June 14, 2010

by Brande Jackson

We were greeted by enthusiastic fans and volunteers in Detroit, which made for a great night! We talked to lots of people, including several who were interested in volunteering and becoming involved with the campaign on a local level and on their campuses, something we always like to hear.

Our volunteers consisted of two ‘teams’ of people: Stephanie and Nicole, sisters on their summer break (from college and high school) and our team of enthusiastic high school girls: Erica, Emmy, Betsy and Marissa. Our crew did a great job, talking to lots of people and getting them excited about bringing clean water to people around the world. We were a bit limited in what we could do in Detroit due to the way the venue was set up, but our volunteer crew were true troopers, making the most of it and getting a record number of fans to take part in our text message fundraising campaign.

We loaded up our stuff and got on the tour bus bound for Pittsburgh the next day. Saturday morning we were greeted by the tour crew worried about thunderstorms that never actually materialized (we seemed to be blessed by the weather fairies this tour, knock on wood!) so we set up somewhat concerned, but forged ahead. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any volunteers joining us that night (Pittsburgh - we need some people, sign up and join! www.waterequalshope.com/volunteer) but we made the most of it, signing up lots of new supporters and raising money to bring a needing community a well. Fans are really excited about this idea, really responding to the notion of the Paisley & country music fan base being able to create clean water for those that need it through the combined small actions of many over the course of the tour. While walking the lawn before the show, I talked to lots and lots of people who were really excited about what Water = Hope is doing, so we are eager to get community efforts moving in Pittsburgh as well!

After loading out once Brad was finished Saturday night, we were surprised to find Josh Thompson and some of his band setting up for an impromptu midnight bluegrass session next to our bus! Josh is a big supporter of Water = Hope, not only taking part in our PSA but always ‘re-tweeting’ our Twitter posts and helping to spread the word on Facebook, and he’s a great musician and all around nice guy. It was a great way to end a wonderful weekend!

We’ll be back out again this weekend before we take a break while the tour goes to Europe. We will be in Darien Center (Buffalo and Rochester regions of NY) and Philly on Friday and Saturday  - as always, we’d love to have you sign up and volunteer!