On Friday, Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic was sitting a hotel room in San Francisco, struggling with some powerful emotions. It was anger at first, anger at the inexplicable deaths of more than two dozen first graders and their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. But like the rest of us, that fury quickly turned to sadness, sadness for the tremendous loss of innocent lives. Paralyzed by grief and feeling helpless like the rest of us, he also felt like he just had to do something to help. So he directed his energy into something productive, namely setting up an Indiegogo fund for the families of those affected with a goal of raising a half million dollars in thirty days.
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"After a year of watching tragedy after senseless tragedy happen in this country," notes Tedder, "the Sandy Hook shooting feels like final straw, and compelled us to react immediately. In an act of insanity and cowardice, the shooter removed any chance of civil justice, but the one thing everyone 'can' do is focus on the victims and families left behind.
"There are innumerable costs that add up during a tragedy like this," he adds, "from loss of work to medical bills to funeral costs, and the last thing this community and these families should be worried about is money at a time like this. This fund was our way to show them that the whole country is behind them, and that Americans know how to rally in times of need."
With 261 funders, including Tedder, individually, and his band, collectively, who each contributed $10,000, the fund has already generated more than $53,000 in donations. Folks can also donate directly to the Good Life Foundation, OneRepublic's charity organization. The money raised will be donated to the United Way and directly to the Sandy Hook Victims Fund.
Closer to home, this Friday, the OneRepublic frontman, who makes his home in Denver, will host his annual Denver Acoustic Christmas concert at the Ogden Theatre with performances by his band, along with Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Flobots and Zach Heckendorf. Proceeds from that concert will benefit Children's Hospital, Food Bank of the Rockies and the Denver Santa Claus Shop. Although the show sold out two weeks ago, a limited number of tickets ($85 to $150 for VIP tickets that include the cocktail party after the show) have just been made available.
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