Zane Buzby has made it her mission to help others and save the lives of the forgotten victims of World War II with the Survivor Mitzvah Project.
She has already been named a CNN Hero, and now the comedy director is being honored by the Anti-Defamation League.
“Extra” caught up with the charity founder to learn more about her work.
Buzby explained, “We bring emergency aid to Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe who are in desperate need of food, medicine, heat and shelter and we always bring them friendship and hope.”
She continued, “The goal of the Survivor Mitzvah Project is to make sure that no Holocaust survivor who has endured the darkest days of human history will ever be hungry again or suffer or be forgotten or neglected.”
Zane revealed that she is getting help from an unexpected celebrity. Mel Gibson, who made headlines in 2006 for a drunken rant, is now making it his mission to make amends.
Buzby credits the star for helping hundreds in need. “Mel Gibson is helping Holocaust survivors in eight countries, it’s remarkable,” she said, adding, “I have a great respect for people who turn their lives around, and I think that everyone makes mistakes in life, and I think the real proof of what kind of human being you are is what you do with that mistake. He’s educated himself. He’s done philanthropic work now, and I think that actions speak very loudly... and his actions have helped a lot of people.”
Many celebrities have gotten involved with the Survivor Mitzvah Project, but Zane is particularly proud of ordinary donors and their diversity; church groups, ministries, synagogues, school children and their classmates – Jews and non-Jews alike. She’s also proud of the fact that 100 percent of every donation goes to the survivors themselves.
The ADL will recognize Zane’s efforts at the Deborah Awards Dinner in Beverly Hills on March 30. The awards honor “outstanding women whose professional leadership, philanthropy, and civic contributions exemplify the ideals of the Anti-Defamation League.”
Buzby said of the ADL, “For a hundred years the Anti-Defamation League has fought for justice for people. They fought against bigotry and hatred.”
For more on Zane’s award and how you can help save a life, go to SurvivorMitzvah.org.