Here are eight charities that have a close connection to country music. Some were founded by country stars.
The country artists associated with these charities took matters into their owns hands and formed organizations that assist a cause close to their hearts. These charities have seen considerable success and continue to garner support from country artists, industry members and fans.
Band Against MS (BAMS)
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1996, Clay Walker has made it his mission to help support others living with the disease he personally battles. He founded Band Against MS in 2003 for the purpose of educating the public, encouraging treatment, to assist with research funding and to support assistance programs. Several events occur each year to support the organization, including the Clay Walker Band Against MS Ride, the Chords Of Hope Benefit Concert and the Give MS the Boot events.
When Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp joined together in 1985 for the first Farm Aid, they could have hardly imagined the strength and impact the organization would have 30 years later. Raising over $45 million with the annual benefit concert, Farm Aid supports America's farmers in times of struggle, helps develop local markets and promotes fair farm policies. Dozens of artists will take the stage this September to participate in the longest-running benefit concert series in the U.S., adding to the impressive list of artists involved with the cause.
Miles & Music for Kids
Since 2006, Dierks Bentley along with fellow artists and supporting fans, has helped raise over $2 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. In 2014 alone, the Miles & Music for Kids annual celebrity bike ride and concert raised $335,479 for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN. An idea that began nine years ago has developed into a cherished annual event with an outpouring of support by the country community for children and their healthcare needs.
Mutt Nation Foundation
If you follow Miranda Lambert on Twitter or Facebook, it is clear that she has a soft spot for animals and will do everything she can to help them. She has poured all of that care into her non-profit charity Mutt Nation Foundation, which hosts several events throughout the year to raise money for spay/neutering campaigns, adoption events, food and supplies for shelters, puppy mill rescues and for Redemption Ranch, a shelter in her hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
A fund organized by Eric Church and his wife Katherine in 2013, Chief Cares aims to make a difference locally and globally. With the support and administration of the nonprofit Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Chief Cares has already made a significant impact in Tennessee, as well as Church's home state of North Carolina and across the globe in Nepal and Haiti.
The fund's primary focus is to assist underprivileged families and children with clothing, bedding, schooling and more. Church has involved his concerts with the charity effort, selling "Chief Cares Platinum Seating" where fans can purchase great seating and know the majority of their money will go towards the fund.
The Journey Home Project
Near and dear to the heart of country legend Charlie Daniels, the Journey Home Project has a simple yet powerful mission statement: Returning the Favor. Dedicated to bridging the gap between donors and veteran support organizations, the non-profit organization developed from Daniels' lifelong support of military veterans and patriots. His annual concert, the Volunteer Jam, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this August and will feature many top country stars all for a good cause - supporting the veterans of our nation.
Craig Morgan Charity Fund
For many years, Craig Morgan has dedicated his time towards the efforts of creating Billy's Place, the purpose of the Craig Morgan Charity Fund. Although Billy's Place is not quite yet a reality, it is Morgan's dream that Billy's Place will one day provide a place for displaced children to stay while they are in transition between permanent home arrangements. Until the time comes that the doors are open, the Craig Morgan Charity Fund is actively supporting other charity organizations in the Tennessee area.
T.J. Martell Foundation
The T.J. Martell Foundation is THE largest nonprofit organization support by the music industry. Focusing on cure research for leukemia, cancer and AIDS, the T.J. Martell Foundation is not only a charity organization, but it is a community in itself. Tony Martell founded the organization following a wish from his son who was battling leukemia at the time, a wish to raise $1 million dollars in hopes that it could help someone else not have to experience what he had to at the young age of 17.
As a well-loved American music industry executive, friends and family immediately supported Martell's mission and took that $1 million wish and have helped turn that into the $270 million raised to date. Country artists have rallied around the cause and annually participate in charity events including the Nashville Honors Gala and the Ride for a Cure.