Kiva – another loan on behalf of Ryan Hoyle

Meet Joel. Joel is from Momostenango, Guatemala and has 2 young daughters He’s supporting them and his wife by currently traveling more than 500 km (300 miles) to find work in other cities.

What does Joel have to do with Collective Soul and Ryan? Well, Collective Soul participated in our Comfort Doll Project a few years ago and when we auctioned off the band photo, we reserved $25 dollars to ‘gift’ Ed Roland a KIVA loan for his birthday. We formed a KIVA team called Collective Souls, and a few of us saved our money from pop/soda can returns, pennies, and such, and when we had another $25 dollars we gifted Joel Koschea KIVA loan for his birthday. Some of us already had KIVA loans so when they were paid back, we would add another loan to Collective Souls Team in one of the band member’s names- and so it went until we had a loan for each band member (including newcomer Cheney Brannon who took over for Ryan). We also had fans join the team.

Back to Ryan ๐Ÿ™‚ – the initial loan we gifted to Ryan (Jesus from Peru) was paid back over a period of time, and Ryan asked us to choose another Entrepreneur (Rosalina also from Peru) on his behalf so we did. Again it was paid back over time, and again we chose another person (Francis from Kenya) to lend the same $25 dollars to. This is the fourth such loan we’ve done on Ryan’s behalf.

Joel from Guatemala is requesting a loan of $1200.00 so he can start a business buying and re-selling clothing including T-shirts, pants, and shirts. His loan will be paid back monthly over 20 months, and as he pays it back, each person who has pitched in their $25.00 will get an equal amount back from his payments. Once the loan is paid back in full – all lenders will recoup their initial investment of $25.00 and be free to withdraw it or lend it to another entrepreneur!

Once Joel’s loan is paid back, we will chose another person for Ryan’s initial loan – its a gift that not only keeps on giving, but gives people a hand up rather than a hand-out… it allows them to find their own way to better their lives, kee p their kids in school, support extra dependents (often people in Africa have orphanced neices or nephews they are suddenly responsible for) – with Kiva, nearly all loans are paid back – only about 1 – 4% of loans are defaulted. Kiva is a brilliant idea.

As we said, each member in the band has a KIVA loan, and at this point, Ed, Joel and Cheney’s loans are all paid back, and we have a $25 dollar credit sitting waiting to be used!


Aaron Pritchett auction results

aaron pritchett comfort doll project

This is the photo of Aaron that we auctioned off a few weeks ago and we now have the results of the Comfort Doll Charity auction. Congrats to the lady who won the photo and also an Aaron Pritchett signed cd, a ladies Aaron Pritchett tank top and a promo photo of Aaron that he and his management donated to the auction.

The auction brought in $50 dollars (after expenses; ebay, paypal, postage etc) and we went to World Vision’s Gift Catalog to spend it

After careful consideration, we choose to spend the money on supplying a classroom for kids in a developing country. From the World Vision site:

In poor countries, many children don’t go to school because their parents can’t afford basic supplies. You can provide an entire classroom with learning tools like books, art materials, pencils, paper, notebooks, rulers and more. North American companies have already donated many of these supplies–so your gift will multiply 11 times to ship and/or purchase needed supplies. A great way to open doors of opportunity for children living in poverty.

WE hope that Aaron will be pleased at what we have accomplished together, along with his fans! Aaron has been MOST generous – allowing us to auction off three separate ‘lots’ of goodies over nearly a year long period, and he also helped us promo each auction, as did his fantastic mgmt team. Many thanks to each person who helped make this a great success.

Tom Cochrane part 2 – Nakusp

If you haven’t read Part 1 of Tom Cochrane, Go here first.

So, we had Tom’s comfort doll photo, and we needed another photo for the same auction – Jimmy Eppard participated and while I was working with Jimmy, I found out that Tom Cochrane was going to perform at the Nakusp Music Fest – he was the headliner for the closing night. We go to the Nakusp Music Fest each year, so I suddenly had a ‘plan’. What if I convinced Tom to meet up with me again and autograph the photo of himself? I figured an autographed photo would go for much more in auction. I also found out that Collective Soul was set to perform that same night, RIGHT BEFORE Tom! I desperately tried to find contact info for them or their management but couldn’t find anything online or elsewhere…. but that’s another story ๐Ÿ˜‰

I didn’t find out about Tom being headliner for the music fest until it was too late to send him a message at Myspace – so I simply took the 8×10 glossy pic I had, bundled it up good and secure (so it wouldn’t get bent out of shape) and made sure I had a good new sharpie, and off we went to the music fest and camping holiday. I figured if it worked, it worked, and if not, so be it. I also figured I’d be able to find a ‘backstage door’ as I had with Steve Gorman from the Black Crowes (our first photo!). I also took my small photo album that I had started – 4×6 photos of the band’s we’d worked with so far. Spur of the moment decision but it paid off big in the end.

