Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paying a visit to North Carolina

The Water = Hope campaign spent the past weekend in North Carolina with the H2O tour, getting even more country music fans involved with our campaign to bring people around the globe clean drinking water!

We arrived in Charlotte on Friday morning and got to work, setting up for the day and preparing for our volunteer crew. We had 11 amazing volunteer join us: Joe, a volunteer from Cleveland, came out with his friend, and we had several groups of high school and college friends joining us as well.

More awesome volunteers!Charlotte volunteer crew!

It’s been really inspiring to have so many students volunteering for us this summer, and we hope they are able to take the Water = Hope campaign back with them to their campuses this fall!

Water = Hope support

Charlotte gave us a lot of love - we talked to hundreds of fans about the importance of clean water, with many of our volunteers going out and working the parking lot and talking to the ‘tailgating’ crowd before they came in, to much success! We also got a nice shout out from a local radio station which helped us out quite a bit - lots of fans mentioned hearing about us before they came to the show that day. We also need to mention that we raised more money in Charlotte for our well building project than we have at any other show thus far on the tour, so a special thanks goes out to our volunteers that night and all the supportive fans!

Water = Hope supporters

The next day we were in Raleigh. Our normal set up routine had the added bonus of a GAC film crew being on site; shortly after our volunteers arrived, they came by with Brad to talk to me and Kim about what the Water = Hope campaign was doing on the tour, so watch for us at some point in the next week! Brad also took the time to talk to our volunteers, 10 high school girls (plus a mom and a boyfriend!) who, needless to say, were very excited to meet him!
Brad Paisley meeting Water = Hope volunteers

Our volunteers in Raleigh were a lot of fun; 7 of them came from Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, a college prep high school about an hour away (one of the volunteers, Lizzy, also brought her mom and a friend!), and our other three all attend a local Raleigh high school (sorry for forgetting the name, girls!). All were a blast to work with, and did a great job talking to fans all night long!

Water = Hope volunteers!Water = Hope volunteers in Raleigh

All weekend long, we talked with fans who were not only interested in supporting Water = Hope, but who told us stories of things they and family members were doing through churches, schools and in their communities to make clean water a priority for people around the globe - it’s so great to see this fan community engaged around this issue!

The tour will resume next week in Spokane as we finally make our way out west with about nine more stops. We still have room for volunteers to join us, so be sure to get signed up today!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lokahi Summer Newsletter!

Thanks to all of you that have volunteered with us so far this season - it’s been a lot of fun and incredibly inspiring to get to work with so many amazing volunteers!
If you have not yet had a chance to join us at one of our shows, read on, as there are still lots of volunteer opportunities abound!

Water = Hope Campaign

Our work on the Brad Paisley tour for Water = Hope has been nothing short of incredible; we’ve already gotten over 10,000 Paisley fans to take part in this amazing campaign, are halfway to our goal of building four wells in communities needing clean water, AND we still have over a dozen dates left on the tour, more chances to talk to people about the importance of clean water! If you would like to join us, we’ll be out west in September, with shows in Spokane, the Gorge, Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Diego, Boise, Denver and Salt Lake City and need lots of volunteers to help us make these dates a big success!
To join us at one of these dates, just visit www.waterequalshope.com/volunteer

We have been posting photos from the tour all summer long on the Facebook page - if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so, and be sure to tag yourself if you are in some of them!

Learn more about Water = Hope by visiting the website, Hope Through Healing Hands website, and by becoming a ‘fan’ on Facebook!

Arcade Fire and Partners in Health

I am also doing some cool work in a partnership with our friends at Reverb and Partners in Health, hitting the road late this September with Arcade Fire, where I’ll be building support for Partners in Health’s Haiti projects.

To volunteer, visit http://reverb.org/project/arcadefire/

I was lucky to get to spend about two and a half weeks on the road with the band this August; you can read about my work on the tour earlier this summer here:

More volunteer opportunities!

Our good friends at Reverb have all sorts of cool projects and tours going on and offer up some great volunteer opportunities. Check them out: http://www.reverb.org/volunteer

We have also recently partnered up with Trick or Vote, a very cool voter outreach project taking place on Halloween this year. Check it out, and head up a Halloween night effort in your community: http://trickorvote.org/

Photos, Facebook, Blogs and more!

There are all sorts of ways to keep up to date with all of our projects this summer!

Become our friend on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LokahiOutreach
Follow up on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lokahi
Check out our blog: http://lokahioutreach.blogspot.com/

We couldn’t do it without you...

Again, a huge thanks to all of you who have come out and joined us in recent months - working with volunteers is the most important aspect of our work and appreciate your continued support and involvement!

