hunger

When you know you can’t do it all

“Will you stand by and do nothing, because you cannot do it all…”
– Ellen Stapenhorst

We delivered 25 coats and $110 in cash donations to Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose after our November 13 concert and One Warm Coat Drive here in Santa Clara California.

But when there are so many large and very successful One Warm Coat drives underway all around us, we were tempted to feel like we hadn’t done enough. We hadn’t managed to motivate thousands – or even hundreds – of people to donate, after all.

Then, on the way home, we thought of a song written by our friend Ellen Stapenhorst. Ellen sang the song at the Artichoke Music concert we shared with her in Portland at the beginning of November.

If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?
Will you stand by and do nothing, because you cannot do it all…

We can’t do it all, none of us can. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do SOMETHING.

The folks at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church know that as well. For the past 24 years, they have hosted an Alternative Gift Fair on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, through Alternative Gifts International. Last year,  Sunnyvale Presbyterian represented the largest AGI donor group in the US.

Our friends at Sunnyvale Pres invited us to provide musical inspiration at this year’s Alternative Gift Fair services on November 27, along with several other outstanding musicians. We were so thrilled to sing “There’s a Light,” but as is typical, we were the ones who ended up being inspired.

Alternative Gifts International offers a way for each of us to give a gift of life and hope, in the name of those on our gift list. And large or small, when these gifts are collected they make a real difference in the lives of people all over the world. For example, a hen for a child in Bolivia is just $27. A solar oven for a family in The Gambia is $17. A book for a library in Nicaragua is $6. Groceries for homeless family in the US or Canada for one week is $45. Legal fees for a girl rescued from sexual slavery in India are $77, and 1 day of post court care is $44.

Love Without BoundariesHere’s one that spoke to us.  Love Without Boundaries has been providing high-quality infant formula to orphaned children in China since 2003, with dramatic results. When children are fed high-quality formula, all aspects of their health improve. In addition, specialized formula is provided to orphans with specific needs, such as premature infants and those who fail to thrive, saving the lives of many vulnerable babies each year.

Through Alternative Gifts International, you can donate 1 case of high-quality formula for $110. Or, you can donate one week’s worth of formula for $8. Perhaps you can’t afford to purchase a case, but why not purchase a week’s worth? For the infant who gets that formula for that week, that is enough.

We can’t do it all ourselves, but we can find ways to do what we can. Click here to donate to Health and Hope for Infants in China and to find out about all the projects you can support through Alternative Gifts International.


KGO Fights Hunger Day – we can all play a part

We’re listening to KGO Radio in San Francisco today as we pay bills, get ready to leave for the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) Conference, and generally stay busy with the work of getting Love Can Change The World ready for distribution on iTunes, Amazon.com and the like, as well as work with our radio promoter to make sure the record gets heard far and wide.

While we work, admittedly we gripe a little about all the details required to get this record out into the world while we much on walnuts and fresh fruit and plan what healthy yummy food we’ll take with us on our trip next week.

Except today is a little different for our local talk radio station that we have on in the background – today is KGO Fights Hunger Day.

So we stop, and realize once again that we have to pay attention to the words we sing:

Love Can Change the World, I can play a part…

So we’ve put the word out to our Facebook fans and friends and  Twitter followers and made this offer: We’ll send a cope of our as yet unreleased new CD Love Can Change The world to the first ten people who email us (or Facebook message or Tweet us) after donating $25 or more to Bay Area Food Banks via KGO Fight’s Hunger today before 7:00 pm. We’ll just have to trust you on this, we’re not connected at all with KGO’s effort, we just want to spread the word and give our friends and fans some incentive to get involved.

Finding healthy food on just a few dollars a day is a tremendous challenge, and its no secret that economic realities are depleting food banks everywhere.

So, if your’e in the Bay Area, please listen to KGO today with an open heart. Wherever you area, you can play a part in the fight to end hunger.