Theresa's fight to save Elephants and Rhinos

Theresa DeLeon became involved with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) as founder of the community crew “ISF – GoGreen”. Being part of ISF has changed Theresa’s life in a positive way, pushing her to get healthy and getting involved. She told ISF via email, “ISF pushed me to take control of my life and let me know that my voice does matter and that it is my super power; that gave me the strength I needed to get out of my bed and start moving.”  Being passionate about our environment, Theresa decided to take grassroots action by hosting a "Ban Fracking" education forum in her home town of Mandeville, LA. There, Theresa met Patty, who told her about the plight elephants and rhinos in our world endure every day. When Theresa heard about the insane number of elephants and rhinos we are losing on a daily basis because of climate change and ivory hunting, she knew she had to join Patty and lend her voice to help save them. Theresa told ISF, “Environmental issues affect the plight of these animals as well as they do us, so I taught her about environmental issues and going green, while she opened my eyes to just how many animals we were losing and to what extent people were going to kill them.”

Together, Theresa and Patty organized the “Global March for Elephants & Rhinos” in Louisiana to bring education and awareness to this issue. This year will be the fourth year of the event. Theresa, Patty and their crew are not stopping there! They have also raised money to adopt an elephant in Africa named Ella. Theresa told ISF, “In honor of the work Patty and I continue to do, a local metal artist created this amazing statue of Ella, the name of the elephant we first raised funds to adopt. The mayor of Kenner, Louisiana let us erect it on a busy area where there are many other pieces of art. Ella is just the beginning for us and I couldn't be more proud of our work and the real life Ella.”

When asked about their future goals, Theresa says, “We have started a sub-section of our crew called Women Warriors for African Wildlife we are gearing up for. We have adopted Ella as mentioned above, one rhino, and are raising funds now to adopt a lion. We make blankets for the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to keep animals warm. I am starting a podcast called #AllLivesMatter, and our marches will continue as an annual ISF march for elephants, rhinos, and lions in my hometown of New Orleans.”

Theresa’s efforts to help the environment and the creatures in it are an inspiration to ISF. Her enthusiasm in infectious. She shows us we can all do our part, saying, “Most people aren't activists of any sort per se, so they are not aware of the real problems our animals, environment, and ultimately all mankind is facing. THAT is what keeps my crew and me roaring and fighting the good fight!”

Thank you Theresa, Patty and the rest of their crew, “ISF-GoGreen”!