Orianne and Phil Collins at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, while announcing their Little Dreams Foundation is coming to the Miami area.
Fourteen years ago this February, Phil Collins and ex-wife Orianne Collins created the Little Dreams Foundation. Their mission was to fulfill the dreams of children who financially had no means to further their success in music, arts, and sports, and it’s paid off. Participants have gone on to be world-class figure skaters, Olympic sailors, world-ranking tennis stars, singers, and more.
Now the Little Dreams Foundation is expanding into Miami. This March, the organization will start its search for local children to enlist in its programs. Here, Phil and Orianne, parents of two Miami children themselves, discuss their charity efforts.
What was the inspiration for your foundation? Phil Collins: I was always getting letters from ambitious kids who think they’ve got talent and want to get into the music business, asking if I could help them. Orianne had her own company organizing events, and we thought, Why don’t we form a foundation to help some of these kids? And because most of them were youngsters in their early teens, we just thought, “Little Dreams.” I drew the logo. It all fell into place very easily, the name, the logo. And when things seem to work that quickly, when things fall into place like that, sometimes that’s the best omen.
The kids have such interesting goals, from motocross to karate. Orianne Collins: Children have their dreams. They come up to you and they say, “I want to become this, I want to do that.” So how can we help?
Have you worked specifically with any of these kids? PC: More in the early days. We did our 10th-anniversary gala in Switzerland, about three years ago. I sang “True Colors” with all of the singers. I’ve done “Easy Lover” as a duet with one of the kids, and “You Can’t Hurry Love” with them as the backup singers. I’ve worked with the drummers, guitar players. I’m a very hands-on guy; I don’t just come in and sing. I believe in rehearsing and rehearsing, and you can only get better. And so sometimes that can rub off.
You have many big names mentoring and helping out—Tina Turner, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins…. Who do you think will do that in Miami? OC: There are many local people that it would be nice if they would help. I know there’s Pitbull and a few others. Of course, Romero Britto is helping us. PC: I’m amazed when I watch the NFL and the NBA; those organizations are doing great work with kids. So you’re lucky to find someone who hasn’t got their own charity already. Obviously people only have X amount of time.
These kids are so talented but just don’t have the opportunities. PC: They don’t have the opportunity and they don’t have the finances. I f there’s X amount of money to go around, there’s other things that the family needs that don’t include dance tuition, that don’t include drum lessons. That’s where the foundation comes in with not only giving them the opportunity but also paying for the tuition and the guidance.