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Up-and-coming teen actor Brandon Tyler Russell – star of the upcoming feature film Smitty, alongside Mira Sorvino, Lou Gossett Jr and Boo Boo Stewart – recently spoke to about the inspiration behind his charity work.

Brandon Tyler Russell LA Animal Alliance
Brandon Tyler Russell LA Animal Alliance

Why did you choose to support the charities you work with?

My grandparents are cancer survivors, so I love to raise awareness about cancer charities! But the causes closest to my heart involve animals. I love all animals and I am a speaker for the LA Animal Alliance. I have done PSAs for the American Humane Society, as well as the LA Animal Alliance. If anyone is wanting to adopt a pet – please adopt from you local shelter! There are so many animals in need of homes! I also enjoy charities involving sick children & bullying. Bullying is such a hot topic and something I have dealt with in the past.

How long have you supported them?

I have been involved with the American Cancer Society for about 10 years. The other charities just within the last two years.

How or why did you choose to get involved?

The American Cancer Society I got involved with because my grandparents are cancer survivors. I have always loved animals, but after working on SMITTY I decided to get more involved with animal organizations. I recently became a speaker on behalf of the LA Animal Alliance and did a PSA for them in October of 2011. I also volunteer for many other organizations because I like the feeling of giving back to others.

Brandon Tyler Russell Susan G Koman for the Cure
Brandon Tyler Russell Susan G Koman for the Cure

Can you talk a little bit about some of the other causes you support?

I support both the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Both organizations are involved with cancer research and support of cancer patients, as well as cancer survivors! I also support the LA Animal Alliance & The American Humane Society, as well as most other animal organizations. The LA Animal Alliance is a great organization that has many different programs that help support animal adoption. I hope that if you are looking to add a pet to your family, you consider adopting from your local shelter. There are some wonderful animals looking for a forever home! The American Humane Society is important because it involves the prevention of animal abuse and neglect. I hope you all consider making a donation to the AHS today!!

And how important do you think it is for celebrities to get involved in charity?

I feel that it is important for celebrities to get involved in charity work because others look up to us. If we get involved in a certain charity, it will encourage others to also get involved. It doesn’t take much time either. Even if you only have 1-2 hours a month, you can still volunteer. As a teen celebrity, I also think that staying involved with charity work is a way to help keep you grounded. It is important to help others less fortunate. thanks Brandon for taking the time to talk to us.

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