Cara Buono is an Emmy nominated actress, screenwriter, and director. She has landed several notable roles on the big and small screen in a career spanning three decades. 

She is best known for her roles as Dr. Faye Miller in the AMC drama series Mad Men and Karen Wheeler in the 2016 horror sci-fi Netflix original series Stranger Things.

And while acting takes up a big part of her life, she is also a passionate activist. She has founded many organizations with her husband, Peter Thum, to help children worldwide. 

Thum is an entrepreneur and activist who met Buono in 2007 on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles when they were seated beside each other. The couple started dating in 2008 and got married in 2009. 

A few months after their first date, they traveled to Africa to visit safe water and sanitation programs that Thum's brand, Ethos Water, had funded. 


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In an interview with Children's Home and Aid, Buono and her husband delved into the details of their trip and project. 

Cara Buono and Peter Thum on Helping Children Worldwide

Buono revealed to the outlet they encountered young boys and men armed with assault rifles while touring Africa. 

Seeing the hardship and violence rampant in the country, Thum was inspired to create a safer place for children, which led to the formation of Fonderie 47 a year later. 

Fonderie 47 aims to combat the proliferation of weapons in Africa by transforming them into art pieces and beautiful products such as jewelry, watches, and accessories. 

The sales of these products have funded the destruction of over 70,000 illegal assault rifles in African conflict regions.


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A few years later, in 2013, Buono and her husband co-founded Liberty United, which partnered with US communities and law enforcement agencies. 

Law enforcement provided their organization with destroyed illegal guns, which were then transformed into jewelry and accessories. 

A certain percentage of the profits was then used for programs that educate, uplift, and protect at-risk children in their partner communities. 

According to the actress, the programs they have funded through partner non-profit organizations like Children's Home + Aid in Englewood have helped over 3,000 kids.

Their Daughter Inspired Cara Buono and Peter Thum

So what inspired Buono and her husband to take on the tasks of helping and protecting children in need?

Cara Buono and her daughter at a wedding celebration

Cara Buono and her daughter at a wedding celebration. (Source: Cara Buono/Instagram)

According to the couple, a part of it came from being parents to a daughter and wanting to create a safer world for her. 

During the interview, Thum noted he was motivated when he met kids whose lives were made better by customers who supported their mission. 

He added that the feeling was surreal when he met the kids like his daughter, whom he probably would never have met had it not been for their programs.  

"These children are just like our own daughter and our hope for them is like our hope for her — that they can flourish and have a significant life," said Thum. 

And throughout it all, the actress and the entrepreneur ensured their daughter was their priority. They organized their work and lives with her in mind.