We frequently host benefit concerts at Jammin Java. These concerts feature all kinds of music and benefit many different kinds of organizations. Tomorrow night's show is a benefit for To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), an organization "dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also invest directly into treatment and recovery." Luke did a short Q&A with the organizer Alyson Estes. Check it out and come by tomorrow night to hear some great bands and support a good cause!
Can you tell us a little about TWLOHA in your own words?
To Write Love On Her Arms is a non profit organization that provides an outlet for people who are struggling with a variety of issues such as depression, self harm, and suicide. TWLOHA is not just for people who are struggling but for those who know people who are or who have struggled. TWLOHA shares personal stories of hope and inspiration and their goal is for others to find hope and happiness. They provide a list of resources for people to start their journey to recovery.
How and why did you start working with them?
This next benefit concert on August 6th will mark the one year anniversary since the first time I had coordinated a benefit concert for TWLOHA. Myself, like many others have my own personal demons. I have struggled with self harm, depression, and suicidal thoughts for many years. TWLOHA was a way for me to know that I was not alone. I have felt for awhile that mental health is still a taboo subject in society, and last year I decided that I wanted to give back, as well as try to make people aware. I contacted TWLOHA and worked with them to coordinate a benefit concert. Music is my life, and it has helped me through difficult times. This upcoming one will be my third benefit concert.
What is your role in TWLOHA?
My connection with TWLOHA is that I am one of the many, many people who TWLOHA has helped, and decided that I want to help give back. I also want to spread awareness and assure people that they are not alone and they are capable of fighting their demons
TWLOHA does a lot of benefit concerts and music is a big part of what they do. Why do you think music works for this particular endeavor vs., say, a bake sale or some other form of fundraising?
Music is a language that everyone understands no matter their differences. I believe that music brings people together whom they may never normally associate with. Many people say that music has helped them through many difficult times. Unlike other forms of fundraising music is personal, music heals, and is the purist form of human emotion. We can take all the bad stuff and make it into something beautiful, something that helps us remember that we survived, and that we are strong. People are more likely to be a part of a benefit concert, because the way we connect to music.
Are there any special criteria for choosing the bands to be involved in the concerts?
When I am choosing bands to ask to be in these benefit concerts I base them off of fanbase, genre, and the possible connection they have with TWLOHA themselves.
What would you like the readers to know about TWLOHA and the event at Jammin Java on Tuesday?
TWLOHA is an amazing organization, that really does help people. Without support they would not be able to do the inspiring work they do. Please come out to the benefit concert and support. Even if you have no idea who the bands are or are not a personal fan, just showing up and being a part of it would mean the world. This benefit is to help connect all of us, and remind us that we are Alive, and Aware.