His bad boy alter ego, Damon Salvatore, may have spent the last century breaking hearts and compelling minds on the hit show, “The Vampire Diaries,” but in real life, actor Ian Somerhalder takes a more subtle approach to influencing minds and actions.
While some celebrities are vacationing at the hot spot of the moment, when Somerhalder isn’t filming, you’ll find him…
- Volunteering at St. Tammany Humane Society in his hometown
- Testifying before Congress on behalf of species conservation
- Working with portable energy company, Go Green Mobile Power, to supply Hollywood sets with alternative energy mobile generators
- Starting a Change.org petition to fight animal cruelty
- Finding homes for stray kittens on set
When the Gulf oil spill devastated his home state of Louisiana, Somerhalder did more than just tweet about the crisis. He visited in person to help with cleanup efforts.
“I grew up in that bayou, in those marshes. Having fished all the coastline in Louisiana and Mississippi, I know how delicate that ecosystem is. The thought of that oil sinking into the root systems of those plants, killing the oysters, crabs and shrimp, sends chills down your spine. I had to be there now.”
It’s no wonder he needed an organization to help follow through on all his environmental efforts.
In 2010, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation was created, with the mission to “empower, educate, and collaborate with people and projects that positively impact the planet and its creatures.”
The ISF Animal Sanctuary Project
Now, the IS Foundation plans to open an Animal Sanctuary where abandoned and mistreated animals have the opportunity to be sheltered and healed.
The key component to the healing process? Involving children with behavioral issues, specifically bullying, as active participants.
The Animal Sanctuary will present an opportunity for these children to learn leadership and nurturing skills by taking care of abused and neglected animals.
In Ian’s words,
“I’m so tired of the lack of compassion in our world and watching kids grow up in it. If we can give animals a home, we can also take kids who have behavioral issues… bullying other kids, and bring them together to learn compassion from one another. If you have compassion for an animal, then you’ll ultimately have compassion for another human being.”
If you’d like to help make the Animal Sanctuary a reality, visit ISFoundation online to find out how you can volunteer, donate, or get involved.
You’ll find this full spread… plus more ways to get kids involved for World Animal Day, celebrate a Green Halloween, healthy seasonal recipes, and much more in the Fall 2012 issue of Green Child Magazine.
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Linda Fields says
Please pass my comment over to Mr Somerhalder (Ian),and tell him he is a very special person. We, mankind and our planet and all its inhabitants need help, as no-way can we carry on in the direction we’re heading. Looking back in history it has given us some very special people who have done there best for mankind and our planet, and it has done so again with Mr Somerhalder – a sincere dedicated person who genuinely wishes to help mankind and the planet. He is a special person for his love of wanting a better world for all he is willing to do whatever it takes to help us help ourselves in order to leave a healthy more compassionate and caring society. I know he will make this his life ambition and he will stay with it until it has been achieved he can and does make a difference he will change things for the better I have every faith in him. I’m a 62yr old English lady from UK, and I feel such comfort that the world has someone like Mr Somerhalder (Ian) who is there for my grandchildren and their children etc to make their home (our planet) a much more cherished place to live.
I wish you every success with what you want to achieve, I know you will succeed because mankind is counting on you. Thank you, Ian.
I will be giving a donation to ISF
From one loving person to another, Lin xx
Ian, I just want to say thank you so much for helping make our world a better place! I’m an animal lover and what you’re doing is very heart-warming. Thank you so much!
pellicciari patrizia says
Ian sei meraviglioso un uomo eccezionale bravo…. adori gli animali
Catarina Silva says
Hi, my name is Catarina and I’m from Portugal. I love Ian Somerhalder and i think that he’s a great role model, I wish I could have as much impact on the world as I think he has. Its just great that Ian and all his crew took the time and effort to help saving all those animals and really caring about these bad things that happen. Guys you really are amazing and I hope that my little actions everyday can help you build a better world. Just keep up your work and me and the rest of the world will be forever grateful. Love, Catarina 🙂
Kathy Burke says
Why is Ian Somerhaulder sitting on an elephant? Please, please explain this!
Renae Heinley says
Its refreshing to know that some stars care about the world and not only about themselfs and money.