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Charities seek support at Lollapalooza

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BY EMILY MORRIS Staff Reporter

Denver-based non-profit Love Hope Strength came to Lollapalooza for its third year to test and register potential bone marrow donors on site. Anyone could come up to the tent, swish their mouths with water and swab the inside of their cheeks to be part of a registry that matches healthy bone marrow to patients suffering from leukemia.

The organization was founded by leukemia survivor James Chippendale in 2007, and workers at the charity's tent on Green Street said some fest-goers who have heard of LHS have sought out the tent to register this year at Lollapalooza.

"It's really hard to find a match," said volunteer Maria Socha, 24, on Friday, "So the more people we can get on the list, the better."

By the end of Friday, about 130 people had registered with LHS and the "GET ON THE LIST" campaign at their tent, according to workers.

The charity also funds cancer centers worldwide and works to raise cancer awareness.

Another charity with a tent set up on Friday was the HOPE Campaign, which partners artists with other non-profits as well as their own charity events.

The Austin-based organization began in LA in 2007 before relocating to Texas in 2009, the same year it started its own farmers market. The organization was selling items such as T-shirts and albums at their Lollapalooza tent, and assistant producer Jessie Curry said on Friday both local and well-known musicians have sold the rights to some of their songs to help fund the organization's numerous projects.

"It's kind of the connective tissue between a lot of non-profits and creatives," Curry said.

The Hope Campaign announced a partnership with the Dell Special Innovation Challenge earlier this summer to produce an album with music from the Black Eyed Peas' apl.de.ap, Aloe Blac, Slightly Stoopid (featuring Don Carlos), Kenna and Bob Schneider. Proceeds from the album help fund the partnerships' educational efforts.

The organization also recently hosted an event featuring a locally prepared African dinner while an African band played music for HOPE for Senegal, a project that supports a small girls' school in the region. There's also HOPE for Haiti, HOPE for Kenya, HOPE for America and so on.

For the first time at Lollapalooza, Urban Habitat Chicago set up shop to educate concertgoers about sustainable urban living. The 8-year-old organization provides hands on education about city architecture as well as agriculture through school programs, adult workshops and partnerships with community organizations. UHC also hosts volunteer days at the non-profit's own farms and gardens, some of which supply food pantries in Chicago with organic food.

"People just don't know they can grow their own food," said UHC intern Brenna Murphy, 21, of Glen Ellyn, "So we're here to tell them that they can."

People have been responsive about the organization at Lolla, Murphy said, with festgoers from other cities who said they're into sustainable farming, along with Chicagoans who wanted to learn more about eco-friendly living.

City dwellers can use rooftops and abandoned lots to grow their own gardens, and Murphy said it's all about being creative and finding unexpected places to grow sustainable food.

It's an organization very much in line with the fest's sustainable features, including composting and recycling spots located all around the site complete with a militant volunteer who ensures no wayward banana peel ends up in the wrong place. There were also water stations to encourage concertgoers to fill up their sustainable bottles and hydration packs, eco-friendly napkins, utensils and plates at food vendors and Lolla-hosted urban green workshops. To beat the heat, misting stations as well as cooling buses were located around the park.

The Lolla Farmer's Market was also on Green Street and featured such sustainable staples as smoothies and fresh produce, vegan enchiladas and mushroom burgers, in addition to markedly weirder items like cheese on a stick and "Puffs of Doom" cream puffs. The latter came in varieties such as chocolate covered bacon as savory chicken curry salad cream puffs. No, this wasn't your grandma's farmer's market.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on August 5, 2012 1:43 AM.

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