HELP International

HELP International originally started as H.E.L.P. Honduras in 1999 when Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras. To relieve the suffering there, a group of 46 volunteers from Brigham Young University’s students and faculty raised over $115,000 and spent four months conducting humanitarian work and administering microcredit loans in Honduras. Those volunteers were able to serve approximately 4,000 people and help change their lives for the better. The organization has grown significantly since and now conducts various projects, such as building adobe stoves and teaching family gardening and English. The organization currently works in Belize, El Salvador, Fiji, India, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, and Uganda. Each summer, a group of volunteers are sent to one of these countries to construct development projects and teach the people there how they can help themselves improve their lives. HELP International’s mission is to “empower people to fight global poverty through sustainable, life-changing development programs.”

Since April, I have been helping HELP International with fundraising for my nonprofit fundraising class. One of our projects is to help a nonprofit fundraise, and my group and I have been planning this concert for the past month and a half. The show is this Saturday, June 11th, at the Deathstar in Provo, UT, on 145 N. University Avenue. Doors open at 7 PM and the show starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets are only $5 and all proceeds will go to the organization. We have Dream Eater, Clay Summers, j.wride, and Double or Nothing playing, and they are all quite talented musicians so please come out and support local music and this great cause! You will not be disappointed, I guarantee it. BYU Weekly TV will also be there to film the show, so if you want to be on TV, then come to the show!

To learn more about HELP International and how you can travel abroad with them to fight poverty, visit their website online. 

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Anberlin + Faceless International

Anberlin is a rock band that formed in 2002 in Winter Haven, FL. The band consists of lead singer Stephen Christian, guitarists Joseph Milligan and Christian McAlhaney, bassist Deon Rexroat, and drummer Nathan Young. The band signed to the record label Tooth & Nail Records within a year of forming and produced three albums over the span of five years. The third album, Cities, was released in 2007 and became Anberlin’s first album to reach the top 20 of the Billboard 200; that album sold almost 34,000 copies during its debut week. Later on in 2007, Anberlin signed with major label Universal Republic and produced two more records. Their first record on the major label, New Surrender, reached #13 on the Billboard 20, and their new single, “Feel Good Drag”, reached #1 on the Alternative Songs chart after being on the chart for 29 weeks. So far, the band has produced five studio albums, two compilation albums, one EP, and ten singles. In total, they have sold over 700,000 records. Anberlin will be touring in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom this summer.

Anberlin has worked with many charities, nonprofits, and community-support organizations. In 2010, their tour included Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee; the tour helped raise money for impoverished communities. The band has also worked closely with the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (read my post about it) and has even designed a shirt for the organization. In 2007, Anberlin invited the organization to tour with them on their Cities tour; the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, Jamie Tworkowski, spoke before Anberlin’s set at every show about the organization and its mission. The band has participated in numerous benefit shows and has always been heavily involved with many nonprofits, particularly lead singer Stephen Christian. He was exposed to humanitarianism at a young age because his father worked with American Medical Relief, a nonprofit that supplied medical equipment to third world countries. Christian often traveled to Mexico with his father and saw the garbage dumps that people lived in and scoured for food. That experience ignited a spark inside of Christian and drove him to work with numerous nonprofits. His travels to Mexico inspired him to eventually start his own nonprofit called Faceless International.

Faceless International was co-founded by Stephen Christian, Seth Cain, and Sarah Freeman while they were on a humanitarian trip to Haiti. The organization aims to “defend the plight of exploited people worldwide who have gone faceless and unknown for far too long”. The purpose of Faceless International is to raise awareness about social issues that are occurring throughout the global community; it particularly focuses on human trafficking and human slavery. Faceless International also encourages others to get involved within their communities, states, and countries, and to use their talents to help those who are less fortunate and in need. The organization has also teamed up with various bands, such as National Product and the Classic Crime, and other nonprofits like To Write Love on Her Arms and the Emancipation Network to raise money for impoverished countries.

“Find a cause that you are passionate about. Start to make a difference. Your life will be changed. Then you will become the change.” —Faceless International

Watch this video by the A21 Campaign to learn more about human trafficking.

To learn more about Faceless International, visit them online or go to their Facebook page.

Coldplay + MTF

Coldplay is an English alternative rock band that formed in 1998 after lead singer Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland met at University College London. Guy Berryman then joined as the bassist, and drummer Will Champion followed shortly after. The band has released four full-length studio albums and are currently working on their fifth one. They discography of Coldplay also includes five extended plays, twenty three singles, two live albums, and one compilation album. Coldplay has won several music awards, including six Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), and seven Grammy Awards. They are considered to be one of the world’s best-selling music artists and have sold over fifty million records throughout the world. The band is also active in various social and political causes, and have participated in numerous charity projects.

The band is well-known for donating 15% of its money to charity. Throughout the years, they have participated in events like Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief and Teenage Cancer Trust. Coldplay also participates in the Meat Free Monday campaign, an attempt to help slow climate change, support animal rights, and lead healthier lives by having at least one meat-free day a week; lead singer Martin is also a vegan. In 2009, Coldplay auctioned off numerous significant band collectibles, including their first guitars, and gave all proceeds to Kids Company, a charity that helps disadvantaged young children and adolescents in London. The band is particularly outspoken on the issue of fair trade, especially lead singer Martin, and actively supports Amnesty International and Oxam’s Make Trade Fair (MTF) campaign.

Oxfam is an international confederation that consists of fourteen organizations that work in ninety-eight countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and injustice. It works directly with people in those communities and tries to influence those that hold power to ensure that the poor people can improve their own lives and have a say in the decisions that affect them. The Make Trade Fair campaign is one of Oxfam’s well-known campaigns, and its purpose is to promote trade justice and fair trade among governments, institutions, and multinational corporations. The campaign focuses on eliminating the following trade practices: dumping, tariffs, unbalanced labor rights for women, and patent issues. Lead singer Chris Martin is an avid supporter of the Make Trade Fair Campaign. He has traveled to Ghana and Haiti to meet farmers and see the effects of unfair trade practices and even has the initials “M.T.F.” printed on his piano. He also draws an equal sign on his left hand before every concert and major event to symbolize his support for fair trade.

From helping cancer patients, to supporting animal rights, to advocating for fair trade, to donating to underprivileged kids, it’s not hard to see that Coldplay has made a significant impact on the world today in many different areas. We may not all have the money that Coldplay has, but we can still do something and we can still make an impact. To get involved in the Make Trade Fair campaign, click here to see what you can do to make the world a better place.