I don't remember when I first met Coley, but I feel like I have always known her and her family. You might too. The tiny girls’ front row at the Thorns games; blazing red hair in a mohawk, adorable side cuts, in love with Christine Sinclair (like everyone, obviously). When I originally asked for ideas for match day drives, Coley was one of the first people who responded. Coley is a total badass and a current member of the East Coast Platoon. I asked her to write a blog post about MVM and what it means to her.
This following is a guest post by TA member Coley Lehman:
This month’s match-day drive supports My Voice Music (MVM). I have been a board member of MVM since 2015. I care deeply about this organization and the impact we have on youth in the area. Here are some important statistics about My Voice Music (MVM):
- In 2017, 1800 young people ages 7 to 20 participated in MVM’s music programs.
- 700 of those are young people experiencing mental health crisis, living in residential mental health treatment centers; through partnerships in over 20 youth organizations; many of whom are recovering from trauma, such as, abuse, sex trafficking, and drug addiction.
- 215 are refugees, unaccompanied migrant youth seeking refugee status in the U.S. who have been separated from their families and were in the custody of ICE.
- 85 are young people living in foster care.
- 300 are young people who attended programs open to the public at MVM studios, which include summer camps for 9-13 year olds; year-round artist mentorship programs designed for middle school, high school, and transition age youth from 11 – 20 years old.
- 85% of those 300 attended free.
Numbers tell one part of the story. Students’ own words tell another part.
“I was not speaking to anyone. I was angry. I didn’t know what to do. Music gave me a place to share what I needed to say.”
Hip Hop Artist Outreach Programs, Year-Round Artist Mentorship Student, Rock Camp Teacher
“The first time I heard a recording of my music, I felt a door opening in my life.”
-Joseph, electronic musician
MVM Outreach Student
“My Voice Music is hope.”
-Owen, multi-instrument & songwriter
Rock Camper & PreAmp Student
From the friendships I’ve made through 107ist, I know many of you have personal connections to this work with youth. It is important and often literally life-saving. Please support this month’s match-day drive.
Thank you, Coley (@propersneakers)
Coley has also curated a special list for the 107ist to use as a guide for more affordable items for this drive.
batteries (AAA, AA, cr2032, 9 volt)
ear plugs (the foam kind for sound sensitive folks)
markers (for making band posters, etc.)
dry erase markers
Large Easel Sticky Pads (25"x30")
multi-colored pipe cleaners & other things for kids to creatively fiddle with while taking breaks.
5 gallon buckets (for bucket drumming workshops)
alternate percussion (shakers, tambourines, triangles, etc) can be found in kids toy section of Freddy's
Blank CDs, similar to these (We go through lots of CDs at our outreach programs and need white ones in order to stamp our MVM logo and info onto them.)
Portable CD players
Headphones or earbuds
Music Specific Small Items (not found a target or Freddy's though)