We all know things get cray on “BUCKWILD” -- from Shain's MacGyver-like contraptions to scandalous "Hyperglow" parties but did you know the cast is also wild about philanthropy? With Valentine's Day 'round the corner, we’ll be introducing you to the sweeter side of the “BUCKWILD” girls, and in this installment, get to know Cara Parrish a little bit better!
Two things Cara’s been involved in are Music Saves Lives and North Central West Virginia Foster Adoptive Parent Association. Music Saves Lives intertwines music and lifesaving actions like blood donations (remember when we interviewed Debby Ryan about it?). And North Central West Virginia Foster Adoptive Parent Association matters to Cara because it has the longest name ever. Seriously though, she loves the org because she has adopted siblings. Continuing her education is also super important to her, and she handles negativity with a dose of humor.
ACT: What makes you want to take action and give back to your community?
CARA: There have been times when people have helped me. I think it’s only fair that we reach out and help other people who may be at a low point in their lives.
ACT: Tell us about Music Saves Lives and North Central West Virginia Foster Adoptive Parent Association.
CARA: Music Saves Lives is actually the most recent nonprofit I’ve worked with, and I absolutely love them. They encourage people across the country -- and in Canada -- to donate blood to help save lives. Whenever you go in and donate blood, if they’re having any sort of music event in your area, they give you rewards for the music event. Like, say, free entry or the opportunity to meet your favorite band. Actually, I worked with them for three weeks this past summer and was actually on the tour bus with them.
I volunteered with [North Central West Virginia Foster Adoptive Parent Association] a lot when I was in high school. I have younger siblings that are adopted, and that cause is really, really close to me. They have meetings every month and I would volunteer to take care of the kids while the parents had meetings since childcare is expensive. In these meetings parents talked about the difficulties in the foster process, in the adoption process. It's really awesome to have a support system and talk with people going through the same things.
Photo: Cara volunteering with Music Saves Lives. (Cara Parrish)
ACT: How do you convince friends and other young people to participate in volunteer activities?
CARA: Seeing other people around you do it automatically kind of puts it in your mind. When you see people helping other people, you realize that you have that power and you can act on it.
ACT: Would you ever date someone who didn’t volunteer?
CARA: I think I’d just encourage them to volunteer. If they were actually against volunteering, that would definitely be a deal-breaker for me.
ACT: Why was it important for you to continue your education?
CARA: Education is incredibly important. It’s necessary in your life to get as much knowledge as you can and use that to further your life and the lives of others. I’ll always be involved in growing my education one way or another. I’ll probably be a lifelong [laughing] college resident.
Photo: Cara getting dirty in Sissonville. (MTV)
ACT: What's the response been to you being on the show? How do you handle the haters and negativity in general?
CARA: It’s been great. The show is incredibly popular. People love it. It’s something that’s relatable, especially to kids in small towns. People don’t realize there haven’t been a lot of mainstream television shows that celebrate what it’s like to be in a small town. We’re just being ourselves, but being relatable, relevant.
I know that negativity is going to come. There’s negativity no matter what you try to do. I try to just remain on the positive side of things. I never try to push back at anyone. I take it with a dose of comedy and I just keep my outlook positive.