Good afternoon to you,
Wow, we received lots of messages (and photos) about 9"+ of snow in our home city down south. We are still up north in Canada, where amazingly, we have less snow than music city. But we understand that temperatures are rising.
Busy finalizing my spring tour. I'll visit lots of new places including some of the awesome independent radio stations playing "The Sun Coming In". Stops include, WHAY 98.3FM in Whitley City KY, WDVX 89.9 FM in Knoxville TN and WAGS 1380 AM in Bishopville SC. I'm so looking forward to thanking these DJs in person!
I'm also getting ready for my round at the world famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville on Feb. 9th. Thank you to my co-writer and buddy David G Smith, host of the round, for inviting me to join him, Nathan Bell and Karen Leipzig for the 6pm round. You can make reservations for the round one week prior to the show. So on Feb. 2, rise early and visit the Bluebird site to secure your spot. This'll be a goodie and I look forward to seeing you there.
In addition to rehearsing with the band to put together a new show for 2016 (it's going to be awesome), I've been exploring ways to use my music to help people on a broader scale. I'm currently in a discussion with a team that will link me to a charity, whereby my live shows will generate funds for the charity I choose. I'm very excited about the possibilities. I'm convinced ever more of the reality of the words of Margaret Mead...
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
With this in mind, I want to share a story I just read with you. It's an inspiration. This story centers around a somewhat unlikely group when you think about its reputation in general. It's a story about a group of Boston law students and their professor, David Grossman (Bio/Obit).
After the 2008 financial collapse, a group of Harvard Law students, drove around Boston in groups of three, stopping at houses in neighborhoods being abandoned due to forclosures. They would drive up to a home, knock on the door and determine whether or not it had been abandoned (boarded up windows, unkept yard, uncollected mail are tell tale signs). If they got the feeling someone was still living there, they would hang a red plastic bag on the doorknob. In that bag was information about the forclosure process and the Harvard Law School Legal Aid Clinic. Harvard was working in conjunction with several other regional law schools to offer legal services in Housing Court and beyond.
The services were extended to home owners and tenants who were losing their homes due to forclosure. The little red bag also informed them of the Boston Community Capital credit union aka, Project No One Leaves. The law students and BCC had been working in together to buy back distressed properties from the banks at the newer, much reduced market prices and sell them back to the owners at a price 25% higher than what the credit union paid. The average mortgage amount at the time was $325K. But with the BCC underwriting mortgages, that was brought down to $150K, something reasonable and doable for the homeowners. The result? The banks sold the distressed houses for more than they would most likely get on the open market, the credit union made a reasonable profit and homeowners got to keep their homes!...WIN WIN WIN. If a home owner chose to flip the house, there was an agreement that half of all the profits made from a sale was plowed back into the credit union's fund for purchasing more houses. From 2009-2010, the credit union purchased 60 properties which contained a total of 90 family units. In all it was 11 million dollars in lending to just under 100 families. The default rate? ZERO!!!!
Law students from a number of schools around the country flocked to Boston to learn how it all worked. Several other community credit unions were established to provide similar help to the most impoverished communities in other states.
This was an organization created and run not by a state or federal agency, but by a group of concerned citizens. I think it's smart, amazing and a testament to the fact that when we care to give wisely, we often get much more in return. It's also an illustration of what IS possible. Hey Congress????
I hope you find this story inspiring. I sure do.
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I wish you a great rest of week and hope to see you soon. Please visit www.anneedechant.com to see my upcoming shows.