How did this happen?
The NJ Community Foodbank's new truck hits the road... check out the names on the back!
|The idea for Bruce Sent Me
evolved in October 2003, during the last week of Bruce Springsteen and
The E Street Band's "The Rising Tour." Plans were underway for a party
to commemorate the last show, and a note appeared online, inspired by
the message that Springsteen delivered each night during his tour -- get
involved in your community, give a hand to your brother, and make a
difference. The response was immediate and dramatic. Donations marked
"Bruce Sent Me" instantly began pouring in to the websites of the
suggested charities (so quickly and steadily, in fact, that the
Foodbanks themselves actually added a "Bruce Sent Me" check box to their
online donation forms, not too shabby!).
Several weeks after our story began, the New Jersey Foodbank lost its
truck and most of its Thanksgiving deliveries in an accident on the New
Jersey Turnpike. Bruce Sent Me immediately put out the word, and
donations from caring Springsteen fans again came rolling in. Thanks in
no small part to the immediate response of Bruce Sent Me donors, the
Community Foodbank of New Jersey had a replacement vehicle on site
within a week after the accident. The following month, Bruce Sent Me
raffled off a pair of tickets to the sold-out "Bruce Springsteen and
Friends" Holiday Concert in Asbury Park, by asking people to donate
directly to a local foodbank for each entry, raising approximately ten
thousand dollars in eight days. Months down the line, even in Bruce's
"off-season," contributions inspired by his music continue to arrive to
hunger relief organizations across America.
is particularly inspiring are not just all the donations, but the pages
and pages of heartfelt posts on the many Bruce Sent Me threads which
have been posted in various online communities.. the story unfolded one
heart at a time. Many people are taking it upon themselves to share the
story with other friends... sending out links to this site, forwarding
the periodic updates sent to our mailing list, and finding their own
ways to spread the word about Bruce Sent Me in their own communities...
grass roots activism in action.
On February 7. 2004, The Foodbank
for NYC honored the efforts of the campaign by hosting "Bruce Sent Me
To The Foodbank" at their main warehouse. Bruce Sent Me supporters were
given a tour of the facility and the opportunity to actually render
services packaging meals for the hungry... a rare glimpse of how our
donations are put to use.
- These are among the many pages of responses to the original "Bruce Sent Me" message:
was really moved reading about the good folks opening their hearts and
wallets to the critical needs of the South Jersey Food Bank. So, this
morning I called with the 'Bruce Sent Me' message to make a donation. As
a long-time Bruce devotee, I'd like to believe that in addition to the
therapy he provides for me and others through his music and passion,
that we've also learned through his inspiration to think outside
ourselves and connect to others who are struggling to simply exist.
Thanks to all of you for renewing my faith by extending yourselves in
the true spirit of Bruce. We really need to spread the word as I think
we can do even better. I know we can."
"Great post. Although
I'm fairly new, it makes me proud to be here. I will be donating as I
have been all along, but for those who feel they can't afford to donate
money or tangible goods, you can always donate your time. There are food
banks in just about every town in America. They are always looking for
help picking up, sorting and delivering donations. Everyone can help.
It's not hard to make a difference. Give a couple of hours a week, pick
up some extra groceries at the store or donate online. I'm a kid who
used to go to bed hungry and it's people like us who kept me fed, gave
me clothes and made me believe in the human spirit. Keep that spirit
alive. Donate, donate, donate."
"Okay... so I'm at the
grocery store here in Jersey. I turned in the Food Bank coupons at the
checkout that adds money to your bill, the proceeds go to the NJ Food
Bank. It's the Shop-Rite Check Out Hunger program-- look for it next
time if you shop there. Told the very young cashier, 'Bruce sent me.'
The look I received was priceless. 'You mean Springsteen? You know
- Bruce Sent Me has not only been warmly
embraced by Springsteen fans, it has received considerable press
coverage (without really trying!) in the few short months of its
existence. The story has been featured in newspapers including The New
York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Bergen Record, and The Press
of Atlantic City, and word of the campaign has made its way to area
radio stations. The Foodbank for NYC featured the story in its
quarterly newsletter, and there was television and radio coverage of the
recent "Bruce Sent Me to the Foodbank" event, as a group of "Bruce Sent
Me" volunteers packed ten thousand pounds of food in under two hours.
this year, Bruce Sent Me became affiliated with America's Second
Harvest, the nation's largest hunger relief organization, to enable fans
across the country to be able to donate to foodbanks in their own
communities. As you can see by visiting the links on our "How to Help"
page... Bruce Sent Me everywhere!
Everybody's got a hungry heart...
But nobody should have to go hungry.