Countdown to Our Songathon Weekend

About Songathon

Buckets of Rain rekindles hope in struggling neighborhoods through the development of urban gardens. Song for Hope is our annual fund raiser.

The 2016 Song for Hope Songathon is scheduled for August 18-21 - once again, we take over Downtown Traverse City in front of Horizon Books to break yet another record - this time, 75 hours of the Woody Guthrie classic "This Land is Your Land" to raise money for Buckets of Rain. Come on down and participate - bring your friends - and visit www.bucketsofrain.org for the whole story. It's really cool to turn music into vegetables - no magic required, just a lot of hard work.

The Players

Some folks who are helping us out this year.

Patrick Niemisto

Chris Skellenger

Mike Binsfeld

Norm Wheeler

Bob DeKorne

Pat Harrison

Tom Fordyce

Dan Babiarz

The Schedule

The Songathon begins Thursday, August 18, at 9am and ends on Sunday, August 21, at 12 noon.

Participants are invited to sign up for one, or more, of the one hour blocks during the Songathon.

Our Story

Our History

Buckets of Rain was formed in 2006 and began by pioneering a unique type of gravity fed drip irrigation to help impoverished communities feed themselves in Lesotho, as well as areas of Kenya, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. Since 2012, we’ve turned our attention stateside, to struggling communities of Michigan, specifically in Detroit and Highland Parks long-crumbling neighborhoods.

Why Detroit?

The old neighborhoods of Detroit/Highland Park are home to thousands of struggling community members with little access to food and services, and virtually no access to fresh produce. Urban blight has infected these neighborhoods, opening the door for criminal activity on abandoned properties and destroying community cohesion. There are 50,000 abandoned and crumbling houses and at least that many that will be uninhabitable in the next few years.

Our Work

Through the construction of urban gardens on abandoned city lots, Buckets of Rain diminishes urban blight, rekindles hope in struggling neighborhoods, and feeds the homeless through partners like the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and others. We have re-purposed 23 blighted lots into food production since 2013, and grown tens of thousands of servings of vegetables, free of charge, for our partners and neighbors.

The Video

Chris talks about Buckets of Rain and its mission.

Some FAQ

Volunteers for Buckets of Rain have set a World Record for the past 3 years, singing the Woody Guthrie classic “This Land is Your Land” for a record 74 hours straight. By setting up downtown, we raise the awareness for our work, receive spontaneous donations from folks passing by, and it gives us a vehicle to solicit funding from local businesses and citizens. The new record of 75 hours will be set on Sunday at Noon.

There are many ways –

Stop downtown and sing

Volunteer to promote the event and fundraise

Find Musicians and performers willing to help

Donate what you can

Help by volunteering your time

No instrument necessary, no experience necessary, no talent necessary. But, all instruments have to be unamplified or very gently amplified. We have to respect the patrons and employees of Horizon Books. Plenty of hand percussion toys and lyric sheets are available. We just want YOU, beautiful you!

No, heaven's no! It's a perpetual, 75 hour, song circle made up of amateur and professional musicians, young and old, boys and girls, babies and octogenarians, folks with insomnia, chronic do-gooders, saints, and a few sinners figuring this is their last, best, chance.

Our efforts in Highland Park have created a sense of community in an area that is a fresh food wasteland otherwise. We clean up an abandoned site, plant trees, build raised bed vegetable gardens, and use local volunteers to tend the gardens and distribute the vegetables to the community, to shelters, schools and veterans programs. Last year, we distributed over 100,000 serving of fresh vegetables, and our goal is far larger. Your money supports us for the things we can’t recycle or reuse, like gasoline, nails and screws, and occasional repairs.

It reflects Woody’s support for the common folks who were suffering during the Depression, but also his deep love for his country. The verses celebrate the beauty and grandeur of America, while the chorus drove home the populist sentiment that the nation belongs to everyone, not merely the rich and powerful. Plus, pretty much the whole country knows the words!

Help Buckets of Rain Donate Now

Help continue to feed those in need.