Jennifer Garner got emotional on the House floor this morning during a committee meeting. The actor appeared before the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee, imploring lawmakers to provide more funding to poverty-stricken children and early childhood education. E! News reports that Garner appeared on behalf of Save the Children. She acts as both an ambassador and trustee of the nonprofit organization.
"I make a point to try and get out and do as many site visits as possible," she said during her nearly half-hour long testimony. "Mothers come up to me and say, 'Can you help get my child into these programs? Can you just nudge us up in the waitlist? Is there anything you could do?'"
Garner explained her experiences traveling across the country to see the effects of childhood poverty firsthand, getting very emotional as she described what she has seen. She was visibly affected, with tears coming to her eyes during her speech. She shared stories of neglect as well as abuse. She also spoke on the cyclical nature of the situation, with parents who experienced drug abuse, food scarcity, and physical abuse passing those stresses down to their own children. Garner's powerful words didn't just call for more funding, she insisted that education and activism are just as important to stop the cycles of abuse and neglect.
Garner suggested a major investment in quality childhood education and effective programs such as preschool development, Early Head Start and Save The Children's own Early Steps to School Success initiative. "We can intervene in these children's lives in time to make a difference," she added.
"These children don't vote, they don't make political contributions, neither do their parents," she concluded. "Somebody has to tell their story above all the noise. Poverty is silent, but I can't be."
You can watch her entire testimony in the video, below.