Monday, January 25, 2010


January 2010 Islip, Long Island
by: Kelly Halloran

Last Saturday, January 23rd, we had the honor of playing at a fundraiser in Long Island, NY for a grassroots group of women volunteers: IBCC.

They provide 3 services to women in the Islip, Long Island community:

1. Lending a Helping Hand: Provide financial support to procure services such as house cleaning,
childcare, massage therapy, salon services, transportation and financial assistance with medication, wigs, prostheses, etc.

2. CanSurvive: CanSurvive first responders (volunteers from the Coalition) visit patients admitted to the community hospitals. The volunteer spends time with the patient, allowing them the opportunity to talk openly about their experiences, needs, and concerns. The volunteer also brings to them a "Carry-On tapestry suitcase filled with a variety of personal items such as an exercise "squeezy" ball, temporary prosthesis, resource information, A Breast Cancer Journey Book, meditation tapes, etc."

3. Support Groups: led by either a Nurse Practicioner or a Social Worker the support groups run 10-week sessions allowing patients a safe space to share their experiences and gives coping skills.

-They also provide online resources and organize/are involved in various community activities to bring awareness and education of breast cancer, early detection etc.

I feel they also provide a 4th service of inspiration and hope to everyone who learns of their deeds. They are a small group of women making a BIG difference in peoples' lives...ALL volunteers...ALL grassroots. The $800 they spend on services for each client is raised not with the support of a political party, but with the involvement and mobilization of the community. What a beautiful synergy to witness.

IBCC, we applaud YOU.

*Special shout out to Bob Schlageter and his team for organizing the event*


"Like Music for Chocolate - Now that's a Fair-Trade"!

The Chocolate Revolution will happen Friday, February 12th in Buffalo, NY - just two days before Valentine's Day at Ani DiFranco's venue Babeville - The Ninth Ward. Tickets are $8.00 in advance/$10.00 at the door and are available January 30 through all outlets including Tops Markets, Babeville box office (M – F, 11am – 5pm), charge by phone 888-223-6000 and online at

The event will feature the music of Michael Meldrum and Left on Red and is presented by Mike Meldrum and The Buffalo Song Project and co-sponsored by Righteous Babe Records, The Elwood Avenue Festival of the Arts and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center.

The Chocolate Revolution will celebrate love and friendship while also serving as a platform to promote the importance and deliciousness of fair-trade chocolate. NYC female folk-rock duo, Left on Red (You know,us!) will headline The Chocolate Revolution with the high-energy sound and catchy melodies that are creating a sweet buzz all around the world.

The idea to center the show around fair-trade chocolate was inspired by our friend Tanya, artist, designer and co-owner of Planet Love in Buffalo, NY. We realized that the timing of the show was super-close to Valentine's Day and that everyone would be thinking about Love and buying chocolate. It dawned on us then that we could sing and talk about chocolate, as we all LOVE chocolate soooooo much! But not all chocolates are created equal. Unfortunately, unless the chocolate we buy is fair-trade certified, it is most likely sourced from slave labor, primarily forced child labor on the West Coast of Africa.

The West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is the leading supplier of cocoa, accounting for more than 40% of global production. Low cocoa prices and thus the need for lower labor costs drive farmers to employ children as a means to survive.

The US Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor,” and that some 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement. These child workers labor for long, punishing hours, using dangerous tools and facing frequent exposure to dangerous pesticides as they travel great distances in the grueling heat. Those who labor as slaves must also suffer frequent beatings and other cruel treatment. (Labor Rights, Cocoa Campaign)

We have the power to change the world through our choices. When we purchase fair-trade chocolate we support farmers and co-operatives around the world. We support their families and their communities and help them to survive. It is up to us show powerful corporations like Hershey, M&M/Mars and Nestle that it is unacceptable to profit off of child and trafficked labor in any industry.

Check out for yummy fair-trade options this Valentine's day:)

Here is a short video that introduces the topic of chocolate slavery: Please watch and pass on.
Thank you:) Liah