For supermodel Cindy Crawford, philanthropy is a family affair | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

CINDY Crawford at the Hong Kong photo exhibit of her trip to Peru for Orbis International

A few media representatives from the Philippines were invited to Hong Kong to watch the premiere of “Hospital in the Sky,” a documentary narrated by and starring Cindy Crawford and her daughter Kaia, in cooperation with Orbis International and Omega Watches.


“Admittedly, I had no idea what Orbis was before this trip,” says Crawford, who initially agreed to go on the trip because she wanted to visit Machu Picchu, but after a few days in Trujillo, a little village northeast of Peru, the trip quickly became less about the tourist trail and something more meaningful. “It’s such a unique opportunity to be able to see what Orbis does firsthand, and also interact with local people in a real way.”


Having lost a brother to leukemia, Crawford is no stranger to giving her time and resources to organizations with whom she shares the same beliefs. “Sometimes I think charity is more meaningful if you have a connection. For me to give money to the hospital where my brother was treated, it’s easy. I saw the work they did, I experienced it firsthand. Find something that resonates with you.”


Cindy is Omega’s longest-running endorser, and after being partners for 20 years, they consider each other family. Omega is also a supporter of Orbis International, a non-profit non-government organization of doctors and people in the medical field who volunteer their free time to fly out to every corner of the world, helping people restore their sight as well as training local doctors.

Launched in 1982, the Orbis DC-10 plane has traveled all over the world, including several stops in the Philippines, the most recent being in Pampanga in 2014. From the outside, it looks like any ordinary passenger plane, but as the documentary shows, it is anything but.


The aircraft’s interiors resemble that of an actual mini-hospital, complete with rooms for surgery, and an auditorium with a screen where doctors in training can watch what’s going on in the operating rooms. For more immediate concerns, or if there are too many people who need treatment, volunteers also operate in the local hospitals, training doctors so they may continue with the work long after the Flying Hospital is gone.


Kaia and Presley


It seems like the supermodel isn’t the only philanthropist in the family. Cindy’s 13-year-old daughter Kaia came along and spent time getting to know the patients, especially the children, and had a great time doing so. When asked how she got her teen to go on this trip instead of spending time doing what kids her age usually do, Crawford replied, “She was excited to go, but that’s really just who she is. I think being grounded comes more from my husband and me, and how we are. I was raised in the midwest, and I think my family helped keep me grounded. They’re good kids, and she wanted to go to Peru. She has more of that adventurous spirit.”


What about her son, Presley? “They’re different, you know, like kids are. And these are hard trips, like going to Peru, even coming here—it’s a long flight, you’re jet-lagged, so it’s good for them to see that I actually work hard for my job. And I knew my daughter could handle it. She’s not squeamish.


“We took our children on safari a few years ago. And we were in the Masai village, and they do that thing where they stick that thing in the cow’s neck and there was blood, and it was so hot, there were flies, and my daughter was, like, holding babies and handing out little candies, and my son passed out. So they’re just different. And I knew my daughter would be able to handle the Peru trip.”


She was quick to add that being a surfer, her son might realize that his cause might be about the ocean or the environment. “Just being an example myself of things that speak to me, and that I care about, then they know that if there’s something they care about, they can get involved and become an activist.”


Social responsibility


Cindy owns about 10 Omega watches, and she says that having to choose a favorite is like forcing a mother to choose a favorite child. “It just depends on what I’m wearing and what mood I’m in. Sometimes I like a chunkier, heavier men’s watch; sometimes I like the Constellation, even the older ones that are smaller, because it’s like a piece of jewelry. So I really switch it up.”


The day of our interview, she was sporting the Omega Constellation Star on her wrist, one of the watches Omega sells with part of the proceeds going to Orbis International. According to Omega’s vice president and international sales director, Raynald Aeschlimann, the brand does have a sense of social responsibility, but it likes concrete ideas, and rather than just donating money everywhere, they decided to focus their efforts on Orbis, bringing in their celebrity endorsers like Crawford and Daniel Craig to experience first-hand where this money goes.


Aside from her charity work, this is also an important year for Cindy, as it is her last year before the big 5-0. For any woman, the process of aging can cause a bit of a panic, but thankfully, unlike someone like Cindy, most of us are not publicly scrutinized.


She is still as stunning as ever, and every bit the supermodel, but as she says, “You have to do the work, you know what I mean? I’m not 25, I don’t want to be 25, I wouldn’t mind looking 25, but that’s why taking stock of what you’ve learned is such an important part of aging gracefully, because it’s easier to accept when you realize the journey you’ve been on. Hey, I’ve had great fun being Cindy Crawford, you know?


“That’s not going to stop, but it’s evolving and changing and that’s why I’m working with companies like Omega, who are allowing me to evolve and change. But look, I’m a woman too. I don’t like seeing wrinkles; it’s not fun.” Aside from her skin care line called Meaningful Beauty, she says she is dealing with this through her book, which is going to be released this September. “As I say in the book, it’s what I’ve been doing for the last 30 years but more importantly, what I learned from it and why it matters.”


Omega Watches are available at Omega stores: Greenbelt 5, Shangri-La Plaza, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, and Paseo Marina in Cebu, as well as Chronos in SM Mega Mall and Mall of Asia, Alabang Town Center and Marquee Mall, Pampanga, and at Le Temps, Newport City.


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