Brande and the Lokahi team

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Water = Hope in Florida!

Another guest blog from Kelsey Neff, reporting from our work with Water = Hope on the Brad Paisley H2O tour!

Water = Hope made it out to three different cities this past weekend in Florida, starting in Daytona Beach.

We stepped off the bus in the morning and were pleased to see we were surrounded by all sorts of Daytona Beach fun, including a water park, carnival and the beach a short walk away. We ventured over to beach and walked around for a bit before we had to meet our awesome volunteer crew for the night. We had Michelle come out and bring her husband Derrick, her mother and her nephew Dustin. Michelle was an employee at the local Old Navy store, and took part in their volunteer program (much like our Gap girls that we met in Cleveland). Because she took the time to come out, Old Navy will make a donation to Water = Hope!!

Water = Hope volunteer crew!

We love seeing more retailers encourage their employees to volunteer like this, and we really appreciate the effort that Michelle and her family put in to make our time in Daytona a great experience!

Water = Hope support!

Next we headed to Tampa where the whole H2O crew, as well as some of the artists, took part in a hundred foot high water slide!! After that we met our crew, which consisted of four high school friends who were last minute add-ons from the waiting list and were really great. Sophia, Stephanie, Kelsey and Sarah were working to fill community service hours for their school and said they had a lot of fun working with Water = Hope and wanted to volunteer with us again. We also had Jamie come out and volunteer, who was very passionate about the water crisis and a lot of other issues that affect third world countries. She was working with a program that requires applicants to volunteer with different organizations and then in return they set you up with volunteer opportunities abroad.

Water = Hope volunteer crew!

Toward the end of the night we had Andy and Joel, who are musicians that play with Steel Magnolia which is a part of the H2O tour, come by the tent and pick up some Water = Hope shirts. Keep an eye out for them to appear on stage!! Thanks for a great night Tampa!

Joining Water = Hope!

Our last stop on our tour de Florida was West Palm Beach where we prepared ourselves for a sold out show. We met Jillian, Katelyn and Stephanie who worked hard with us to spread the word about Water = Hope to the people of West Palm. They worked hard into the night and helped us have our best donation night of the three cities! We were very impressed by that, especially considering we only had the three girls working with us. Thanks for your hard work girls!!

Water = Hope volunteers

We’re headed to North Carolina next, visit us as waterequalshope.com/volunteer to sign-up!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

On the road with Arcade Fire

On the road with Arcade Fire

A quick update on what I’ve been up the past two week: I’ve been working with Arcade Fire on joint project with Reverb and Partners in Health, greening the tour and running the fan engagement for PIH.

On the greening front, Reverb is coordinating backstage recycling, water stations and biodiesel fuelings. The band and crew were all given a reusable water bottle at the start of the tour, which they are then using to cut down on the amount of plastic water bottles being used each day.

Reverb water bottles

I make sure there are ample water coolers or five gallon water containers with our cool little ‘dolphin pumps’ backstage and in dressing rooms for the crew each day, in addition to placing recycle containers throughout the backstage area, finding out what the venue recycles, and taking care of all advancing issues related to greening. We get biodiesel fuelings about twice as a week as well, fueling our trucks and buses with B20. The band has been really committed on this ‘green front’, even taking their reusable bottles on stage with them!

Reverb greening it up on Arcade Fire's summer tour
Biodiesel fueling on the Arcade Fire tour

My afternoons and evenings are spent running an outreach program for Partners in Health, an organization I have long admired and am thrilled to be working with. Night after night we talk to fans about the work that PIH is doing and the relationship between the band and the organization, get fans to sign our ‘Stand with Haiti’ declaration, and take small donations to support the work that PIH is doing.

PIH volunteer crew represents!

Each night is filled with incredible conversations with fans doing amazing things; people that have volunteered in Haiti, that work in global health, that work for local health organizations in their own towns, doctors that want to help PIH.

Standing with Haiti

In New York at one of our Madison Square Garden shows we talked to a fan who had come in from Mexico City for the show, and really wanted to volunteer and help with PIH efforts where he lives. In Baltimore we met several people whom had just returned home from working in Haiti the previous six months. Our Philly show included a visit from several Haitian families that Partners in Health had placed locally for medical treatment following the earthquake - meeting the young, funny, smart, resilient little kids among them was a particular treat!

Part of the group of Haitian families placed in Philly for medical care by Partners in Health.

Doing engagement and organizing on a concert tour always reminds one of how much of the world is full of people silently doing their own thing to make things a little better, a little more just, and a little bit kinder. This tour has been remarkable on that front; night after night after night we get to hear incredible stories, and it feels great to know we are linking all of these amazing people together through the PIH community.

