When I look back on my life one of the things I’ve been most proud of is my ability to donate my time to help people in need. It’s something that my parents instilled in me as a young child.
I remember back to the 1970s, having a backyard “Carnival for Muscular Dystrophy”. My sister Judy and I, and our next door neighbors Karen and Heidi, created games of chance for our friends to play – for about 10 cents a chance. We sent the money to Jerry Lewis or somebody famous like that. When I was in kindergarten my mom sent me out trick-or-treating as a 3 ft. tall orange UNICEF box on Halloween. There was a slit in the cardboard with a plastic Baggie taped to the inside. People put money in the slit. We sent the money to UNICEF.
In all seriousness, I’m very fortunate to be able to help raise money for those who need some help. Over the years I’ve performed at plenty of benefit concerts and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come. In the spirit of the Pay It Forward motto, here’s a peek at just some of the organizations I’m proud to support.
No Place For Hate
On Apr. 28, I’ll be part of the second annual concert supporting No Place for Hate, a program that’s in schools across the Lehigh Valley — along with 46 school districts across Pennsylvania, and many more across the U.S. It aims to help kids figure out how to get along with each other: Reducing bullying, increasing respect for each other, and challenging anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry in all its forms.
The concert will take place at Godfrey Daniels, in Bethlehem, Pa. I’m thrilled to share the stage with these other performers: Pentley Holmes, Not For Coltrane, Alyssa Allen, Dave Fry, John Huie
Tickets will be available soon. Here’s the link. GodfreyDanielsComeTogether
Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley
Next up is Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley. Turning Point of Lehigh Valley is a safe place where victims of abuse and their children can find refuge. They provide services in Lehigh and Northampton Counties to more than 5,000 victims of domestic violence each year. Their mission is to work toward the elimination of domestic violence; increase community awareness of the problem; and empower victims of domestic violence by providing shelter and support services.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A few months ago, I was asked to play a couple of songs at the Candlelight Vigil held at the Bethlehem Area Public Library. It was an uplifting experience for all involved. I’m so glad to have been a part of the evening.
Each year during the month of October, I offer a complimentary download of the song Free.
Trinity Soup Kitchen, Bethlehem, PA
The Trinity Soup Kitchen serves a nutritious noontime meal to about 150 folks every weekday, and has been doing it for 30 years. They serve all; no questions asked. Often, they provide other services and needs for the poor, homeless, unemployed and mentally ill. They do it all with help from the community.
There are many things our poor and homeless folks need, and funding for programs that used to supply them is dwindling. During winter months, the greatest need is for the following:
Socks (plain white men’s are needed most often)
Shampoo and Conditioner
Deodorant (men’s and women’s)
Disposable Razors & Shaving Cream
Plain cotton Underwear, men’s and women’s, any size, Lg and XL preferred
Long Underwear, men’s sizes
Hats, Gloves & Mittens
Thanks so much for your help. See you on the flip side – and I mean that.