Kita, whose guest appearances on various shows including “Nip/Tuck,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “Ugly Betty,” manages to keep up a charity and a weekly radio show, advocates for women’s safety and is planning her second book all in the midst of a booming acting and modeling career.
Of all of the charity work in which Kita has been involved, one of her first and most significant accomplishments was the launch of her own charity, Hotties with a Heart. Founded in 2008, this organization brings models and actresses together to donate their time to charitable events in the greater Los Angeles area. The charity’s creation represented an opportunity for Kita to express her joy of giving in a more structured way.
“I've always gotten the greatest joy doing things for other people,” admits Kita. “I guess this is just a part of my personality. I was always the kid at Christmas not opening my presents because I was more concerned with other people having a good time. Hotties with a Heart have given me an outlet to do something in an organized manner.”
The charity came about accidentally when Kita made a wrong turn into the parking lot of the United Service Organization (USO), an organization connecting the American public with the military through programs and services supported by volunteers. The organization helped launch Hotties with a Heart whose far-reaching effects have impacted a diverse group of individuals.
“I took a wrong turn and ended up in the parking lot of the USO, said Kita. “I got out of my car to ask for directions, and ran into Michael Tielmann, the director of the USO. He asked if I needed help and the rest is history. Since then, Hotties with a Heart has been involved in Read Across America, the Salvation Army, the Humane Society and various food banks, homeless shelters and senior centers throughout the city.”
It might have been an act of fate that made Hotties with a Heart possible but Kita knows that it will take more than fate to keep the charity so successful. For this relatively young organization, Kita has some big plans in store, specifically involving the USO that has become a major beneficiary of Kita’s charity.
“One of Hotties with a Heart's goals is to do an overseas tour with the USO,” said Kita. “We are currently working with the USO to make this happen.”
Around the same time that Hotties with a Heart was developing, Kita began making her mark as a strong women’s safety advocate. Motivated by her own experience with a stalker, Kita campaigned to make anti-stalking laws stricter and lobbied to create an anti-harassment law in California.
“Having gone through a stalking situation myself, I believe the anti-stalking laws in the U.S. need to be amended,” expressed Kita. “I read about on the anti-stalking laws in the state of California and I noticed they were much more lax than in other states across the U.S. New York and Arizona have anti-harassment laws. California didn't. I found that ironic; the state that had more people in the entertainment industry than any other state in the country didn't have an anti-harassment law.”
Recently, Kita and those that share the same dedication to the cause celebrated a victory in light of ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrew’s case involving a series of intrusive videos taken by a stalker from hotel room peepholes he constructed. Because of this landmark case and those who advocated so long for reform, anti-stalking laws have become more stringent and the punishment is now more severe than ever before.
Kita’s title as a women’s safety advocate is further upheld by a weekly radio show called “Hottie Help with Candace Kita.” With the motto of “Be sexy, be smart, be safe,” the LA Talk Radio show hosts guests each week specializing in women’s safety to talk about tips on avoiding unwanted attention. Her experience on the show helped her write The Hottie Handbook: A Girl’s Guide to Safety. A sequel to the book, also related to woman’s safety, is already in the works.
When she’s not lobbying for causes and doing charity work Kita is, of course, practicing her main professions—acting and modeling. Kita has been busy acting in a variety of roles ranging from thriller to comedy while working opposite of several well-known stars.
“I just finished a film with Kevin Sorbo and Bruce Davidson called Coffin,” tells Kita. “It is a psychological thriller in the same genre as Twilight Zone. It will come out next year. I also finished a project earlier this year called "Jailbait". This is a comedy for Sony Pictures Television and stars John Lehr from "Ten Items or Less". And I was so pleased to have the opportunity to play a wonderfully dramatic role in a project called "Do Me A Solid," also due out later next year.”
If hot chicks, charities, activism or films don’t interest you, you might be happy to learn that Kita is lending her expertise to a subject that that everyone can appreciate—chocolate. Keep an eye out for her new blog “A Fox of Chocolates” solely dedicated to her love of chocolate.
Kita’s dedication to helping others undoubtedly stands out as a shining example of how adding a little will and creativity to existing talents and passions can go a long way. To Kita, the decision to give back was a simple one. Her heavy involvement in philanthropic efforts has affirmed time and time again that charity work benefits the giver as much as it does the beneficiary.
“You will get so much out of giving. Probably much more than you think. I think that's the key in a nutshell.”
For more information, visit www.candacekita.com.
Photography: Stéphane Tourné