The Orange is the New Black star was inspired to work with the organisation because she was once a homeless teen after leaving her single mother's property at the age of 16.

She ended up living in a car, but a serious traffic accident at 17 prompted Cruz to leave Los Angeles and return to her family's native Dominican Republic to recover. It was there she met with a young quadriplegic girl, who complimented her on her looks despite her injuries.

"I figured out that it was never going to be about how I looked, but how I made someone feel," she tells Fox News Latino of the inspiration for her charity work.

And now the 30-year-old has a platform, she wants to use her fame to give back.

"I have a voice now," she says. "(The show) gives me that, and why not use it for good?"

"I feel like I'm one of (the homeless teens)," she continues. "I never had a dad, but I was raised by a big and extended family. I don't say things happen for a reason, but if I hadn't lived in a car or lived through the car accident, then I wouldn't be who I am today or where I am today."