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Jessica Simpson makes surprise visit to Mexican orphanage, donates minivan

Jessica Simpson has donated a new minivan to an orphanage in this Mexican border city.

Simpson was greeted by dozens of cheering children on Sunday as she arrived at the Elim orphanage in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, in a white 2007 Chrysler minivan that she had won at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The singer-actress, who was accompanied by her mother and father-manager, gave the keys to Guadalupe Carmona, the orphanage's founder and director, and stayed for about 40 minutes, posing for photos with the children and signing autographs.

"We're really happy," said Carmona, known as Mama Lupita. "This is the second time she has visited us."

Last fall, Simpson won a Chrysler Crossfire sports car at the MTV awards, but exchanged the US$50,000 (EUR39,000) luxury car for a minivan so she could help the orphanage, Carmona said.

Carmona said Simpson first visited the orphanage in 1996 and last month announced she would donate a car. But few expected Simpson to deliver it in person.

Simpson, whose songs include "I Wanna Love You Forever" and "Irresistible," also has appeared in the MTV reality show "Newlyweds" with now-ex husband Nick Lachey and in the movie "The Dukes of Hazzard."