SEATTLE — It has been a year since Linkin Park’s frontman, Chester Bennington, committed suicide. His and Linkin Park’s music have had a remarkable effect on millions of fans, in terms of both musical influence and emotional impact. However, what many do not know is that Bennington and Linkin Park’s impact extends beyond their music. They have extended their impact to those in the world who need it the most: the impoverished and the victims of humanitarian crises.
Linkin Park has done this by founding the charitable organization known as Music for Relief. They created Music for Relief in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and since then have been at the forefront of aiding humanitarian crises and addressing the issue of extreme global poverty.
Disaster Relief and Solar Power Two Focus Areas of Music for Relief’s Efforts
Since the creation of Music for Relief, the organization has raised more than $9 million to aid the relief efforts of more than 30 disasters that have left millions impoverished. Some of these disasters include Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti and Japan earthquakes and a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. Music for Relief has primarily raised funds by holding relief concerts.
In 2016 alone, Music for Relief received more than $1 million in contributions and deployed 122 solar suitcases in health clinics in The Gambia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Haiti. A key use of these suitcases is to provide a light source for mothers in childbirth; the distribution of the suitcases has lit up a remarkable 29,000 births per year. It also responded to severe flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, including funding the repair of a solar microgrid in Les Anglais.
Some of the ongoing projects that Music for Relief is involved with include the building of clean cookstoves in Nepal, a place where 60 percent of the population relies on woodfire for cooking. In an environment with many predators, wood collecting becomes a dangerous task. The cookstoves increase safety and free time for women, who are traditionally tasked with collecting wood in Nepal, as well as preventing smoke inhalation for all of a home’s residents.
Music for Relief Primed to Have a Global Impact for Years to Come
In 2018, Music for Relief was added to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s (EIF) portfolio. This is crucial, as the Entertainment Industry Foundation has the power to mobilize those in the entertainment industry to support and enlarge the message and impact that Music for Relief has had and will continue to have in the future. The EIF is world-renowned for programs like Stand Up to Cancer and Hunger Is, and has been famous for 75 years of charitable work, making it an organization that is well suited to collaborating with Music for Relief.
Linkin Park and Chester Bennington’s music has been massively impactful on countless musicians and fans, who all shared a love of their music that will last lifetimes. The impact that Linkin Park and Bennington have had on the lives of the world’s impoverished, however, will last generations. Linkin Park’s Music for Relief organization is currently and will continue to be an emblem of hope for the world’s poor.
– Daniel Lehewych