"Do Something" Means
The Beat of a
with Jim Chapin
to Make a
Message as Key
Freedom of Choice
in the Cradle...
LUNCH for WHY
Howard Fields and
Al Stewart in
Benefit KIDS Can
Make a Difference
Readers Share Thoughts
in Second Annual
to read previous
issues of Circle!
Bruce Springsteen, "Do Something" Means Many Things
Springsteens "Devils & Dust" benefit rehearsal concert raised
more than $100,000 for WHY (World Hunger Year).
remembers when Harry Chapin doggedly pursued him everywhere
from recording studio lobbies to hotel courtyards
to enlist his support in the fight against hunger.
He remembers the cold, wintry night in 1987 when he joined the Chapin
family, Pete Seeger, Pat Benatar, The Hooters, Judy Collins and several
other performers and friends at New York's historic Carnegie Hall, in
a benefit concert to celebrate Harry's birthday and life.
That night, as he performed "Remember When the Music," Springsteen
reflected on his pesky friend's relentless energy, his positive spirit,
and his pragmatic approach to affecting social change. "Harry knew
that it was going to take a lot more than just love to survive
it was going to take a strong sense of purpose, of duty, and a good clear
eye on the dirty ways of the world," Springsteen said. As he closed
the song, he called on the audience to "do something" to keep
Harry's dream alive.
In the years since that concert, Springsteen has quietly helped WHY (World
Hunger Year) and dozens of other organizations to raise millions of
dollars to help people in need. Still today, nearly eighteen years after
that night at Carnegie Hall, he is "doing something"
to help end hunger.
Even before he kicked off the recent U.S. leg of his concert tour to support
his new recording "Devils & Dust," he helped to raise more than
$100,000 for WHY through its "Artists
Against Hunger & Poverty" program.
That money came from the proceeds of his sold out benefit rehearsal concert
in the intimate Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, NJ. During the show,
Springsteen praised WHY for its work in addressing the root causes of
hunger and poverty, and he encouraged audience members to lend their support.
Then, before each of the 14 concert performances during his U.S. tour,
he donated concert tickets to a local grassroots organization from WHY's
in America" (RIA) program network. The groups auctioned off the
tickets for the sold-out-shows to generate local donations and awareness
of their great work. (In addition to providing emergency hunger relief,
the RIA organizations also help to foster self-reliance among those in
need by providing education, life skills, job training, community economic
development, health care, child care, housing and transportation, and
other vital services.)
The non-profit organizations and cities that benefited from the tour included:
Soup Kitchen, Detroit, MI
North Texas Food
Bank, Dallas, TX
Bridge, Phoenix, AZ
Los Angeles Regional
Food Bank, Los Angeles, CA
Assisting the Homeless, Los Angeles, CA
Grocery, Oakland, CA
of the Rockies, Denver, CO
Second Harvest Heartland,
St. Paul, MN
Food Depository, Chicago, IL
Kitchen, Washington, DC
Food Bank, Cleveland, OH
Philadelphia Food Bank, Philadelphia, PA
Bank of New Jersey, Hillside, NJ
The Greater Boston Food
Bank, Boston, MA
also offered the participating groups an opportunity to host an information
table at the concert so they could distribute literature, collect donations,
meet with potential volunteers, and generate other forms of support from
concert attendees. As if right out of a story song, it was that opportunity
that brought full circle one person's commitment to fighting hunger.
a longtime dedicated fan of "The Boss," learned about the Greater
Chicago Food Depository from Springsteen himself during a 1985 concert.
A few days later, she contacted the organization to offer her support
as a volunteer. Mudd, now a social worker for Chicago's "Boys
Hope Girls Hope", remembered how she overcame her initial concerns
about whether she could make a difference at the Food Depository.
"I really believed in the organization and I'm a hard worker, so
I went to meetings and I volunteered to do things," she explained.
"Little by little, I got more chutzpah. You network and you grow."
At the time, the Food Depository was in its fledgling stages and it experienced
many "growing pains" in the formative, challenging years that followed,
according to Leah Ray, the group's cause-related marketing manager.
Mudd remained an active, dedicated volunteer through those tough times
and over the 20 years since, including a two-year period as the Chair
of the Food Depository's board of directors. "I've learned so much
and I've met some terrific people," she noted. "It is the proudest
accomplishment of my life."
When the Food Depository learned that Springsteen was enabling it to have
a presence at his recent "Devils & Dust" concert in Chicago,
the organization's management immediately contacted Mudd. "It was
quite an honor, and quite appropriate, to offer her the opportunity to
attend the concert and serve as one of our volunteers," Ray said.
Mudd said she was impressed by the generosity of the concert attendees
at the recent show, many of whom said they already knew of Springsteen's
support for the organization and were happy to contribute. The Food Depository
raised $2,500 through an on-line auction of four tickets plus an additional
$3,773.93 in donations raised through its information table at the show.
During the concert, Springsteen recognized the organization's work and
he dedicated a song to the volunteers.
Local groups in the other U.S. cities on the concert tour also reported
raising thousands of dollars in donations as a result of his generosity.
But his support doesn't end there. He recently inspired the design of
a signature collectible tee-shirt sold at Hard Rock Cafés in the
United States, Europe, and Canada, a portion of the proceeds from the
sales of which will be donated to WHY. Springsteen hopes the shirt sales
will help raise substantial funds to fight hunger and also inspire others
to "do something."
May his song be sung.
Andrioti (left), operations manager for the Hard Rock Cafe in Key
West, FL, greeted Ken Perrin, board member of WHY (World Hunger Year),
near the cafes display of the new Bruce Springsteen tee-shirt.
ĘSome of the proceeds from the sales of the shirt will benefit WHY.
Shirts are available at Hard
Rock Cafes in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and on-line
for the Next Issue of Circle! on September 7