I have pledged all of the profits* from both recordings to three amazing causes with which I have a personal and profound connection. Please review the brief descriptions of the charities provided below. These wonderful organizations need our support and would love to hear from you if you are interested in further information or would like to help directly.
Girls Inc. of New York works tirelessly to foster young girls’ development in many fields, and empower them for adult life. This wonderful organization seeks to “inspir[e] girls to be strong, smart, and bold,” which is why I am thrilled to be donating all of the profits from the downloading* of “Damsel in Distress” to Girls Inc. of New York.
This initiative works specifically with girls ages 6-18 in over 40 different programs in New York City. These classes are broken up into eight main categories, such as Project BOLD, which, according to the Girls Inc. website, aims to teach girls “that they are worthy of respect and freedom from harm.” This particular initiative, as well as Girls Inc. of New York’s other projects, is described in more detail on the charity’s website.
The empowerment of women is a subject that is close to my heart, and is one that is particularly pressing. As the Girls Inc. website explains, “girls suffer from depression at twice the rate of boys,” and abuse prescription drugs more than their male counterparts. The arrest of young women has increased by 20% in the past few years, and 1 in 10 teen girls report physical violence from a sexual partner, with 83% of girls being survivors of sexual harassment.
It is therefore vital that we address these disturbing problems and give women and girls the rights they so deserve. Girls Inc. is uniquely situated to help.
To donate directly to Girls Inc., please click here.
Sandy Hook Promise is a non-partisan, grassroots organization founded by members of the community in Newtown, Connecticut following the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The lives of twenty first-graders and six educators were lost that day.
The organization’s two-fold mission honors the memory and spirit of those who were murdered and those who survive in the wake of this horrific tragedy.
The first mission of Sandy Hook Promise is to provide support to the families of the victims, the survivors, the first responders, school personnel, and wider Newtown community now and for many years to come. Half of the profits* from “Angel on Our Shoulder” will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise in support of this critical healing mission.
In addition, the organization is working to promote and facilitate a national dialogue directed to identify and implement common-sense solutions to make our communities and country safer from similar acts of violence. As noted on the Sandy Hook Promise website, Sandy Hook Promise “believes the time has come to enter into these discussions with equal parts of Love, Compassion and Common Sense.”
The Sandy Hook Elementary shootings occurred while I was writing “Angel.” In response to the tragedy, the lyrics were modified, and my resolve that we all must “step up and stand up” for meaningful change to help repair our world was reinforced.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a Reform Jewish community on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, has a long-standing commitment to meeting the needs of children and adults with special needs. CRS developed “Shireinu,” worship services open to members and non-members alike that are specifically designed to provide an accessible, interactive, and sensitive environment for families with members having special needs. The services allow these families to worship and celebrate together, and have become widely heralded for their inclusiveness, sensitivity, and spirituality.
In an effort to share the Congregation’s experience in formulating and holding services that are sensitive to the needs of worshippers with different abilities and tolerances, Congregation Rodeph Sholom created a film entitled “Shireinu: Our Songs.” The film describes the Shireinu services at CRS and also provides a “how to” guide for other houses of worship that may wish to create similar services. Although the focus of the film is on Jewish worship and prayer, the principles described can easily be adapted for worship services of any religion.
I have been an enthusiastic volunteer at Shireinu services, helping others who are not accustomed to praying and singing in community to find their own voices. I deeply support the mission of these services and Rodeph Sholom’s desire to share the experience with other houses of worship. Fifty percent of the profits* generated by the purchase of “Angel on Our Shoulder” will be donated to Congregation Rodeph Sholom for the production costs of “Shireinu: Our Songs” as well as the other costs of the service itself.
*None of Rebecca, her family, or her advisors are making any profit from the downloading of these two recordings. The sums donated to the charities are net of charges taken by third parties for the dissemination of the music and video.