In November 2003, I had the great honor and privilege of saving the life of then-stranger, Peggy Waara, through a bone marrow transplant. Almost 13 years later, Peggy is still alive and is doing fabulously, and we talk every birthday and anniversary. That experience forever changed me, and since then, I have been dedicated to raising awareness about bone marrow donations and their life-saving potential. You can learn more about the experience by watching the video below:
I now proudly serve as Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Icla da Silva Foundation, the largest bone marrow recruitment center for the national BeTheMatch Registry. The Foundation focuses on recruiting minority donors to the registry and is the largest single recruiter for BeTheMatch in the country. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation. You too can save a life!
I also have a long-standing relationship with the country of Chile and spent much of 2010 working with U.S. and Chilean-based organizations to help rebuild the country after the devastating tsunami. With the support of the Permanent Mission of Chile to the UN, the British Embassy in Santiago, and the Gabriela Mistral Foundation, I organized a benefit recital in just three weeks, raising almost $50,000 to rebuild the Colegio Insular, a primary school on the remote island of Juan Fernández, about 1,000 miles off the coast of Chile. It was there that I also had the opportunity to sing an impromptu solo for Chilean President Piñera aboard a Chilean Navy ship.
I firmly believe that one of the fundamental tenets of a functioning democracy is the right to vote. During the Presidential election of 2008 while living in London, I volunteered and called expats living in London to help them register and vote. In 2012, I walked the streets of Philadelphia making sure local residents knew when voting hours were and where their local polling place was. This year, though greatly saddened by the rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle, I will be working to make sure that citizens are registered and know when and where to cast their vote.
I regularly perform for select causes and organizations so please don't hesitate to reach out to me.