ATLANTA -- On Friday, UNICEF ambassador and Hollywood actor Laurence Fishburne was honored during a special Evening for Children First here in Atlanta.

He spoke about what drew him to their mission.

"When I reached a certain level of success where I was in a position to sort of give back and do philanthropic work, I wanted to do something that was global and UNICEF was the organization for me," he said.

Fishburne received the international relief organization's "Global Philanthropist Award".

He has served as an ambassador for UNICEF since 1996 traveling to help children affected by disease, poverty and war. In 2010, he hosted an event in support of the organization's emergency relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake. In 200, Fishburne was given the Child Survival Award, a joint effort by UNICEF and The Carter Center. One year prior, he narrated the UNICEF video, "The State of the World's Children" and lobbied on Capitol Hill for the approval of the government's annual contribution to the organization.

“These kids all belong to us, and we need to stand up for them because they can’t stand up for themselves,” he said at the gala.

Friday's event also included a live auction to help fund UNICEF's work. More than 300 guests attended the gala raising more than $690,000 in addition to a donation from UPS.