Earlier this year I travelled to the African country of Malawi with an amazing organization called Dignitas International. Dignitas help provide health care to kids and adults who are living with diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
While I was there, I spent a day at one of the clubs Dignitas established for kids and teens born with this disease. Once a month, these kids travel far and wide, sometimes walking for a day or two, to arrive at clinics all over the country where they are given their medicine for the following month. The kids also play dodgeball (I got hit right in the head!), cards, sing songs, dance, and lay on the floor drawing huge posters about their families and growing up. They are brave, strong, fun, and fantastic children.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi. This club is their opportunity to learn more about how to have long and healthy lives and to spend time openly with other kids living with HIV. After their monthly meeting, these kids need to carry their medicine back home so they can take it daily to stay healthy. Because most of these kids have no backpacks to carry their medicine, they often lose it—or even hide it in bushes outside the school so the other kids can't see it.
The folks at Dignitas told me they would love a variety of backpacks so the children can carry their books and medicine to school safely and privately. It is important that these bags look unique (so the kids aren't all carrying the same “medicine bag”), and this is why we are reaching out for donations of real bags. Malawi is a very poor country. Most of the families Dignitas works with can't afford to buy backpacks for their children.
There will be donation boxes set up at at a few schools in my neighbourhood in Toronto. The backpacks can be big or small, used or new, for kids or adults. Before donating them, please give them a quick shake to make sure they are empty.
Let's show the children of Malawi how much we care. If you have any questions or want to find a drop off location near you, please contact Tyler here: TCB@tylerclarkburke.com. If you'd like to donate directly to support Dignitas' important work, here's their donation page.
After stepping through the door Dignitas opened to me, I feel woken up to some facts I had long been avoiding. The whole question of “how to help" feels simpler and less abstract now, and is contextualized by gratitude and respect rather than an abstracted guilt around our disproportionate world. What I saw of Dignitas’s work in Malawi was so absolutely tangible and detailed and pragmatic, yet undertaken with guts and fortitude and an absolute respect for the humanity of the people they’re working with. There’s a beautiful synergy to this kind of exchange between resource and need…. the payback to all of us over here is in working to right an unnatural distribution of opportunity the first world has bought into as normal. It’s refreshing, and in the hands of the calibre of people with Dignitas, it’s possible.
All of our www.feiststore.com merchandise proceeds are donated to charity; and we are going to give all of our holiday sale (now through December 8) proceeds to Philippine Red Cross to help the many people affected from Typhoon Haiyan.
Get 15% off all orders with promo code HOLIDAYS15 now through December 8... and help those in need.
Meet Emmylou. from the Ladybird Animal Sanctuary.
As you may know, each year all Feist's merchandise proceeds from shows or online at www.feiststore.com are donated to charity. We pick three charities per year - one environmental, one humanitarian, and one animal charity.
Ladybird Animal Sanctuary is 2013's animal charity. Ladybird helps reduce the extraordinary number of pets euthanized in Ontario by rescuing from high-kill shelters that are bursting at the seams with unwanted animals. They offer them love, shelter, food and any medical attention they require. These animals stay in the sanctuary’s care until a loving, forever home can be found for them.
So for those who have bought t-shirts, onesies, music boxes, etc from us; you are helping care for animals like Emmylou, and giving them a second chance at a happy life. Thank you.
For more info or to donate to or adopt from Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, please visit www.ladybirdanimalsanctuary.com
Hi All -
An important note to ask for all of your help and support by sharing this with your friends and by donating what you can.
We have decided to give all of our proceeds from our AUGUST 7 show in Banff, AB (http://goo.gl/aQf7fg) to support the victims of the Alberta flood. AND we are auctioning off a VIP fly away ticket package for two (http://goo.gl/gSi9kJ), including 2 tickets, economy flights from anywhere in mainland North America to YYC International Airport, 5 star accommodations at the Banff Centre, and a personal meet and greet with Leslie Feist and some of the key volunteers from the DI.
All proceeds from the concert and the auction will be donated to The Calgary Drop-In And Rehab Centre, the biggest homeless shelter in North America.
"At 7am on June 21st, the Bow River flooded the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre. The Calgary Police Service ordered all 1,200 of our clients to evacuate in minutes. Breakfast was left half eaten, personal belongings were abandoned. We opened a temporary shelter in another community, where our people, already homeless, arrived with nothing. We needed help – our clients needed help. Amidst the chaos, calm prevailed. Community connected. No one went hungry.
The emergency has since passed, but we continue to be overwhelmed by the sacrifices supporters made. First responders saved lives, staff kept a semblance of order under unfamiliar circumstances, and clients came together to form a tighter bond of selflessness and purpose.
Calgarians’ support demonstrated to all of us that they believe every person has value.
We have returned to our downtown shelter, damaged by the flood, and a lot of work remains. Your continued support means we are quickly resuming all our critical programs and services. You make it possible to feed, clothes, and counsel Calgary’s homeless to a better future.
We lost so much in the flood, but never lost hope. We see the power of human resilience every day here, but it was never so evident as it was during this flood. The unity we saw among our staff and clients was inspiring, emotional, and uplifting. During times of great crisis, I guess we get to see the best parts of people."
--Steve Baldwin, Director of People, Culture, and Community at The DI.
I really want to help the people of Calgary who are struggling through the flood. It hit close to home and effected my family; I can only imagine what others' went through. I'm donating all the proceeds from my show in Banff and I'm happy to say that everyone who bought a ticket to this show are contributing to all Calgarians getting back on their feet. I picked the DI to donate to because this type of catastrophe may just be a momentary displacement for some of us, but catastrophe or not, the DI help the homeless and less fortunate on an everyday basis. What they do is noble, special, and life-changing, and it deserves not just my support, but yours as well.
For more information about the DI, the largest homeless shelter in North America, or to donate directly, please visit here: http://www.thedi.ca/about-the-di/
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.
HYDRA began as an invitation from Feist to represent her album, Metals, in a completely new live format at the 2012 Polaris-Prize Awards. Adjoining two husband-wife duos - the rich and textural landscapes of Snowblink - and the amplified cigarbox-twin-guitar-lines of AroarA, the project took on a life of its own. Conscripting both jagged and lush, the group mutates in voices of not one head but three.
2014 Tour Dates
JUNE 8 - Toronto, ON - Field Trip - Tickets
JULY 5 - Orilia, ON - Mariposa - Tickets
JULY 25 - Guelph, ON - Hillside - Tickets
JULY 26 - Edmonton, AB - Interstellar Rodeo - Tickets
JULY 27 - Calgary, AB - Calgary Folk Festival - Tickets