Ian Somerhalder wants to help his home state. The “Vampire Diaries” star teamed up with his wife Nikki Reed to raise funds for Louisiana. The flooding in the southern state has caused massive amounts of damage, and Somerhalder and Reed are hoping to help the state’s schools and animals with their new fundraiser.
“Listen, what happened in Louisiana was a disaster, plain and simple,” Somerhalder said in an Instagram video with Reed. “Clearly, it’s very personal to me because that’s my home state.”
The couple, who married in 2015, has started a CrowdRise campaign to help. For every $10 donated, fans get an entry into the raffle. Two winners will get to video chat with the couple and they’ll also get an autographed Ian Somerhalder Foundation T-shirt.
If fans choose to donate to Somerhalder, they’ll be donating money to the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA). The organization will put the funds towards repairing the damaged schools and getting supplies to classrooms and students. “Nikki and I have been working very closely with the first lady of Louisiana, Mrs. Donna Edwards, to restore normalcy to those schools: bring school supplies, get them rebuilt, get those kids back in class, which is very important to the state,” Somerhalder stated. “This CrowdRise page is an amazing way to do that, and we’re asking for your help.”
Those who donate to Reed will be helping the animals affected by the flooding. “The Louisiana State Animal Response team is doing an amazing job not just rescuing cats and dogs, but also larger animals, which as you can imagine is extremely difficult, and getting supplies and vet care to them,” Reed explained in the video.
Watch their plea for help below:
In a comment on her own Instagram page, Reed explained that the Ian Somerhalder Foundation also gave a grant to help relief efforts and the couple made personal donations to several different organizations as well. “This page was set up as a way to help make it easy for people to get involved, and also the video component helps,” she wrote. “Maybe people who wouldn't have donated otherwise might reconsider because of that.”
The CrowdRise campaign will run until Sept. 30. Winners for the video chat and t-shirts will be chosen after the fundraiser ends.