I’m running in the Falmouth Road Race this year to raise money for my favorite charity, Rawkstars.
Some of you may wonder why I’d choose to focus on this particular cause (rather than other worthy causes, such as fighting cancer, especially given how that disease has impacted my family in recent years). I think part of my feelings here stem from a desire to focus on the positive. Most charities — including virtually all of the ones I’ve supported with my dollars and energy in recent years — relate to reducing bad things in the world, fighting the good fight. It’s akin to playing defense in a soccer match, or to fighting a fire. I don’t mind at all being in the bucket brigade, it’s important and necessary. But for me, personally, music is more like scoring a goal, or tending a garden. It’s making something good happen, vs helping to prevent something bad happening.
Music (in the form of guitar, for me) has been my constant companion, my most reliable pick-me-up, and has gotten me through the darkest moments in my life. I can’t think of anything as unambiguously good as making music, on a personal, social or societal level. So when my good friend JJ’s charity started putting instruments (and music lessons) directly in the hands of underprivileged kids, I took notice. I’ve donated instruments from my own small collection, raised money, donated my own cash, and attended events, because I’ve never come across a more direct path to increasing music in the world than this. The charity is a legit 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it’s got effectively zero overhead, and it’s local. Dollars in, instruments and lessons out (with donations magnified, given JJ’s ability to negotiate great deals w teachers and merchants). It’s so simple, and it’s so good.
If music has played a similar role in your life, or if the idea of giving a deserving child piano or voice or guitar lessons and an instrument to practice and learn on appeals to you, then please, if you’re able, pitch in what you can. If everyone reading this gave even $5 or $10, it’d make a huge difference to a lot of kids. $25 buys a music lesson. $100 pays for a guitar. If you have any questions about Rawkstars, of course I’d be happy to answer them.
I’ve asked folks at work, and they’ve responded generously. But given the nature of my company (Care.com), there are just tons of people doing charity fundraising. I am sure many of you are similarly inundated with requests. I certainly won’t hold it against anyone who isn’t willing or able to contribute(!) But for those of you who can, please do. Thank you in advance, so much, for joining me in creating more music and more musicians, among an underserved population of children who might otherwise be denied the opportunity to learn to sing and play. Thank you, very very much.