In November of last year, John Mayer held a raffle via Celebrities For Charity
, and on April 24, John spent the day volunteering alongside the three lucky winners. The volunteers worked as a part of Veterans Build 2013
, an initiative to build homes for those coming back from duty supported by Roger Waters & the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Everyone spent the day painting a house for Veteran Cliff Malone in Shreveport, Louisiana, and a good time was had by all.
This project included two of our favorite things about John and his management: a legitimate commitment to doing good things for people who deserve it, and a commitment to provide the most unique fan opportunities in the entire music industry.
On top of that, some of our favorite people were there as well: Robin Morjikian and Gerard Choucroun with NCIRE, and Jenn Havey, Executive Director of John’s Fund for Veterans. We asked Jenn if she would provide us with some insight regarding what the day was like from her side.
JMWB: We know you’ve been planning this event for a while now. What was the hardest part of getting it together?
Jenn: Honestly, the hardest part in putting it together, was finding a MEANINGFUL event/task for us to do with the winners. I didn’t want to just choose any charitable event for veterans. John never “calls it in”, and I knew how appreciative and grateful he was to his fans that spent their hard earned money to buy tickets to this to donate to NCIRE, so I really wanted to be sure the day would MATTER. And it did 100 fold.
JMWB: What was the highlight of the day for you personally?
Jenn: Without question, it was watching John interact with Cliff Malone, the veteran who would be moving into the home we were painting. It was incredibly moving to see these 2 men from such different worlds, with such different stories and backgrounds – come together and work together. It was an amazing example of the human spirit.
JMWB: What was it like meeting the fans who won the contest and watching them interact with John?
Jenn: It was pretty great :) I too am a huge music fan, and though I’ve worked in the business for a long time, I haven’t forgotten that feeling of the first time you meet one of your heroes. And to get to do so in such an intimate and meaningful way is pretty incredible – I was happy to be able to facilitate that experience for them.
JMWB: As an observer, what do you think the winners were able to take away from the event?
Jenn: Well having received feedback from all 3 of the winners afterwards, I can say confidently, that they all took away an amazing experience to have done such important work alongside one of their heroes.
JMWB: Did you really think it was a good idea to wear white to a painting project at a construction site? Tell the truth.
Jenn: GREAT QUESTION. I clearly didn’t put careful thought into my outfit.