Michael Trevino's 'Vampire Diaries' co-stars inspired him to get involved in charity work
CMH's 6th annual fundraiser event, "Empathy Rocks: A Spring into Summer Bash," will honor the entire cast of The CW show on Saturday (June 14) with the Cast of Heroes Award, which will be accepted by Michael Trevino, Kat Graham and Kayla Ewell. The award is being given to recognize their deep commitment to improving social change and awareness around the world.
Trevino is honored to be a part of a cast that is being recognized for all the good they do on their time off. "It's kind of crazy, because we all do it just to do it, not for any other reason," Trevino tells Zap2it. "The eight of us [on 'TVD'] are now like a little army, each of us representing what we want to follow as far as our charities go, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger. Everyone kind of had their own charity and we all started supporting each other and tweeting about each others' charities and it just grew and grew. It's really cool and it's nice that Children Mending Hearts is recognizing that."
As far as his own charity work goes, Trevino credits his co-stars with inspiring him to get involved. "I wasn't involved in charity work until I got on the show, and I was influenced from the get go by Ian [Somerhalder] and Kat," Trevino says. "They have been so heavily involved with multiple charities. Kat threw her own event for her charity The Water Project and we all know that Ian is always around the world, saving the world every day, so I was influenced by them. I found my own charity, Operation Smile, and I support their charities and they support mine."
Trevino recalls being approached by his friend Levi Maestro, who owns the company Becomb that makes infinity pieces, and Maestro offered to sell some and donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Operation Smile.
"We tweeted out a photo and sent out a video and did a limited run of like 20 of them, and we sold all of them!" Trevino says. "We were able to write a check for $4,000 dollars to Operation Smile which paid for a lot of procedures for cleft palates. It's a relatively cheap and quick procedure, but that's changing a child's life for the rest of their lives."
Trevino enjoys working with Operation Smile so much that he wants to get even more involved. "What I plan on doing for my next hiatus when I'm free is to go on one of the missions for Operation Smile," Trevino says. "I'd love to go on a two-week mission and help out in the ER with surgeries and post-ops. I think that's the next step for me."
As for accepting the Cast of Heroes Award from Children Mending Hearts, Trevino isn't surprised that the "TVD" cast is being honored. "Honestly, it makes sense because of the social media reach that our show has. It goes down to the fans, both here and international," Trevino says. "We have a big influence and a big impact, and each and every one of us on the cast is involved on social media, especially Twitter. And as far as every one of our charities that we support, we bring that to light through our social media. Most people wouldn't be aware of that otherwise. And I think we do it more than any other show. So it's nice to be recognized for that."
Children Mending Hearts is an organization that aims to empower youth and build empathy and global citizenry in future generations. Proceeds from the event on Saturday (June 14) will go towards providing after school programs to at-risk kids teaching the importance of giving back.