With the holidays in full swing and the New Year around the corner, we tend to reflect on the trials, accomplishments and good service that have been done throughout the year. It is only fitting to recognize those who have aided in these events. When Sister Hazel (formed in Gainesville, Florida in 1994 ) first visited the impoverished community of Los Laureles, Honduras two years ago, they connected with the residents in such a profound way that the band returned home on fire about doing something to help the community become independent.
Los Laureles is located at the base of a large dump, where it is not uncommon to see the young and old alike searching for plastic and metal items that can be sold for recycling. Most of the homes are built not built out of wood or stone but out of garbage, nylon, cardboard, tin sheets and any other material they can find. None of these “homes” have the luxury of indoor plumbing, something we may take for granted every day. Food supplies were irregular with only two meals a week provided by a local Catholic Church. However, many of the children were not able to go because they had to cross a dangerous road to get there, thus leaving the kids malnourished, anemic, and riddled with parasites.
Inspired to help the community, they partnered with Feed The Children, in 2012 the band also had a challenge for their dedicated fans, which they affectionately called “The Hazelnuts”. The challenge consisted of two goals: to gather sponsorships for every child in Los Laureles, as well as help raise the $75,000 needed to build a feeding center for the community. Accomplishing both goals, the band (with a few Hazelnuts in tow) recently returned to Los Laureles to witness the renovation and celebrate the feeding center’s grand opening.
“The Hazelnuts came through in a huge way,” said the band’s Drew Copeland. “It was a special day to be able to serve the first meal in their new feeding center and to share that experience with our fans! To see this community have a safe place to come for clean drinking water, hot meals and soap and water for basic hygiene is beyond gratifying. There’s a lot more work to do, but this is a fantastic start.”
This isn’t the first involvement Sister Hazel has had since adopting the community in 2012, Feed the Children had worked for many years with help from generous partners, such as TOMS, Vitamin Angels, and others, all of which aided in providing nourishing food, medical care, vitamins, backpacks and school supplies, clothes and shoes, and improvements to the school facilities.
If you’re familiar with Sister Hazel, or if you want to get to know their music, they will be releasing a very special anniversary collection to celebrate 20 years of award-winning music. The album, 20 STAGES, includes live recordings, videos culled from 20 of the band’s favorite venues, and 3 brand new and never released tracks. 20 Stages is available now on iTunes & Amazon, in select Best Buy stores as well as Sister Hazel’s official online merch store.
Stay connected with Sister Hazel for updates, tour dates, news and to support Feed The Children at:
Band website: http://www.sisterhazel.com/