Posts Tagged ‘positive change’
Musician & Humanitarian Wyclef Jean is well known for his dedication to his homeland Haiti. He founded the non-profit Yele Haiti as a grassroots movement to build global awareness for Haiti while helping the country’s long term growth.
As you know Haiti has been devastated by the recent earthquake. Her citizen’s need help now and Yele Haiti is mobilizing emergency relief. How can you help? Donate to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund at http://bit.ly/YeleFund or use your cell phone to text “Yele” to 501501.
Because I think Wyclef says it best, please check out his plea for assistance recently posted on the Yele Haiti website:
“Haiti today faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion, an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced.
The magnitude 7.0 earthquake – and several very strong aftershocks – struck only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince.
I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now.
President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands ‘ready to assist’ the Haitian people. The U.S. Military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible.”
Many people have already reached out to see what they can do right now. We are asking those interested to please do one of two things: Either you can use your cell phone to text “Yele” to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund (it will be charged to your cell phone bill), or you can click here to DONATE.
In this time of need, please take the time to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
P.S. Please also consider donating to the efforts of the Convoy of Hope and Doctors Without Borders earthquake response. Both organizations are also on the ground in Haiti providing needed relief services.
Tonight’s episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition features Usher assisting the crew in building a home for the Scott family who lost their husband/father who was killed in an accident.
In past seasons, musicians just sang. But this season the show has asked celebrities of all sorts to roll up their sleeves and pick up hammers and paint brushes to help the families receive hope in the form of a new home.
Check out my Song-In-Action episode guide of the musicians on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Clicking on the picture will take you to ABC.com where you can watch the full episode. Clicking on the name of the artist will lead to articles/blogs about their experiences on the show. I hope you enjoy.
#1 Rapper Xzibit – Hill Family Episode
“I got to know the family, the mother, the father, the kids, and the situation they were in . . . To see them go through that, and see the transformation … it’s something to know anticipation for myself, but when you anticipate something for somebody else, it’s something exciting.” Xzibit
[The show liked Xzibit so much that he came back for the Mattingly home w/ Clint Black]
#2 Country Musician Trace Adkins – Marshall Family Episode
““I’ve worked with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition three times now, and I personally feel that they’re doing God’s work. It’s such a noble thing that those folks do and anytime I get a chance to be a part of it and help out in some way, I’m always eager to do it.” Trace Adkins
#3 Singer/Actress Ashley Tisdale – Hampton Family Episode
“When I saw the family and the reaction to the house I just, like, started tearing up . . .It’s like this really great deserving family and then also you see like all these volunteers and their family members and their friends just all getting together helping them. It’s just such a great feeling to be part of that.” Ashley Tisdale
#4 Country Musician Kellie Pickler (American Idol) – Terpenning Family Episode
“I mean, this family was so amazing, so beautiful and their story was completely heartbreaking. So to finally be able to build a house that was functional for them, in their situation. It’s so rewarding. We were rewarded with so many smiles, so to see them smile when the buss moved and they saw the house, it was life-changing and such a blessing.” Kelli Pickler
#5 Country musician Clint Black (w/ Xzibit) – Mattingly Family Episode
“I feel it is essential to be trained in first aid and CPR, including how to use an AED. I was pleased to volunteer for the ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’ episode and proud to support an organization that teaches these lifesaving skills.” Clint Black (a Red Cross volunteer)
#6 R&B Singer Usher – Scott Family Episode
“I was motivated to help the family when I heard about their ability to continue to serve their community even after suffering a loss . . .Not only was it great to help a family that is from my home state, but this family exemplified giving back to the community.” Usher
[Watch Usher discuss the experience on YouTube until the full episode is live on ABC.Com.]
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” -Maya Angelou
This year I had the opportunity to work with a team of five other women on a project to raise awareness for our Nation’s wounded warriors. As of Nov. 23, 2009 over 36,000 soldiers were injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Many organizations and government agencies have online resources for wounded warriors including the Wounded Warrior Resource Center (Department of Defense) and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The last time I went to visit my family in South Carolina, I stopped en route at Cracker Barrel, my favorite roadside restaurant. I always like to shop there because I can find cool trinkets and they sell my favorite peanut brittle. What do you ask does Cracker Barrel have to do with wounded warriors? As I walked through the restaurant’s store they were playing a song by country music duo Montgomery Gentry. When the song ended, they made an announcement that Cracker Barrel had teamed with Montgomery Gentry to raise awareness and funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. It turned out that part of the proceeds from Montgomery Gentry’s album For Our Heroes sold in Cracker Barrel will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Click here to buy a copy online.
Montgomery Gentry consists of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry. The duo is well known for their philanthropic efforts with the T. J. Martell Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Camp Horsin’ Around, and Farm Aid. Their efforts to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project are part of Montgomery Gentry’s commitment to telling the stories of America’s heroes.
The main objective of the Wounded Warrior Project is to “provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally.” One of their signature projects is the WWP Packs program that delivers backpacks containing care items (clothing, toiletries, calling card, CD player, etc.) to severely wounded warriors arriving at military trauma centers. For more information on the Wounded Warrior project follow them on Twitter or check out their website.
Montgomery Gentry’s commitment to supporting the troops also includes a collaboration with the USO and the Vault for the “The Uniform of Heroes: The Taste of Support” campaign. Since the DOD suspended the “Any Servicemember” mail program, the Vault & USO have come up with a campaign that allows people to send pre-addressed postcards to soldiers. These postcards are available at Vault displays across the nation, Vault fridge packs and MyCokeRewards.com. The campaign provides the postcards and consumers (like you) provide the postage, the messages, and the manpower to drop the cards in the mail.