PIH on tour with Arcade Fire

Our volunteers have been nothing short of amazing. Many of them have been students: high school students, college undergrads, grad students in public health, law, pre-med, and medicine leading efforts on their campus for both Partners in Health and other global health organizations, many inspired by the work of Paul Farmer and the story they read in Mountains Beyond Mountains.

PIH on tour with Arcade Fire

They have come to us through student list serves, forwarded emails, Facebook and Twitter, and some have driven as much as three hours in each direction to join us. Our student volunteers in particular have been remarkable, I’m always so encouraged to hear about the efforts they leading on their campuses and in their communities, motivated by a strong sense of compassion and justice.


We have also been joined be a steady stream of volunteers that are no longer in school but are committed to the work that Partner’s in Health does and want to donate their time. All of our volunteers have worked incredibly hard, talking to thousands and thousands of people about the work of PIH, inspiring the Arcade Fire fan community about the work of PIH and the potential we have to forge a new future for Haiti and all of the developing world.

We wrapped up this short two week run in Toronto on Saturday night, where instead of Partners In Health, the set up was for Kanpe.

Regine's sign for us!

Kanpe is an organization that Regine Chassagne established with a close friend, and is focused on working in a very grassroots, one on one manner with Haitian families, linking them to the resources they need to end the cycle of poverty. Kanpe works to address health, nutrition, housing, education and financing/banking in part by partnering with organizations like Partners in Health and Fonkoze, helping families navigate the confusing stream of NGO resources available to them in their country to get what they need to literally ‘stand up’ and become self sustained.

Arcade Fire fans joining Kanpe in Toronto

The Toronto show was a lot of fun; we were joined by a Kanpe board member and Ambassador, as well as an awesome crew of volunteers who helped us have an absolutely incredible night - the ideal way to wrap up a tour!

Kanpe volunteer crew in Toronto!

Check out more photos here!

Be sure to become a fan of Reverb, PIH and Kanpe on Facebook to learn more and stay updated!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Water = Hope goes to Texas!

Another guest post by our blogger/campaigner Kelsey Neff!

After a 16 hour bus ride, we started our Texan adventure in Hidalgo. At first we were a little concerned about how the night would pan out, especially when we heard that the Brad Paisley H2O tour was the first show of this magnitude to perform at this newer venue. We were pleasantly surprised when our AWESOME volunteer crew arrived, consisting of eleven Water = Hope supporters.
Water = Hope
We learned that Konsuelo heard about Water = Hope through an ad on Facebook, and she told her brother Jesse who then told all of our other volunteers about it. By the end of the night we decided that we wanted to hire Jesse and his friend Isaac to recruit all of our volunteers, they were that awesome! We had our best night in Texas in Hidalgo, even though we had a crowd a third of the size as our other shows, which is a direct result of our great team. Thank you so much for coming out guys, we really appreciate all the work you did!
Hidalgo (8) - Vols
Our next stop (after a 3am bus visit from the Mexican border patrol…no joke!), was Houston where we were expecting a pretty large crew for the night. We started and ended the night with nine individuals who sweated it out with us in the hot Houston heat!! We had five high school friends, a mother with her two daughters and also Kallie, who was our big earner for the night. About half of our volunteers had never volunteered before and we were grateful that they decided to come and help us get those wells built! We were happy that at the end of the night they told us that they didn’t know that volunteering could be so much fun. Glad you guys could make it out!
Water = Hope
The last city we visited was Dallas, which turned out to be a really great night! We had a smaller volunteer crew of three high school aged girls, Chelsea, Melody, and Lauren. They heard about Water = Hope through their aunt, who had volunteered for us in Cincinnati, and really wowed us with their hard work! We really enjoyed talking to them and were glad that they could make it out.
Water = Hope
We also had Nicolas come out, who started out as a fan that we talked to in Chicago. He really liked Water = Hope and what we are trying to do on the tour, so he came back and volunteered for us. He was also so inspired that he wants to start a Water = Hope campus program on his college campus!! In Dallas we also had a visit from Jane Lynch Crain, who works with Hope Through Healing Hands.
Water = Hope
She came by to check out the tent and see what we were up to and we were glad that she did!! We had a great night in Dallas and loved the response that we got from country fans there. Everyone that we talked to was so gracious and responsive to the goals we have for the H20 tour. Thank you so much Dallas, you were all amazing!!

This week we’re in Florida, starting in Daytona Beach then moving on to Tampa and West Palm Beach, come out and volunteer for us!!

Check out more photos here!