In one of her first public appearances since announcing her split from husband Will Kopelman earlier this month (Apr16), the Never Been Kissed star took the podium at the Pierre Hotel for a luncheon benefiting the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - the world’s first child protective agency.

And as the mother-of-two began her speech, Drew warned the crowd that she may shed some tears as she recalled a special trip to Africa to help less fortunate kids.

"As you women know, laughter and crying are twins - and you men are still struggling with that," Drew said. "If I break down during this story, you will understand that I'll just turn it into laughter, and you men will think we're crazy. We are, but it's that 'crazy' that actually evolves into compassion, and that's what is beautiful about women.

"There are gorgeous things about you men too, but I happen to understand women, being one myself, and we wear our hearts on our sleeves. So when we discuss issues of importance, it brings out our emotions."

The star then read a chapter from her autobiography Wildflower entitled Africa, in which she writes about how a 2004 writing assignment for Marie Claire magazine sparked a passion for philanthropy, which she continues to this day.

The article moved her to join forces with the United Nations to visit kids in Kenya, and subsequently led her to establishing the Barrymore LEarning Center for children.

As she read to the audience, Drew's voice quivered with emotion, as she said, "Everything is needed - always be thinking of children's needs, whether you think it's too soon or too late. Life has shown me it is the way to think and live.

"I thought about getting ready to have my own children. It was time to start learning and investing in what it would mean to become a loving mother, and I knew I was ready."

Drew, who was still sporting her wedding ring on her left ring finger during the event, split from third husband Will after nearly four years of marriage.

According to Page Six, Drew opted to skip over every mention of her estranged spouse during the chapter reading.