The horrific Deepwater Horizon explosion & sinking is nearly three moths behind us, but the damage caused by the oil gushing from the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico is still blazing a deadly path, and there’s no end in sight to its devastation. Perhaps one of the people who has been most vocal in rallying people to help this cause is Louisiana native Ian Somerhalder, prompting The Vampire Diaries’ fandom to take action. One effort inspired by Ian’s passionate pleas is Vampire Support. I had the chance to chat with the gal behind this fangtastic fundraiser, Vampire Diaries addict and vlogger Chloe Dawn. Here’s what you need to know about Vampire Support, and how to get involved.
What prompted you to become involved in aid for the oil spill ravaged Gulf?
The reason I started Vampire Support was because of Ian. I found out about the explosion the day it happened from his Twitter. Then once more information was coming in from different news sources and I got into the politics about the issue I realized something had to be done. Once I started seeing pictures of the wildlife being affected, it broke my heart. I am a huge animal lover. I realized that I had been given a voice in the Vampire Diaries community (from my vlog being tweeted by the cast and crew members) and that I needed to use it to the best of my ability to change this situation and get people involved in my generation (the ‘in-between’ generation). So really the animals was (and still is) the big issue for me because it hit home. I remember when I went to Florida for the first time when I was about 8 years old and being overjoyed at seeing the pelicans on the docks. Seeing pictures of them brown and matted with oil … it’s disgusting and absolutely depressing.
So what exactly is Vampire Support?
Vampire Support’s mission is to raise awareness about the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico by selling vampire oriented shirts as well as putting together miscellaneous projects to encourage people to donate and help out. All proceeds will go towards helping with the relief efforts. Vampire fans from every fandom can come together in a collaborative effort to help out with this horrible disaster.
What will funds raised by this effort go toward?
All proceeds will go to Gulf Aid. Not only will they ensure that the money goes to the wildlife and coastal environment, but also the seafood industry and the well-being of fisherman.
What are some of the featured items in the auction?
Well the two items that I have revealed to the public were the items that Julie Plec, writer/producer of The Vampire Diaries, sent me. One is a Vampire Diaries poster signed by Ian, Nina, and Paul, and the other is the original Pilot script signed by the entire cast. I have more items coming in daily. Some of them are big, others little. I have items from the following vampire fandoms: Vampire Diaries, Twilight, True Blood, and Buffy. I’m working on more fandoms every day! I can’t give away much about specific items but I will say that I recently was contacted by a Twilight actor who is contributing some autographed stuff!
Would you like there to be subsequent fundraising events by Vampire Support, or is this more of a one-off?
I’m not sure yet. I know I will be selling the shirts for as long as help is needed in the gulf. But once the oil spill is stopped I would love to have more events in the future with different charities.
How can everyone get involved in supporting this effort?
There are many ways to contribute. One, spread awareness. This can be done by simply tweeting and retweeting about the oil spill. Any social networking site is a great way to help spread the news. You would be surprised how many people have been living under a rock these past couple of months. Two, donate! If you are able to donate, any amount of money helps. Even if you donate $1, it’s something. Make sure you donate to a reliable website that will work quickly! Also, check out our shirts! Three, volunteer time. If you live in Louisiana or any of the surrounding states that are being affected by the spill, you can donate time by helping with the clean up efforts. Whether it be helping with oiled birds, or just cleaning up local beaches, EVERYTHING helps. Keep in mind some areas are off limits for safety purposes, please contact The National Wildlife Federation for more information on how to volunteer. Four, donate hair. Believe it or not, hair soaks up oil. Contact your local pet stores, pet groomers, and hairstylists and ask if they would be willing to donate hair to help with the clean up. Remind them that it’s for a good cause and that it would be thrown away anyway. If they don’t go for it, volunteer to ship the hair yourself. Here is a website with more information, Matter of Trust.
For all the latest developments on Vampire Support, be sure to follow Chloe on Twitter @TVD_Chloe or visit the Vampire Support blog.
I’ll have news later this week on another fundraising event, The Battle of the Fang, which has been spearheaded by the True Blood fandom.