Earlier this year I decided to plan one of the craziest adventures of my life: take part on the Vans Warped Tour 2015. I simply wanted to go on the field and sort of experience the touring life so Warped Tour was the perfect place for it although the real question was “How do I get on the tour?” Since the main goal of my US road trip was to focus on music, meet new people and help others, volunteering easily came as the best option. As I checked all the non-profit organizations Hope For The Day came across and it totally spoke to me. I actually think it speaks to each and everyone of us as we all know someone that finds hope in a band, a genre, a community if we’re not that person ourselves. So here at Plug-In we decided to tell you a bit more about this great cause that we all believe in and support.
I admit it as a teen I found my motto in pop/punk and alternative music with the classic Good Charlotte, Blink-182, Simple Plan, Busted, Fall Out Boy, Sum 41 and all the others. These bands helped me become who I am as a person and grow up, being there when I needed someone and a reason to hold on. I am now an “adult” but whenever Im down I still lock myself up in my room and listen to music. That happened with Beartooth’s « Disgusting » and it’ll probably happen again someday. But for other people bands have just another meaning. Their music is seen as even more than therapy. It’s more than just one album or one song. To those kids the band is all they have, it’s their inspiration, a reason to fight and it helps them beat whatever « demons » they are facing in life. Whether it’s heavy music or not, that type of art is what keeps them strong and mostly not alone.
That to me, is what Hope For the Day represents showing us that « It’s okay NOT to be okay » using creative ways such as tour sponsors or band lyrics to convey a message of Hope, focus on suicide prevention and educate about the not easy subject of mental health. Indeed, Hope For the Day’s objectives are to shed a light on the unfortunate topics of depression/suicide by educating and preventing suicide but also to share the deeply personal connection creativity can have in fostering an environment of positive change to all the people struggling. Hope For The Day sees Music and art in general as a way for people to connect, express themselves and share their deepest emotions. So the non-profit organization’s main goal is therefore to reduce suicide rates while inspiring and empowering those who need help, to get help.
Hope For The Day has 3 main projects, Music Saved My Life being one of their most famous ones and you might have come across it if you enjoy reading AltPress articles online. This project is a video series featuring internationally famous musicians/artists who share their personal struggles with suicide, depression and mental illness but also showcase how they all used their creativity as a way of expression during the healing process. The HD Project & Beatkeepers are US/ Illinois focused but keep Hope For The Day goals at heart through creative educating programs with students and families affected by suicide sharing their stories but also through musical and artistic ways for youngsters dealing with mental illness. The most important idea behind all these projects is that prevention starts with a conversation, and a story.
As you can tell Hope For The Day mainly targets young kids, as suicide is the second leading cause of death among the 15-29 across the world. Global facts are that over 800,000 people will commit suicide every year and a lot more will try to end their lives (source: World Health Organization – data from 2012). Globally a lot of those affected are mainly women and teenagers, which leads us to Hope For The Day’s involvement in the alternative rock scene.
Hope For The Day founder, Jonny Boucher is at the heart of the organization and is always in touch with bands for new projects (The Color Morale, Being As An Ocean, The World Alive, Our Last Night, Vanna, The Amity Affliction etc.) but also with event promoters to keep on educating and prevent suicide. Hope For the Day is mainly active in the US taking part on the Vans Warped Tour every year having a speech before some sets, having bands signings (Beartooth, Knuckle Puck, Neck Deep etc.) at their tent and using band lyrics for their merch (e.g. “You’ve got more fights left in you” – State Champs). It is important for them to be on this tour as mostly 15-24 year olds attend each date on Warped Tour so it suits its main target, and with each signing or speech and a tent to be represented the message to HAVE HOPE can easily resonate in their head and be the hand they need.
And the good news is that the Chicago-based organization has started to come over here in Europe being tour support on some UK/Euro tours and you may have seen Jonny at one of the Never Say Die! dates or in Paris late November at La Machine Du Moulin Rouge. Surely, if you’re part of this scene you’ve already heard of Hope For The Day, if not let me assure you that you’ll hear of it soon enough as not a single band you listen to is not involved with them in some ways. And Neck Deep is bringing them over again in March/April so you’ll get to know it!
Hope For The Day is very active and involved in the alternative scene and we felt the need of exposing this great cause not only because we believe in it but mostly because mental illness is an important matter. Those bands we love support this cause and in fact, Music’s main purpose is to give people a smile and express whatever they feel. So why not take a stand and share Hope at a time we all need it? It’s simple for us as a music webzine to use our platform and spread the word that it does get better and you should never stop dreaming. Even if it’s hard, remember that life is a roller coaster and anything is possible if you believe and put yourself at it.
I owe a lot to all these artists and their music that spread a good message, told me to chin up and have faith, that were sincere enough and took time to talk to their fans.
Hope For The Day is a cause that deserves to be heard so go on their page, give them a like, donate if you want but most importantly spread positive vibes around you. It’s that easy to start the conversation and remember that it’s okay not be okay. Have Hope.
Hope For The Day is currently looking for ways of expanding on our continent, so if you’re interested in joining their journey and get involved with the organization, we can only recommend you to get in touch with them and share your ideas!
Words : Roxy S.