ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Ian Somerhalder is almost as famous for his altruistic nature as he is for his role in The Vampire Diaries, and what better time is there to examine his most kindly deeds that the season of giving?

So, let's step back and have a look over Ian Somerhalder's charity career to remind ourselves why so many of us find this man such a huge inspiration.

Starting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation

Ian Somerhalder started his very own charity after seeing the devastating effects of the BP oil spill in his own backyard. The naturing loving star was so upset by the devastation that he saw in local marshes that he felt the need to immediately take personal action to make a change.

He told weekend magazine back in 2010 that:

I’ve always been passionate about the environment and its creatures. But what really tipped the scales for me was the oil spill in the Gulf. The unimaginable devastation to my own backyard had a massive impact on my personal urgency to find a way to make a change

While some might say that stating your own charity is a bit egotistical, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation has been adapt at taking social media by storm and engaging a young audience with environmental issues.

The foundations presence on Twitter is like something I've never seen from any other charity, and so many voices shouting in unison are bound to make a difference.

Rescuing Nietzsche

Ian Somerhalder put his money where is mouth is when it comes to animal rescue by saving a stray pit bull type dog directly from the streets of Atlanta.

Ian had seen the frightened animal running loose in traffic around the fringes of [The Vampire Diaries](series:200853) set, and was determined to capture her and provide her with a good home. He named her Nietzsche.

Even after Ian found out the dog was pregnant when he took in, he took the time to raise the puppies and place them all in suitable homes before having Nietzsche spayed like any responsible dog owner should.

Such an adorable love story!

Anything to do with His Fans

There is no denying that Ian Somerhalder has a special relationship with his fans. Despite his high status in the acting world, Ian remains humble and is always grateful for his admirers who have helped him progress in his career.

Whether it is thanking his fans in TV interviews, saying goodnight to us on Twitter or always having time for a selfie, Ian Somerhalder's continued engagement with his fans is consistent proof that he is a really sweet guy.

Saving a Disabled Child's Pit Bull Companion

When I reported on this story back in late Novemeber, I was really moved by Somerhalder's sincerity and dedication to the cause.

A young disabled girl named O'Hara Owen and her family reached out to Somerhalder for help after their town tried to ban pit bull dogs, and the star immediately sprung into action.

Ian cancelled a flight he had booked to Louisiana and drove through the small town of Moreaubille instead to put pressure on the mayor to reconsider his descision.

Thankfully, the rule did not go through and dogs in the town will no longer face possible euthanasia for being born a certain breed. Hurrah!

Opening His Own Rescue Centre

As if rescuing numerous animals himself is not enough, Ian Somerhalder is currently in the process of building his very own no kill animal sanctuary.

The sanctuary also has aims to engage with an educate the local community including pairing up disruptive teenagers with difficult dogs to tech them the values of responsibilty and how great it feels to nurture something.

So far, Ian Somerhalder has only purchased the land where the sanctuary will stand, but I'm confident the star will leave a lasting and valuable legacy when the project is completed.

Defending his Gal

When Ian Somerhalder got together with Nikki Reed, some of his fans reacted in a truly despicable way.

The rumors that swirled around the beginnings of the pairs relationship and a desperation by some sects of the Vampire Diaries fandom for Somerhalder to get back together with Nina Dobrev mean the Twilight actress was verbally abused in messages. And Ian wasn't having that.

Of course, being Ian he tried to react in a way that would be non aggressive and help teach his wayward fans to speak to people with compassion in their hearts. One of his responses read:

Do you care about me? Ask yourself that question. What's the answer? Is it yes? If it is—then please be happy for me. Stop this nonsense -- you’re spreading horrible energy into the world. Do some research of the person you say sucks or you HATE. You’ll find that she’s a magical person doing great things in the world. I’m sickened and saddened by the fans’ response to all this. Many fans have stood up to people like you and tried to empower you with some compassion. If we all thought a little about people before we spoke about them, the world wouldn't be so upside down and in the worst place in history. If you hate Nikki then you must hate me. … That’s sad. Have an amazing day!

What a guy!


What do you think is the nicest thing Ian Somerhalder has ever done?


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