OnlyOnAOL: Allison Williams launches this year's coolest charity endeavor

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Cast of "Girls" on Season 5

By: Donna Freydkin

Last year, Allison Williams launched her first campaign to raise money for Horizons National, which provides summer enrichment programs for underserved kids nationwide. She promised to hand-write thank you notes to everyone who contributed.

"I ended up having to write several hundred notes. It took me months. It is an incredibly personal endeavor. I have pen pals as a result of it," says Williams, who plays Marnie on "Girls." (Watch an interview with her "Girls" costars above).

"I'm a big note-writer. It caused actual legitimate damage to my hand, which sounds so crazy but it's true. But I found it so rewarding."

Clearly, because on May 3, she's kicking off her "10 Days of Giving" campaign, which runs through May 12 and is conducted entirely through her social media channels: Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat (awilly88). Every day, Williams will post a surprise product that a brand has donated to the cause, and donors will receive said product in exchange for giving to Horizons. Those include items from Jennifer Meyer (jeweler to the stars), Lancer skincare (posh LA-based dermatologist's line), a rose gold Macbook, and many more. Plus, every single donor will receive a personal note from Williams.

"This is the second installment. Last year, I offered candy and a hand-written note in return for a donation. I ordered a hundred sheets of stationary and thought I was being over-enthusiastic and overly positive about how it might go," she says. "This year I wanted to do something bigger to try and engage people. I'm doing ten days this year. I picked the companies and products because I loved them."

3rd Annual College Signing Day - BackstageWilliams isn't one to pay lip service to charity. She got started early, and always had a connection with Horizons; her brother was a counselor and her mom runs the board. Her husband is also on the board. "My parents, starting from when I had any income, they told me to put aside ten percent of what you make a year to give away," she says. "It's a part of our life."

And part of her upbringing. Laziness isn't part of Williams' vocabulary.

"I have always had a job. I have always had an income. I have a work ethic. I never needed to be reminded to do my homework. I'm a total education enthusiast. I want all kids to have what I had," says Williams, who graduated from Yale. "My parents, who did not grow up wealthy, were puzzled about how to raise kids that were more fortunate than they are. How do you raise kids to have a good perspective? My parents made a point of emphasizing the luck of the draw, that I was born into this family."

8th Annual Blossom BallWilliams' day job, of course, is playing musician Marnie on "Girls." The acclaimed HBO series, created, written by and starring Lena Dunham, is going into its final season, with Marnie finally admitting her love for Ray. The vibe on set: sweet and melancholy.

"We just started. We haven't started filming yet. Lena is still writing. I don't know much about it. I'm very reluctant to start shooting. It will mean the beginning of the end. I'm going to cherish every second I have with this group of people while I still can do it. We love each other so much. We're so close as a cast and crew," says Williams.

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OnlyOnAOL: Allison Williams launches this year's coolest charity endeavor
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: Allison Williams attends 'Hamilton' Broadway Opening Night at Richard Rodgers Theatre on August 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 02: Allison Williams filming 'Girls' on July 2, 2015 in Williamsburg , New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Williams attends the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Variety)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Allison Williams attends HBO's post Golden Globe Awards party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Actress Allison Williams attends the Museum of the Moving Image Annual Honors Benefit on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Actress Allison Williams attends the Museum of the Moving Image Annual Honors Benefit on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Actress Allison Williams, left, is greeted by Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc., right, at the Museum of the Moving Image Annual Honors Benefit on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Actress Allison Williams, left, and Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, Inc., right, attend the Museum of the Moving Image Annual Honors Benefit on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Allison Williams attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" on Monday, May 5, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
EXCLUSIVE - IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE TELEVISION ACADEMY - From left, Allison Williams, Andrew Rannells and Lena Dunham attend "An Evening with GIRLS" on Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Television Academy in the NoHo Arts District in Los Angeles. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images).
From left, Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Lena Dunham and Andrew Rannells arrive at "An Evening with GIRLS" on Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Television Academy in the NoHo Arts District in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images).
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 28: Actors Jonathan Groff (L) and Allison Williams attend the Variety Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy on May 28, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Variety)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 28: (L-R) Actresses Carrie Brownstein, Kathleen Rose Perkins and Allison Williams attend the Variety Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy on May 28, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Variety)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 28: Actors Allison Williams (L) and Max Greenfield attend the Variety Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy on May 28, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Variety)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 28: Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Allison Williams attend the Variety Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy on May 28, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Variety)
EXCLUSIVE - From left, Allison Williams, Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke participate in a panel at "An Evening with GIRLS" on Thursday, March 13, 2014, at the Television Academy in the NoHo Arts District in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images).
Allison Williams attends the DVF Journey of a Dress 40th Anniversary Party at Wilshire May Company Building on Jan. 10, 2014 in Los Angeles.(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Actresses from left, Jenni Konner, Zosia Mamet, Lena Dunham and Allison Williams arrive for the UK Premiere of the third season of U.S television series, Girls, at a cinema in central London, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Allison Williams arrives at the HBO Golden Globes after party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 14: Allison Williams is seen at LAX airport on March 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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