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Ian Somerhalder Auctioning Off a Lunch Date for Charity

USMagazine, Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 4:00pm (PDT)

Dying to become blood buddies with The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder? It's time to seize the opportunity.

The actor, 33, is auctioning off a lunch date in Atlanta via Charitybuzz. All proceeds will benefit the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which is in the process of building an animal sanctuary.

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"There are too many animals that are abused, mistreated, and abandoned. They've been ostracized, they have behavioral issues, and they're starving," Somerhalder, who's dating his costar Nina Dobrev, 23, tells Entertainment Weekly. "It's just unbelievable what we've done to the animals, and I think that's why this is so important."

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The auction is currently live and will run through July 18; travel and accommodations are not included. "I appreciate you and your generosity," Somerhalder says. "I will try not to bore you to tears."

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Somerhalder believes that "if we can give animals a home, we can also take the youth of our country and our world -- kids who have behavioral issues, bullying other kids, and halting the progression of those around them -- 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."

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"I'm so tired of the lack of compassion in our world and watching kids grow up in it. I think it's an amazing opportunity for us to show that having compassion for one another -- and all furry, scaled or feathered creatures -- is the only way we can progress."

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Ian Somerhalder Auctioning Off a Lunch Date for Charity

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