*Halle Berry says the court-ordered community service stemming from her 1997 hit-and-run car accident was a wake-up call that changed her life, and shifted her focus to charity work.

The Oscar winner was sentenced to 250 hours of community service for leaving the scene of the accident in West Hollywood. Berry said she suffered had suffered amnesia and needed 17 stitches in her forehead following the crash.

She fulfilled the court order by working at Los Angeles’ Jenesse Center, a charity that helps battered women and their children make a fresh start.

Cut to 13 years later, and Berry still regularly volunteers with the organization – which has helped her realize the importance of giving back.

She says, “It changed my life. I hadn’t been doing enough (for others). It was time.”