Once at Nakusp it was Music Fest all weekend and I could hardly wait for Sunday night! There had been one band the night before who tried to sign autographs with fans over the fencing up front, but who were ‘moved along’ by security and their own people as they were on a time schedule to catch the ferry (the only way into Nakusp from both directions is by ferry’s). Some bands signed autographs in the media tent, but mostly the afternoon acts – night time acts were anxious to leave town in decent time and be on the road for their next show. Figuring it was an exercise in futility, I went to the ‘back stage’ area only to have my suspicions confirmed… all buses and vans etc were well behind security fencing with a security guard at the entrance. No chance. But just then, Jonesy (Tom’s bass player Jeff Jones) walked past. I told the guard I needed to speak to him, and amazingly enough, the guard called him over (I had forgotten his name (blushes) or I would have called to him myself). Jeff came over and smiled as soon as he saw me – remembering the doll from last time. He asked how I was, I told him what I was hoping to accomplish and pulled the small 4×6 photo of Tom and his comfort doll out of my camera bag (note to self, always bring a notepad lol) and I wrote on the back -asking Tom if he had time, would he sign an 8×10 version of this same photo for the auction – then put my cell phone number on it and gave it to Jeff Jones. He promised he’d put it in Tom’s dressing room mirror and that was that.

The show was amazing! Tom was strong voiced, and full of spunk and energy – I had never seen him in concert before, so it was an amazing experience for me. I somehow ended right up front, right on the rail (most people stay seated in their lawn chairs further back at this festival) and I took many photos of the band with my new digital ๐Ÿ™‚ At one point Tom climbed the side rigging to sing to the audience, and Jonesy found me in the audience, and smiled all night at me and the people I was with. Tom saw me near the end of the show, made sure my hand was one of the multitude he shook as he walked along the stage edge, and then the show was over – by the very last song Tom and the band were literally covered in white moths who were attracted by the stage lights.. it was a pretty incredible sight actually.

About an hour after the concert had ended, just as I was walking back to where we were camped for the weekend, (about to give up hope and accept that it wasn’t going to be,) I got a phone call. Be at the security gate in 10 minutes. I was elated, so hoofed it back and was met by security who had my small 4×6 photo in hand, and gave it back to me. It was autographed by Tom on the front side. I must have looked completely crushed, because he asked me what was wrong. I explained to him that the smaller photo was simply a note to Tom asking for the larger photo to be signed, and then showed him the larger one. My eternal gratitude – he radioed to someone inside and talked to them out of my hearing, told me to wait a bit, and then he let me in and I was told to go down some stairs to the green room, and someone would meet me. The ‘green room’ was in the Nakusp hockey rink. As I was escorted down to the hockey dressing room I ran into Jeff Jones who gave me a super hug, and I showed him the glossy 8×10. He loved it. He walked me in to where Tom was waiting…. Tom had a few other young people there already waiting to see him. One fellow was blind and I watched Tom with him – his attention was on this one young man completely -there was literally nobody else in the room. They had a photo taken together, and there was a young couple who were next. Again Tom spent a fair bit of time with them, treating them as equals rather than ‘fan’ and ‘superstar’. I watched again, and the young man did an amazing magic trick – had us all in stitches. Then it was my turn ๐Ÿ™‚

I showed Tom the photo – he loved it, but he was going to personalize it! When I asked him to just sign it without my name on it, he seemed surprised, so I explained what I had in mind and he was good with it. We spoke for some time but I could see he was absolutely wiped out but being polite, so I thanked him and bid him good night and that was that! Our photo was autographed, and we were ready for our auction.

You can view results of this auction (Tom Cochrane, Daniel Lanois and Jimmy Eppard) by clicking on ‘Auctions’ Tab above – we raised a staggering $500 dollars for World Vision! And no.. that’s not the end of the story with Tom Cochrane. Part 3 HERE ๐Ÿ™‚

Daniel Lanois

daniel lanois comfort doll project So, with Tom Cochraneโ€™s photo in our โ€˜poolโ€™, we figured we needed another musician to add to it before we ran our next auction.

Myspace is a great place to find music, to listen for free โ€“ to make new friends and around Christmas 2006 I ‘rediscovered’ Daniel Lanois. I knew he was a producer for U2, having a hand in such albums as Unforgettable Fire and Joshua Tree but I had forgotten that I had found one of his own older albums years ago – Acadie – and loved it. Because of my association with Rocko and the Devils, and my U2 interest, Daniel Lanois was suddenly presented to me as a person to ask to participate. It was incredibly easy; I went to his website, found a contact address, sent an email to his amazing assistant Margaret, and got an answer back within a few short days – yes Daniel would love to be part of our charity project!

So, I knitted a doll, sent the little fella to Margaret along with a card to autograph, and waited. Daniel was away at the time and so it was a few good months of waiting, but as soon as he returned home to Canada, I found a lovely photo in my email inbox and a week or so later, the autographed index card was returned by regular post. Daniel usually wears an Edge-like beanie or hat and glasses in public, and I was tickled pink that he chose to doff the hat and glasses so we could see his lovely smiling face! His assistant Margaret was very much into making sure we had everything we needed, not just for the auction, but also in terms of helping to promo the auction to Daniel’s fan club and on his Myspace and things turned out very well… we combined his auction photo with two others: Tom Cochrane and Jimmy Eppard, and raised over $500 dollars for World Vision – Jimmy’s and Tom’s stories are in the previous, and next chapters ๐Ÿ™‚

Daniel was our first ‘through the mail’ participant and it helped open up all sorts of possibilities for bands on our wish list, who might never tour through Vancouver.. it was the turning point in our project and was much appreciated.