By Ruth Kinane
October 28, 2016 at 12:24 PM EDT
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images

Julia Roberts wants just one thing for her birthday — and it’s for a good cause. The Oscar winner, who turns 49 on Friday, is asking fans to donate to GLSEN, a nonprofit organization that works with schools to teach awareness and acceptance of people regardless of their sexual orientation. 

On Oct. 21, the GLSEN Respect Awards took place in Los Angeles, celebrating the work of students, educators, individuals, and corporations who serve as role models and advocates for LGBTQ youth. PEOPLE and EW Editorial Director Jess Cagle was among those honored at the event.

GLSEN bestowed its Visionary Award on Cagle for his ongoing support and advocacy. Roberts, a longtime friend of Cagle’s and one of the honorary co-chairs for the evening, presented him with the award. In her introduction, the actress asked the audience to donate to GLSEN in honor of her Oct. 28 birthday. “I’m going to be 49, so a $49-donation would be great,” she said. 

The event also recognized Kate Hudson for her work with mother Goldie Hawn’s Hawn Foundation, among other endeavors, presenting her with the Inspiration Award. YouTube sensation Connor Franta scooped up the #Gamechanger Award for using his huge presence on social media to advocate for respect online. 

As well as welcoming birthday donations for Roberts, GLSEN is launching an auction for fans to win a lunch date with the Pretty Woman star in Los Angeles. The competition kicks off on Roberts’ birthday on and aims to continue raising awareness and support for GLSEN’s programs that work to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Bidding is open until Nov. 15 at

Visit to donate for Roberts’ birthday now through Nov. 1. It would be a big mistake — huge — not to.