Recently something reminded me of the Blues Festival. Obviously it is canceled, but it wasn't just a time to listen to good music; it was also an important fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank. That would be bad in a normal year, but with Coronavirus job and economic disruptions that is significantly worse.
I thought about doing a fundraiser, but it almost feels wrong to raise funds for anything but protests and ending police brutality.
That reminded me of something else: a post saying not to refer to "everything going on"; either say "the protests" or "the revolution".
I get that. So many people are uncomfortable even talking about racism - a necessary conversation - that we do need to push back on the avoidance. However, when I say "everything" it's because I mean the protests and the virus. We have both, and we need to deal with both.
That's why I decided to do two fundraisers.
For Oregon Food Bank:
For Don't Shoot Portland:
I will be posting two daily songs from now through July 5th, the date the Blues Fest should run through. Songs linking to the Don't Shoot Portland fundraiser will be blues songs. The festival web site has posted a play list and I will try to highlight some artists from there, but I started with local musician Robert Cray's "Smoking Gun". (Is that title ironic or appropriate? Not sure, but he is good at blues and that is his most recognized song.)
Songs linking to the Oregon Food Bank fundraiser will be related to hunger and food.
Obviously "Green Onions" could go with either play list. I might use it twice. It's a good song.
This feels like a way to do some good when there is a lot of good that needs to be done. I hope to raise $500 each.
It is also a way to try and bring myself out a little more. I have to come up with two songs daily, and I should also post earlier, because lately my Twitter connection often goes down before I post the song. That could hurt donations. I don't want that.
I have written about this before, but I used to volunteer at the Blues Festival all the time. Lately, I haven't been able. I have been too tired, and I know it is from the care giving.
I am currently looking at putting my mother into a memory care facility. For a long time it was better for her to be with me, and now that doesn't feel true. There are complicated feelings there, and lots of ways that could change my life. When I pictured some of those changes before, there wasn't a virus out there. I don't know how that will affect my job options or visiting options, but we all have lots of uncertainty on what future is possible and what possibility will be chosen.
We can handle it, because we have to.
I will look to a future where there is racial and economic equality, where everyone can be safe and no one has to be hungry.
These two fundraisers are my small steps.