“These messages will go a long way in bringing comfort and lifting the spirits of our troops, especially those who are a world away from home.” Neil Golson, VAULT Brand Manager, Coca-Cola North America.
On the Montgomery Gentry website, Troy is quoted, “We’re proud to continue the effort to support our U.S. troops, and it’s exciting to partner with VAULT on this important campaign once again. . .VAULT and the USO have created a great way to spread goodwill and offer our thanks to the brave men and women serving our country. We hope thousands of people will get involved again this year.”
As we approach Thanksgiving, supporting the Wounded Warriors Project and the Uniform of Heroes campaign provide us with the two ways to let the our troops know how much we appreciate them.
P.S. Remember “Freedom is Never Free” – Unknown
“Music hittin’ your heart because I know you got soul” Public Enemy, Fight the Power
Lately I have been in an old school state of mind. My best friend from college convinced me to go see the Brand New Heavies last weekend at the Birchmere. I am so glad I went. It gave me the chance to fall in love all over again with the group’s ability to fill a room with sound and bring voice to everything from the ups and downs of love to the power of following your dreams.
I think my favorite song by Brand New Heavies is Brother Sister. The lyrics move me:
There’s no need to feel you’re on your own
Just let your intuition guide you through
Take one step toward what you believe
Don’t be afraid to make your move …
Don’t be scared go out there
Be strong go out there
To the real things that matter
‘Cause no one’s gonna hand’ em to you
On a silver platter
I left the concert thinking – “boy I need to listen to live music more often.” It inspires me. The right song can make you want to move mountains, save the world, and fight for causes that you believe in. That’s what this blog is really about – music serving as the inspiration or catalyst for individuals and communities to bring about social change.
When I think about social anthems that really were about shaking people up and pushing them towards action, I always come back to Public Enemy’s Fight the Power. Watch Here
The words are so . . . . well, powerful
Fight the Power
As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you’ve realized the prides arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart
It’s a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothin’s strange
A couple of days ago, I received an email about tickets for an upcoming Public Enemy benefit concert to benefit a homeless shelter in DC. The group has been on my mind ever since (and in my ears, much love to DJ Dredd for putting PE in the mix at Bhangraween). For my readers that grew up during the height of Public Enemy, you remember how large the group’s presence was. Love them or hate them, the group had the energy and power to light things on fire with their music. I am really excited to see them in DC using their music to call attention to a problem that really needs the full force of America to solve it – youth homelessness.
So let me take a minute to plug the concert and the cause –
“Public Enemy’s Number One - While Public Enemy have made ground-breaking hip-hop since their start over 20 years ago, they’ve also done their fair share of raising awareness for political and social causes. In an effort to help fight youth homelessness, Public Enemy bring their bass-heavy, manic live show to D.C. this November. Those who saw them at this year’s Virgin Mobile FreeFest know that Chuck D, Flavor Flav and crew still dominate socially and sonically. Virgin Mobile Presents PUBLIC ENEMY To Benefit The Sasha Bruce House, a homeless youth shelter. @ G.W. Lisner Auditorium • Washington, D.C. November 18 7pm Doors”
So for $25 (plus all those fees) you can Purchase Tickets and be part of the PE family again while supporting a great cause. The Sasha Bruce Youthwork is a cornerstone of youth services to at risk children in DC. The Sasha Bruce House is the only open access shelter for youth in D.C. For more information on the Sasha Bruce House and other SB Youthwork programs see www.sashabruce.org.
Fight the Power People,
“My daddy was more proud of the kids calling me the book lady than them calling me a star.” Dolly Parton
Everybody that knows me well knows that I adore Dolly Parton. Always have since I was a little girl and my mom would let me listen to her country music collection. It throws people off when I tell them that Dolly’s my role model. HHHM they say. Don’t you write about hip hop? Aren’t you well . … Black? Why yes I am, have been for a very long time. But good music and good examples know no racial or cultural boundaries. Growing up I loved Dolly because she appeared fearless. She spoke how she liked, wore what she liked and she had great big hair. Over the years I have grown to appreciate Dolly’s sense of community and commitment to improving the lives of children.
One of my favorite Dollyisms is: “It makes you feel better about your success if you don’t just hoard all that money. I always pray to God, ‘well, give me enough to share and enough to spare.’”
And that’s what she’s done. Dolly is a well known philanthropist dedicated to improving the quality of life “back home”. Providing jobs is one of the reasons why she placed her Dollywood theme park in the Smokey Mountains. “I knew Dollywood would be a great business for me, but I also knew it would generate a lot of money in that area and provide jobs. That’s true success-when everybody’s making money.”
Even though Dolly and her husband Carl Dean don’t have any children of their own, her dedication and love of children is clear. Perhaps one of Dolly’s most lasting contributions to the world is the founding of the Imagination Library in 1996 to encourage preschool children to love reading. Each month, the Imagination Library mails a brand new age appropriate book to every child under 5 in her home county – starting with The Little Engine that Could until the child receives Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come at age 5.
What I love about the Imagination Library is that Dolly took on providing books to children in one county and then the idea spread around the country and now is being replicated around the world. Now that’s Song-in-Action. Over 6 million books are expected to be distributed to children through the Imagination Library and its local affiliates in 2009. Communities that wish to provide books through the Imagination library first determine their geographic area (town, district, even a whole state) in which they wish to distribute the books. Then they establish their local affiliate, raise funds, and start helping kids love to read for a lifetime.
This blog post was inspired by my mother who turned me on to Dolly when I was little and gave me the great article “How Dolly Does it” by Meg Grant in AARP The Magazine from which I located the quotes above.