Sophia Bush is busy starring on NBC’s Chicago PD, but she still manages to make time to contribute to good causes. On Sat., Feb 8, the actress helped launch the 2014 Barefoot Wine Soles of the Year Program, which celebrates people who are doing good in their local communities.
For the kick-off event, the 31-year-old worked with the founder of the Trio Animal Foundation, an organization that helps shelters and individuals pay medical bills for homeless pets. Star caught up with Sophia about this charity work and what life’s been like working in Chicago!
How did you come to be involved with Barefoot Wine Soles of the Year Program?
We first partnered up years ago for the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project in North Caroline while I was shooting One Tree Hill. Now that I’m working on Chicago PD here in Chicago, I am excited to see Barefoot support local organizations like Trio Animal Foundation working to help the homeless pets. Barefoot always highlights the best groups!
You’re such a great spokesperson for so many great causes and you’re not afraid to speak up about things you’re passionate about. When did that passion and excitement begin for you? Was it early in life?
I was very fortunate to grow up in a household where my parents focused on ethics and empowerment. They taught me to speak my mind from a very young age. I believe whole-heartedly in our human capacity to do good. And I have seen first hand that everyone is capable, through big actions or small, of changing the world around them for the better.
Tell us a little bit about your partnership with Trio Animal Foundation, and what personal stories have inspired you to get involved with homeless pets.
Trio Animal Foundation was started by Sue Naiden, an incredibly inspiring Chicago native. She’s working hard to provide medical care and treatment for homeless pets, as well as promote spay, neuter and responsible pet adoption. As a lifelong dog rescuer, I think what she is doing is amazing and important, and I am so excited to help her raise funds and change the lives of these pets.
In your Twitter description, you say, “I believe a pencil can change the world.” What do you mean by that?
I work very closely with Pencils of Promises, an organization that builds schools and educates children in the developing world. A pencil given to a child in school is a powerful tool. It has the potential to change lives. And educations is what changes the world for the better.
Chicago PD and Law and Order: SVU are doing a crossover episode airing Feb. 26. Can you give us any hints or juicy details about it?
The episode is going to be very intense. And I got to work with Mariska [Hargitay]! The dream!
How has your experience on Chicago PD been so far?
I am having the time of my life filming Chicago PD! The show is smart and creative and gritty, action packed, and I am working with an incredible cast! Two casts really since we cross over with Chicago Fire all the time. I couldn’t ask for more.
Do you have any favorite Chicago spots yet? Have you tried the pizza?
Chicago is such a cool city. The music venues and the restaurants. I’m in heaven.