By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
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Philip Bailey, the lead singer of the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire, and founder of the Music Is Unity Foundation, is kicking off National Foster Care Month with a campaign to raise $500,000 for foster youth.
The #FosterChallenge encourages everyone to donate $1 and help raise awareness of foster children’s plight throughout the country.
“We have a foundation called Music is Unity, it’s over ten years old, and a portion of our touring proceeds have historically gone to organizations helping foster youth, especially those aging out of the system,” Bailey said during a live interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
“I have seven children and seven grandchildren, and I can’t imagine them navigating through life without anyone to support them with their needs and challenges,” Bailey remarked.
“Millions of youths are in that place through no fault of their own. Our ticket sales have gone to help these young folks in this situation.”
Throughout National Foster Care Month, the Power of One: Hour of Unity campaign will applaud the achievements of foster youth.
The campaign also will serve to showcase their talents while allowing everyone to hear their voices and stories, Bailey told the NNPA.
Organizers will distribute all donations to more than 20 nonprofit foster care organizations nationwide that provide foster youth with essential resources and services, including shelter, food, technology, education, and other goods.
“My top priority is to raise funds to support the needs of foster children, especially those aging out of the foster care system,” Bailey maintained.
“These children are victims of circumstance and are in the system through no fault of their own, and we can all take action to help, especially during the pandemic and these turbulent times.”
At 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, May 20, Bailey and others will host the virtual “Power of One: Hour of Unity” fundraiser to encourage everyone further to donate and help make a difference.
“When [Earth, Wind & Fire] are on the road, we do a backstage soundcheck, and we invite foster youth and introduce them to all different facets of our company with the hope that those who are interested in music get more out of the experience,” Bailey offered.
“They stay and watch the show, and they get more involved. Now, because of the pandemic, there is no touring. It’s challenging even for us because the ticket sales are not there. Until we get back on the road, we really need people to step up and help meet that gap.”
For more information about the Hour of Unity or to register or donate online, please visit www.fosterchallenge.org.