As shown in a recent video, Andrew Garfield is pretty handy with a ball. So it was a natural fit when the Amazing Spider-Man star announced he would serve as the Ambassador of Sport for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO). Donning pipe cleaner mock-ups of the blue spectacles worn by WWO founder Dr. Jane Aronson, Garfield explained that he was drawn to the Foundation after recently becoming an uncle. Seeing the love and opportunities his brother’s twin sons had, he wanted to give the same chance to children all over the world. “Jane and I are trying to offer these kids… a normal, necessary outlet to be physical,” said Garfield.
Since buffing up to play his childhood icon (and one of pop culture’s most famous orphans), Garfield knows a thing or two about being physical. It’s a sentiment that wasn’t lost on Dr. Aronson. “Andrew’s partnership with the WWO is about that superhero within each child,” she affirmed. “Every child grows up loving superheroes and dreaming about doing great things. WWO is about children believing that they can do great things in the world.”
WWO currently operates in Ethiopia, Haiti, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Vietnam, and Garfield joined Aronson on a trip to Ethiopia this year. Though he admitted that the country’s adoption practices still have a lot or room for improvement, he hopes he and Aronson can be part of the success story. “You see the profound impact she’s having on babies around the world on a case by case basis — she does one baby at a time and treats them like her own,” he said. “It was just an incredibly inspiring position to find myself in.”
And with a wide-open schedule post-Spidey, Garfield says he hopes “to be able to give a lot of time to Jane and her amazing work.” Nearly a year after revealing his inner fanboy to the attendees of San Diego Comic-Con, Garfield admits that realizing his lifelong dream of playing Peter Parker “still feels surreal.” Still, he’s making a point to use this great power for good, not… well, we all know how the saying goes. “There’s a certain responsibility that I start to feel more and more as I stop denying the fact that I’m becoming a more public, visible person,” he said. “If you find yourself in a situation like that, you have a responsibility to do something with it.”