Back in the saddle

Hey everyone! Long time no see/talk/etc.

I think it's safe to say summer was pretty eventful (you think?) and quite powerful. The work we put in was staggering and exhausting but there is something to be said for a lot of hard work. We accomplished so much for such a young organization. And all of it couldn't have happened without you all!

But now we have to look forward and see what will happen next. And we're going full steam ahead! We've sent out our emails and we're incredibly inspired by how many schools have expressed interest in having us! Stay tuned to see where we'll be in the coming months!

October is shaping up to be a busy month!

On the Road

Warped Tour 2015

It was hot, we were tired, but having a booth on the Vans Warped Tour in Pomona, Mountain View, Ventura and San Diego was worth it. The highlight of each day was reading the posts written on our Healing Wall. To see the wall fill up with personal anecdotes was proof that we all are dealing with something. To see the wall fill up with encouragements was proof that there are others who care.

Thanks to everyone who came and hung out with us at our booth. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you Warped Tour for supporting nonprofits.

In conclusion, we'll definitely be back next year!

So many firsts...

When you start a nonprofit organization, you don't really think about all the things you're going to have to do for the first time. You just start it.

If you saw our post in April, you saw that we are going on the California dates of the Vans Warped Tour. It is such an honor to be accepted into the Nonprofit Village.

In light of that, we will be having our FIRST IAmACEO Fundraiser. We will be raising funds for the items we will be giving away at our booth on Warped. You wouldn't believe how fast the cost of 10,000 rubber bracelets add up to.

Since our organization is about positive expression, we thought it would be fun to have a jam night for kids from 1 to 92. So if you live in SoCal, come out to our Fundraiser, May 24th from 8-midnight. You don't have to shred on guitar to have a great time!

THIS IS NO APRIL FOOL...WE'RE GOING ON WARPED TOUR

April 1st is kind of a bad day to make such a huge announcement. I'm sure many of you have already encountered the horrible April Fool's Day jokes that you see every year.

But believe me when I say this is no joke...WE WILL BE GOING ON THE VANS WARPED TOUR THIS SUMMER!!! I'm still in a bit of disbelief at this. As a band, we've dreamed of going on the Warped Tour for many years and although we won't be playing on any stage we're so excited to meet all of you!

I personally want to send a shout-out and "thank you" to Jessica at the AFSP for giving us a heads up on this opportunity.  So...now we just need to figure out how to make all this happen and run smoothly.

More to come...

- Sean

Nonprofit Life

And if you're lucky...

When you start a nonprofit organization, there's a lot of uncertainty. You wonder where the money is going to come from. You wonder if you'll be able to navigate the legalese. You wonder if the IRS is going to accept your application.

But underneath it all, you have to have faith that what you are doing is important and means something. And then you wait...

If you're lucky, you'll get a letter in the mail bearing the good news. We are happy to announce that IAmACockeyedOptimist is officially recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) public charity.

There are many events and assemblies we want to perform which take lots of funds to put on. It feels good to finally be able to accept donations and plan fundraisers. We're happy to have the official stamp of approval to go out and spread hope and optimism.  

Assembly Blogs

There's a first time for everything...

Last Wednesday, we performed our first assembly at Millikan High School in Long Beach, CA.

I think it's safe to say we were all a little nervous going into it. Though we've been onstage plenty of times before and have been rehearsing constantly, you just can't shake the nerves when facing something new.  Combine that with the fact that we had to begin set-up at 6:30 in the morning and we'd be performing THREE TIMES in one day!

But a funny thing happened: once we got up there and that first note was hit, the nerves were gone and the grogginess of the morning went away. It was exciting and invigorating! As we stood up there you could feel the shift in the room. The students of Millikan were not only there watching, but they were coming along for the ride with us! Every word was absorbed. And the response afterward was nothing short of profound. Students came up to us, talked with us, took pictures with us, and some even shared stories with us. To those who did, we thank you and want you to know how much we admire your courage!

I'd personally like to thank Millikan High's ASB for having us and working with us to make these assemblies possible.  We will always remember that day fondly, as it was the beginning of something more than just us being in a band and playing a show at a high school. This was the day a band started a movement. A movement of hope.