Taylor Hicks' Soul Patrol:
This Fanbase Doesn't Just Whoo and Holler --
They Raise $ for Good Causes Too!
The Soul Patrol is the huge fanbase behind American Idol winner and singer/musician Taylor Hicks. (Here's my disclaimer: I'm a proud member and you'll find a Soul Patrol bumper sticker on my car; writers should write about what they like, right? LOL) However, what I've come to love about this fanbase is not just the fact that they love 'talkin' Taylor', but that they are constantly creating ideas to help charities and those in need. It started out as a way to honor their favorite contestant during this time on AI (most fanbases will start something in their celeb's honor, see my article on Ace Young), but even now that he's on his way and they really don't have to do that, the charitable momentum hasn't stopped.
The Soul Patrolers have raised tens of thousands of dollars for two Alabama-based charities: Studio by the Tracks and Kid One Transport. You can read more of my article with Ila Faye Miller from Studio by the Tracks here. The goals and philosophy of this small non-profit agency are to provide a safe harbor for adults with autism and to encourage them to explore, create and make art without boundaries or judgments, and to simply have fun. Kid One Transport serves a wide variety of clients with healthcare needs and has provided more than 111,000 transports and driven over 2.5 million miles.
According to the Kid One Transport website, this energetic fanbase has donated more than $23,000 to help this charity and donated thousands to Studio by the Tracks.
Just recently, Soul Patrolers who chat on the American Idol message boards have donated almost 70 boxes of holiday goodies for sick kids. Email Jolene if you're interested in helping out. She writes: "My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Shoebox Santa Project is for the Children's Hospital of Orange County, a 200-bed hospital for children. Ryan Seacrest has spent many hours fundraising for this hospital and they now have a mini-radio station the kids use when they are well enough thanks to his efforts. Here is what you do...Get a shoebox with a lid.
Decorate the shoebox and then the lid in holiday wrapping. Fill it with small gifts for infants, toddlers, school age or teens. Contact Jolene in time for her December 8th deadline. She will pack up the boxes, include a letter to the hospital and give to the hospital on behalf of Taylor and the Soul Patrol. There is an additional donation in the works whereby people are sending small CD players and various CDs for children plus bright cheery get well cards....all will be sent with the boxes."
Folks, I don't think this fanbase is done quite yet. Check out all of these charitable causes if you're interested in helping out.