Focus On Philanthropy: Natalie Merchant Lending A Voice To The Homeless

Nichole Cooper was 15 and homeless. Think about that for a second. 15 and homeless.

Nichole, a wonderful lyricist, wrote about her ordeals and struggles, penning a powerful song titled, “There Is No Good Reason”

Her lyrics were honest and soulful:

We needed money bad and I couldn’t find a job

So went around looking for someone to rob

Coincidently, a Boston based non-profit reached out to Natalie Merchant to partake in a project. She would choose a song written by one of the many men and women in the area homeless shelters and record it.

Natalie chose Nichole’s song. “The lyrics killed me with their directness. Hearing such a young girl sing of that experience convinced me that people needed to hear her story.” she said on her blog.

Instead of Natalie choosing one artist to record with however, she collaborated with as many as possible – most coming from the very shelters Nichole wrote about in her songs. The video offers a brief documentary into the entire process.

For her efforts, Natalie was chosen in November 2007 as ABC News’ Person of the Week.

Because we live in a world with a 10 second attention span for media, sometimes these awards go unnoticed. I thought it was worth giving Natalie recognition for her kindness and philanthropy as well.

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