GENE SIMMONS Brings African Foster Child To U.S. For Surgery

GENE SIMMONS Brings African Foster Child To U.S. For Surgery

In 2012, during the final season of Gene Simmons's reality TV show "Family Jewels", the KISS bassist/vocalist and his wife, Shannon Tweed, took a trip to Africa and visited some of the children he has sponsored through the ChildFund, a child development organization based in Richmond, Virginia. Earlier this month, they brought one of the kids, Zinnah Sambolah, to Los Angeles to undergo leg surgery. Not only did they arrange for the surgery, but they invited the child into their home to stay while he was recovering.

Said Gene: "Zinnah is from Liberia — he comes from a village of 200 people. And we do a lot of charity work and Zinnah is staying with us for the whole month while he gets his operations to get his legs in shape. MendingKids.org covers the operations and the flights."

He continued: "Look, we can all do more, especially if it doesn't affect our lifestyles. So if you're sitting at home and you got a few extra bucks in your pocket, you know what to do. You know how to make God smile. Come on."

Simmons started out by sponsoring 140 kids and that number grew to more than 1500. At that time, he said: "I had to do this because children are our future. The next great mind or humanitarian could come from Africa.

"Because children are our responsibility, I urge you to do something. Pick up the phone and call ChildFund, or another charity organization and find out what you can do. You will make all the difference to a child far, far away — whose dreams are every bit as important as your child's dreams."

Asked in a 2015 interview what he looks for in charities he works with, Gene said: "The most important thing is that most of the money goes to help make a difference. There are large organizations that cost a lot of money for offices and staff, I tend not to get involved with those because enough of the money goes to buy people cars and pay office rent and stuff like that. They’re well-meaning, but they’re expensive. The lean, mean organizations that don’t have a high overhead means that more of the money gets to help people. Children are my soft spot, actually."

Back in 2013, Gene showed up with the rest of KISS at the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which gives kids from the Boys & Girls Club access to instruments and lessons.

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