Photo by DON LEACH (LA Times)
Musician Fully Fullwood has traveled the world throughout his career and has seen much poverty and homelessness. Fullwood says, "I've visited many places in my life. When I was in Haiti, I was walking with tears in my eyes seeing kids and other people begging for food. It hurt and made me think is this how the world is supposed to be?" He was also horrified when he discovered that the same conditions exist for children in the United States, specifically in Orange County, Calif., one of the richest counties in the nation.
Fullwood was determined to help and in February 2011, he held his first benefit show and later founded Reggae For A Reason, an organization working toward eliminating youth homelessness in California communities and beyond. It is estimated that today, there are over 32,000 homeless youth in Orange County alone. "In life we have to have some kind of compassion. We go to bed with our bellies full and there are thousands out there who are starving," says Fullwood.
Fullwood's contribution to this cause starts with a show, "Fully Fullwood's Live Reggae Sunday," held weekly at Golden Sails PCH Club in Long Beach, Calif., "Reggae For A Reason is about helping youth. That's the most important part. It's also about music because I play and it's my life," says Fullwood. The event showcases and attracts some of the finest roots reggae artists around.
During the shows, Reggae For A Reason volunteers collect donations from supporters of new socks, personal hygiene items, first aid supplies, non-perishable food, water, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks and school supplies which are delivered to local organizations working directly with homeless and disadvantaged youth.
Fullwood says, "I don't know what's going to happen to me when I'm gone. But, I at least want to do something and if there's another life I want to come back and say, 'wow, this is what I did to help.' And that's good because helping people is one of my top priorities."
For more about Fully Fullwood, visit his website http://fullyfullwood.org