to children confined in the hospitals. it is a hollywood experience. we roll out the red carpet and have hair and makeup stylists come in. that is me and my husband. it is something i really believe in. i was a nanny for a long time before scandal. i knew when scandal came about i wanted to make sure i did something with kids and doing what i love.

>> look at marla over here.

>> it's so funny.

>> you are one of these people, fresh drinking water we turn on the faucet and leave the room and don't think twice about it but it struck accord with you.

>> definitely. as we are sitting here hundreds and millions of women and girls are carrying heavy containers of water home for miles to drink. 5,000 children die every day. women and children have no time to go to school and take care of their families.

>> the whole time is taken up going to get water.

>> people it in their cushy living rooms and go that is awful and they turn away and go about their business. how do you try to get people in?

>> i think it is easy when they see the issue and see that it impacts every aspect of a poor person's life.

>> digging a well in any of those villages changes everything.

>> an immediate and transforming effect. people have described it to me as god touching the earth.

>> lucy, you picked some really cool and interesting people. some famous. there will be some familiar faces tonight.

>> hundreds and hundreds of women are sent in and we choose the six causes that really have made a difference. sitting at home in your own kitchen you think how can i make a difference? i think turn a passion into action. the key word is doing. we all think good thoughts. these women do something every day. any little thing, a soup kitchen or food drive, coat drive, bake sale , tell your friends and get involved and jump in. take one little action in your community and you will be a woman doing good.

>> and you are honoring a bunch of people.

>> through building schools. and we have a woman who started a charity where a girl be heard, they script their lives. it is a really special event. and i just have to thank you all for doing good and making us feel good just for bringing the spot light to it.

>> it was like this little event how many years ago?

>> six years ago. thank you for being involved.

>> you do bring awareness to breast cancer every year. and you do good. what we can do as a media organization is allow all of us to know about your work and give to your charity and try to do good in our own lives.

>> congratulations. we'll see you tonight.

>>> so tomorrow ricky gervais and actor curt cameron with us.

>> and singer janel