In a year that, few will argue, has been unreasonably difficult for almost everyone, the holiday season offers us many opportunities to open our hearts, connect with others, and participate in something greater than ourselves. With that in mind, Wreaths Across America (WAA), a national non-profit organization that honors our military with a mission is to ‘Remember, Honor, and Teach,’ will continue this December with the placement of sponsored veterans’ wreaths at 2500 participating locations across America, most notably at Arlington National Cemetery. A highly-anticipated part of this annual event is the weeklong, miles-long parade of tractor trailers, wrapped vehicles carrying veterans and Gold Star Families, law enforcement and motorcycle riders, leading the escort of wreaths to Arlington for placement.
Nashville-based songwriter Lucy Billings and her producer John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter) wrote a song calling for “many more wells all over the world” to enable all people to have access to clean water.
The inspiration for the song came to Lucy after learning that over 780 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. In some parts of the world because so much of their time is spent collecting water, women are not able to achieve higher levels of education, if any at all, nor are they able to learn skills to earn jobs. This means that they cannot contribute income to their families and villages. Consequently, those families and villages suffer economically and cannot grow.
Lack of clean water is not just one of the greatest public health threats around the world, it could be the key to unlocking economic hurdles to the advancement of developing and some not-so-developing third world countries. A fact that most first-worlders may not be privy to, at least not until now. Lucy asked acclaimed filmmakers Molly Secours and Jeff Wyatt Wilson to create her music video for “Carry the Water.”
“Carry the Water” is also the title track to her third self-released and self-financed 13-song collection. Lucy’s growing oeuvre of honest observations of the modern human experience somehow make even a protest song soothing. The clarity and confessional strength of her voice commands it and song structures support. Joining forces with global nonprofits Blood:Water and Amman Imman: two non-profit organizations that are devoted to creating sustainable means of increasing clean water access for people in developing countries just makes sense at this point for Lucy.
The artist is raising funds to support the work of these organizations through sales of “Carry the Water,” through her live performances and other appearances. Join the cause. “Carry The Water” is available on iTunes. Enjoy!
On December 9th, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and World Yacht Dinner Cruises celebrated the festive season and lent support to two Local Non-Profits with the first annual Lighting of the Ships – which was a Family-friendly Visual Spectacular! The popular Cruise providers hosted an evening of lights and revelry for local New Yorkers at Piers 81 and 83, including two specialty cruises for Cruise provider-selected NYC non-profit organizations, each of which is committed to enhancing the lives of New Yorkers.
With this event, Circle Line and World Yacht Cruises — New York City’s premiere destinations on the Hudson River — are starting a new holiday tradition with the first ever Holidays on the Hudson: Lighting of the Ships & Boat Parade, consisting of a holiday-themed party and two specialty boat cruises. For one night only, the Hudson River was aglow with a festive parade of New York Cruise Line ships, lit with over 5,000 feet of holiday lights and led, of course, by a Rudolph the Reindeer-decorated tugboat.
Members of the public and invited guests enjoyed the inspirational, festive evening, sipped hot chocolate, took photographs with Santa Claus and enjoyed the view of the majestic, sparkling boats on the river.
Circle Line hosted a holiday party for the non-profit Room to Grow, a local organization dedicated to supporting families and enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development. On board, families enjoyed food and drink donated by Circle Line’s concessions partner, Legends Hospitality, family-friendly entertainment and a visit with Santa Claus complete with gifts for all the kids. One lucky family, chosen by Room to Grow, won the opportunity to light the boat before it embarked on the fun-filled cruise.
Close by, World Yacht hosted an evening for Friends of Hudson River Park; a non-profit organization dedicated to the completion, care and enhancement of the Hudson River Park. On board World Yacht, guests enjoyed donated food and drink — including hot chocolate and festive holiday cookies — and snacks. The ship was filled with holiday cheer as live carolers accompanied the cruise. The special honors of lighting the World Yacht ship was granted to a board member of Friends of Hudson River Park and took place simultaneously with Circle Line’s lighting – filling the entire pier area and river with a beautiful, holiday vision.
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