Working together to help the underserved
Sometimes, philanthropy is quiet. And sometimes, it’s just plain loud. When Pearl Jam took to the Safeco Field stage in August 2018 for two “Home Shows,” their rock-and-roll goal was to raise money to combat homelessness in King County. Multiple programs have benefited from the proceeds, including the Service Learning Program at the UW School of Medicine.
“When I heard about these service learning programs, I was so impressed,” says UW Medicine volunteer Rena O’Brien. “These students are doing really amazing work with underserved populations.”
In service learning, medical students help provide healthcare to vulnerable members of society. O’Brien, who’d heard a student talk about a local foot clinic for patients experiencing homelessness, was touched. She reached out to Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation, then distributing the funds from the Home Shows.
O’Brien isn’t surprised the foundation said “yes” to her request to support service learning. “Pearl Jam shows are not about Pearl Jam. They’re about the community they’re in,” says O’Brien. “The band is all about empowering people.”