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Natalie Merchant

Meet Natalie Merchant at special recording session in Boston area and support Give Us Your Poor

Special on-line auction for Give Us Your Poor supporters.

August 28 in Boston Area.

Winning bidder and 1 guest will: (1) meet Natalie Merchant, (2) sit in on historic Natalie Merchant and homeless artists' recording session for 2 hours, (3) receive a picture with you & Natalie Merchant, (4) receive a personally autographed Natalie Merchant CD.

Recording star Natalie Merchant is contributing her talent, time, and heart to support the Give Us Your Poor initiative. Doing the same will be 7 homeless or formerly homeless artists that will be recording with Natalie in Boston in late August. To support the costs of this production, we are auctioning off a special look at the unique recording session. Never before has a CD with celebrity and homeless musicians been done before.

This unique music project aims to tap into the power of music to connect people at our most human level, regardless of economic status, and to smash the "illusion of separateness."

You can join us and help support Give Us Your Poor. This offer is only available to Give Us Your Poor supporters.

How to Bid

To place your bid send an email to Darla at Bidding will close Wednesday, August 23rd, at 5:00pm.  Starting bid is $500.  You will receive word if you are highest bidder, or have been outbid, and what the current high bid is. Timing of 2 hour sit-in is flexible.  Payment and exact location information shared with bidders as needed.  Email Darla with further questions

Be a part of history and help end homelessness.

Special thanks to Natalie Merchant, Megan Boyd, Fred Mueller, Don Wilkins, Roger Brown, Jim Musselman, Phil Sandhaus, Nils Gums, Gabe Miller, Josh Kampel, Darla Hastings, Maureen Wrinn, and the Berklee College of Music Film Scoring Dept.

Rhode Islanders march
against homelessness

Nearly 1,000 Rhode Islanders participated in May in The Journey Home, a historic statewide march against homelessness.

The march kicked off in Westerly, RI on May 21. Participants trekked up to 16 miles each day, held public education events or interfaith services most evenings, and stayed overnight at churches (and one city hall!). The march culminated with a massive rally at the Rhode Island State House, with hundreds of people calling on the legislature to pass a platform of housing and homelessness-related bills. A core group of about 15 made the entire journey, and about 1,000 participated for various portions of the march.

The Journey Home was an enormous success in building public awareness. People across the state rallied around the ideal of ending homelessness. Marchers from very diverse backgrounds and interests embraced the $75 million voter referendum bond that was being considered by the General Assembly. Drivers honked as marchers passed, neighbors came out of their homes to cheer, and communities and congregations along the route provided meals, shelter, and encouragement.

The Journey Home also built momentum for efforts at the State House. The General Assembly included in its recently passed budget a $50 million housing bond for the production of affordable homes to go before Rhode Island voters in November.

For more information on the march, visit


Weepin' Willie

WEEPIN' WILLIE Celebrates his 80th BIRTHDAY 

 Boston's "Elder Statesman of the Blues" WEEPIN' WILLIE

On July 6 at Club 58 in Quincy a celebration was held to honor Weepn' Willie's 80th birthday.  Many folks made it out to help celebrate and listen to Willie play.  Willie will be recording in August with Natalie Merchant among others recording a track for the Give Us Your Poor music CD.

Winner of the Boston Blues Blast as well as the Blues Trust Foundation lifetime achievement award, Weepin Willie is a 30+ year veteran of the Boston blues scene. His 1999 release, At Last, On Time, on APO records, features guest appearances by Mighty Sam McLain and Susan Tedeschi , and received critical acclaim and international airplay.  He was voted the "Outstanding Blues Act" at the 2002 Boston Music Awards, and was additionally honored for  lifetime achievement at last year's BMA.





Then 7-year-old Benyamin forgoes Birthday Presents for Donations

For his 7th birthday, Benyamin Meschede Krasa chose to forgo the usual presents in lieu of contributions to a worthy cause: The Give US Your Poor initiative. (Benyamin is way older than 7 now by the way.) Benyamin's mother, Tatjana, has been involved with homeless outreach programs and extensive research and attended a recent GUYP event, sparking her son's interest in helping the homeless. When Benyamin seemed excited to help, his mother proposed asking his peers for donations to GUYP rather than birthday presents. Benyamin leapt at the chance to lend a hand.

His generosity seems uncharacteristic of a child his age, but Benyamin has no regrets after raising $260 from nine friends and several relatives, saying he's still curious to learn more about homelessness and how he can help.  Thank you Benyamin!!