This year, as in the last 5 years, you've raised money for various charities when you've bought merch at one of my shows or through my online store.
I've decided to try to aim much more deliberate arrows with this annual charity support, since it now feels this can go on every year for the foreseeable future, to whatever degree your craving for t-shirts and totes continues.
The world is filled with maelstroms to harness. Though I'm not a philanthropist and am not truly well versed in what's working, what's positive or what's taking root, I can isolate three areas that I feel need support. Within these 3 areas, I feel I could cover my conscience and direct this charity windfall to be truly useful in a fog of worthy causes.
The first is the Environment. This is a very big umbrella. We'll do our best to find and fund people working where things aren't right or have suffered from bad decision making. I sing about volcanoes and storms and the sea and the mountains because I find they're the most direct representation of our own invisible seismic and cataclysmic emotional tides. Luckily, though, there are people who deal with the immediate rather than the symbolic within areas like alternative energy, reforestation, nature conservancy, water supply issues and the infinite other tolls climate change and consumptive living have taken.
The second is People. Depending on the year, these people may be homeless in your home town or from a place dealing with worse than winter. They may be a large group or a single family. They may be hungry or displaced, uneducated, addicted, impoverished, lost, angry or helpless. Born in the wrong place or disheartened. It's a very good thing that many lucky and smart people work to help the much more numerous unlucky.
The third is Animals. The animals we'll direct help towards may be abandoned or tortured or refugees from factory farming or natural disasters. There are so many good people who advocate for the protection of endangered species or mistreated individuals, argue and educate for alternatives to animal research, aim to protect animals from violence and advocate against standardized cruelty. I also have to remember to recognize there are ways to eat meat that meaningfully support the farmers who are attempting to build a less cruelty-standard industry. These steps take interested, engaged people with heart- on the growing side and the consumer side. We’ll direct funds to mitigate the damage of poor practices and bolster actions that are purely positive. People are likely able to help animals as much as we hurt them.
Thanks again for making this possible.
Last week Leslie joined Peter Gabriel at the Roseland Ballroom to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his charity, WITNESS.
WITNESS partners, who have worked to put a stop to slave labor in Brazil , to end rampant abuse in the U.S. juvenile justice system, and to end recruitment of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , shared their stories and explained how video changed their lives and the situations in their respective communities.
Since 1992, WITNESS has trained more than 4,500 human rights defenders and partnered with over 300 groups in 86 countries to produce campaign videos that have reached more than 260 million people worldwide.
For more info on MusiCounts and what they support, visit www.musicounts.ca
The Clean Vibes Trading Post, Inc provides action-oriented, incentive-based environmental education at large outdoor events throughout the United States. We motivate and encourage fans to participate in our recycling efforts through operating a “trading post” where attendees can turn in cans and bottles and “trade” them for cool prizes. The cans and bottles attendees collect become a “currency”, and the more recycling gathered, the more valuable items participants can “purchase.” Providing event attendees with immediate rewards enables us to directly engage people in the clean up process, educate them about the importance of recycling, and eliminate recycling from the landfill--decreasing total landfill waste!
Please donate to Blue Dot // Teenage Cancer Trust. You can get Manchester O2 Feist tickets as a reward.
The Teenage Cancer Trust is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with cancer.
Every day in the UK, six young people are told they have cancer. Usually placed on a children’s ward or with elderly patients, young people often feel extremely isolated whilst being treated for cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust believes young people shouldn’t stop being teenagers just because they have cancer. So the charity builds units in NHS hospitals that offer young people specialist care, bringing them together so they can support each other in an environment suited to their needs. As well as specialist units, Teenage Cancer Trust also funds a number of services all with the same goal – to help young people fight cancer. These include clinical and research staff, an education programme for schools, family support networks and an annual conference for young cancer patients.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian relief organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, disasters and exclusion from health care in close to 70 countries around the world, irrespective of race, religion, or political affiliation.