Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fighting AIDS in Africa with Common!

We were really excited to get our partnership with Common launched this past weekend! Common is the spokesman for Converse (RED) – lending his voice and name to help fight AIDS in Africa. Though this tour is a short one, we are very eager to get to talk to his fans all across the country about how they can join us in this fight against AIDS and poverty. Check out the tour dates on Common’s website and myspace page – be sure to stop by and say hi if you are at any of the shows!

We kicked off our outreach project in Dallas this past Saturday night. We were lucky to have two great volunteers join us. Jimmy is a self described ‘huge U2 fan’ that first learned about (RED) through his interest in the band. Amy has been involved with poverty and AIDS related work for a while now – she also volunteers at a local elementary school, helping underserved youth, when not going to school full time. They both showed up sporting (RED) Chuck Taylor’s as well – I couldn’t ask for more! After helping me finish setting up, we went through a training, and before I knew it, my team had placed themselves right at the entrance and were catching nearly every other person walking in! On Sunday night in Austin, I was joined by Cristina, a UT bio-medical engineering student. She is studying ways to help curb the AIDS epidemic globally, and has been involved with the ONE Campaign for some time now. Like my crew on Saturday, she too jumped right in and started getting lots and lots of people signed up and informed.

Common fans show us their love.

I was really impressed by how knowledgeable and supportive Common fans were with the campaign – I met several Gap employees, in fact, that told me how much they liked (RED) and what it was doing. As always, we also talked to social workers, people who had volunteered in Africa and students studying poverty related issues – I’m always amazed at the diverse experiences the fans we talk to have had. Plus, everyone was very eager to play around with the two computers we have set up and opened to - I saw some very impressive shoe designs during my weekend in Texas, and likewise, fans were excited to know that by designing and ordering their shoes and ‘making them red’, they could also contribute to the Global Fund.

A big thanks to our volunteers and the Common crew for being so helpful and supportive during our first few days. Our next shows are in Minneapolis and Milwaukee – watch for more info soon!

No comments: