Posts in Charity
The Kids of Los Salados

LS_ECOn Presidents Day we found ourselves in Dominican Republic driving around one of the most dangerous and often (purposely) forgotten neighborhoods in Santiago called Los Salados finally visiting 'El Comedor'. Los Salados is a town where drug spots are plenty and the violence is akin to the showdowns in the old west. It's not really a place where tourism is booming, the sound of guns and 'puntos' is home to the kids there. We visited the group of children that we usually donate school supplies, bikes or whatever they currently need to make it. This was the first time we were going to meet them in person and both my wife and I were super excited.

EC_LS2We were greeted by a small group of kids as they worked on an art project, respectful little ones placed in bad circumstances. While sitting there we saw the good the bad and the worst and it bought us a moment of sadness mixed in with joy. After the group finished their name plate project we had a chance to interact with a few and while some immensely shy, you can tell these were good kids deep down that got dealt a shitty set of cards. It was lunchtime and some of the older school kids were starting to arrive in their uniforms (blue shirts and khaki pants), as they came in they passed by giving us the innocent curious side glance wondering who we were. We had a little girl immediately come to us and said "welcome to 'El Comedor', I hope you enjoy your time here", one kid even asked me what team I was from in the NBA... I chuckled and told him I was just tall but I don't think he believed me. There was also Andy... quite a handful but the overall opinion was that he was Autistic, we didn't know for sure because his mom didn't have enough to take him and get examined but the signs were there.

EC_LS1 As the two dedicated cooks were preparing lunch for the kids (rice, beans and insanely delicious coleslaw, donated water) my wife and I fixed up the bags we bought the children with school supplies and candy or merienda. Before eating there was a prayer and then down the hatch it all went, we sat there wondering what breakfast they had if any or what was their previous meal. To sit there and see these kids eating and appreciating every single grain of rice was heartbreaking because it showed how little they have and how much we have here. After lunch was done they sat on a long bench and we started to give out the little bags we brought, they lit up and damn near made us tear with happiness. To know that we can give and add something positive to these kids is amazing, to see it in person and their vivid reactions is a true blessing.

EC_LS3 After the baggie giveaway kids were being kids, they were running around, trading candy with each other and the ever-present "he doesn't want to share it with me!" haha. Andy stomped on a few Hersey Kisses thinking they were bang snaps, little boys were trading the Avengers pop rock candy for different heroes, some came back for more candy obviously and all was well. They all said thank you and after hanging out for a while longer they started to go back to their reality, us wishing we could keep them in this temporary happy state longer and sad to see them off. We left with a few more questions, hopefully future answers and glad we saw them in person, now it's time to get more of what they need and send it over! We have been blessed with our fortunate lives and to help others that are worse off only makes sense, if you can do the same or even a little, do it because it will make a difference no matter how little you think it is.

We ALL need to do our part in this world for a better future and realize when we have it good.

Donate Now to Hurricane Sandy Victims

All images from the NBC News PhotoBlog east coast has been battered and thrashed around like a rag doll by hurricane Sandy, it has left many lives in ruins along with millions (billions) of dollars in damage and lives lost. My house and family wasn't affected greatly thank God but there are some appalling accounts of people lives in absolute ruin and many today without power and gas. It's heartbreaking to see our fellow man go thru tough times and this is one hell of a test for us all, some people have lost their entire house and possessions with memories and photos that can't ever get replaced. If there is any way you can donate ANYTHING at all to the affected, please do so and let us hope for a brighter day tomorrow where we can all start rebuilding with what we can.

Our heart goes out to those in the dark and cold temperatures, the brothers and sisters by us if you need anything and we are around please let us know. The easiest and fastest way to donate from our experience is thru the iTunes store, they already have your information and it's as simple as clicking the amount and entering your password.

Please donate to the American Red Cross by using the following methods:

*Note: all (100%) of the proceeds donated in the Apple Store go directly to the Red Cross.

1-800-HELP-NOW or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Uncommon Records 'Save the Horn' for Ethiopia

Uncommon Records is one of our favorite labels for several reasons, having an alternative view on HipHop, DIY attitude and another is supporting great causes which impact real people. Here we have a limited release or pop-up album which all proceeds go towards Charity:Water so they can finance a drilling rig in Ethiopia to create wells, this is a fantastic cause that will impact many people as we all need clean water to drink. The album will only be available for one month (10/28-11/28) and then it's gone, hope you all can contribute to a great cause. Props to Uncommon Records for standing up for righteous causes and great music. I just bought it and will most likely be discussing it within the next couple of days.

Check out what they have to say on the project after the jump.

"Uncommon Records humbly presents our 2nd "Pop Up Album", Save the Horn.  All proceeds from Save the Horn will be donated to Charity:Water which builds water wells in the 3rd world.  They are currently raising funds to finance a drilling rig that can dig multiple wells in the country of Ethiopia.  All of the dollars donated to Charity:Water are verified to be going toward specific wells via Google Maps and photos that are directly associated with the dollars.  Even their overhead comes through a separate income source. Save the Horn will only be available for one month (10/28-11/28), we will then donate all funds raised from the sale of the album and it will never be available again.  This creates a rare piece of music in the digital format.  The album contains 16 songs for only a $5 donation, although we would encourage you to donate more if you can.  Let's tell you about the album: Save the Horn features music from Uncommon's roster like Acid Reign, Adam Warlock, Atari Blitzkrieg, Pruven, Short Fuze, Taiyamo Denku, Masai Bey, DCK VNNGT along with collaborations with fellow Progressive Hip-Hoppers like JunClassic, Billy Woods, Megabusive, Aeon Grey, Passive65ive, Carl Kavorkian, Zesto and more.  The list of producers banding together is also impressive including Nasa, Agartha Audio, IV the Polymath, Black Tokyo, Waatu, Bond and others. The opportunity to present staunchly Progressive Hip-Hop like this in a joint effort to raise money for a worthy cause is an honor.  We were able to make a difference with Japan Earthquake Relief earlier this year with a similar project, now we need to send the same love to Africa.  Thanks to everyone that takes part, and enjoy the tunes!!!"

Japan: Hope For Tomorrow (Worldwide Fundraising Album)

My blogging brothers The Word Is Bond and Kevin Nottingham released a great album today (38 tracks!!) for a low price of $6 which 100% of the proceeds go towards our Japan brothers and sisters in need by way of Save The Children and GlobalGiving. If you donate more you will be entered to win extra prizes for your kindness. Lend an ear and some help, show your support on this project please! Hear what The Word Is Bond has to say about the release after the jump!

Whilst the events of March 11th were sudden, the memories will be forever etched in the mind of those mourning the loss of their friends and family. A tragedy of such unspeakable horrors has rarely been captured so extensively by film, allowing all of us to witness (along with the rest of the world) the enormous grief bestowed upon the people of Japan. The rebuilding process begins almost as soon as the dust has settled, meaning it is our collective responsibility to contribute in whatever small way we can.

“Hope For Tomorrow” is our humble idea to make a difference. We are reaching out to YOU to support our efforts in providing help for those struggling in the aftermath. Our friends at Kevin Nottingham have come on board to assist in the release of a charity album. We are grateful to be in a position to use the talents of some of the undergrounds most respected hip-hop artists. It is our hope that this project will continue to garner attention for the people of Japan and raise some much needed funds.

100% of the money will be given away and shared between the charities Save The Children and GlobalGiving. The best news is that the album is available for only 6 dollars so it's hard to say no. Artists to feature include Substantial, Dela, Soulchef, Thomas Prime, Marcus D & K-Murdock and others aswell as some big names from Japan. The global theme of the project is expressed through participation of artists from USA, UK, France, Moldova, Canada, Poland, Australia and of course Japan.

Alongside the music is a chance to enter our competition for prizes, with the larger the donations the bigger the chance of winning a coveted prize. 20 Dollars or more will see you entered into our top tier of prizes, 10 Dollars will give you a chance for our second tier, but better still there is a guaranteed chance of a prize so long as you can donate in some form.

The most important thing is that all the money raised will go directly towards the people of Japan who are struggling with the threat of 3 major problems: an earthquake, a tsunami and the worry of a nuclear disaster. This may be a problem unique to Japan but it will take a global effort to help the people back on their feet. Through a partnership of good will and charity we have the chance to ease a bleak situation. "Hope For Tomorrow" is not just an album title but a belief that no matter how small our efforts we can and will make a difference.

WGM Interviews Wil-Dog of Ozomatli

[youtube][/youtube]Another video from the unreleased WGM vaults is an interview I did with Wil-Dog from Ozomatli, a dope live band from Cali that has contributed many good things to life and music. They just came back from performing in China and Mongolia, and also representing the United States as cultural embassadors at the time of the interview. Ozo's sound is made up of many cultures and genres mixed together to create something that had all of us jumpin and thumpin in Brooklyn at last years LAMC. At the same time that they have everyone reciting and dancing to their music, they also do a lot in communities/countries and reach out to people in need. On level with the When Giants Meet vision of cultural and musical intake also lending a hand to those in need, Wil-Dog let's us know what goes on in their travels, sounds, and the causes that they are down with.

Yes it was mad noisy at the hotel, there was like 1000 sites and artists doing interviews at the same time haha. Hope you enjoy the interview!
For more information on Ozomatli check their site, and follow them on Twitter along with Wil-Dog!