Thank You Thrice
We’ve had some very special connections with a lot of folks over the years, but the bond with our friends in Thrice might take the cake. Simply put, we would not be where we are today without their longstanding support and dedication. It’s such an honor to commemorate their influence on us as an organization — and people — as they say goodbye to the music world for the time being.
Since our small beginnings in 2005, Thrice has used their platform to shine a direct spotlight on Invisible Children. Thousands upon thousands of people had their first introduction to Invisible Children through Thrice. Just like the band, many of those people developed their general interest about the organization into full-fleded support throughout the years.
Thrice’s impact on this organization is immeasurable. It’s impossible to calculate how many lives flourish today in Central Africa due to the tens of thousands of dollars they’ve raised for our programs. Beyond that, how each band member has helped mold our personal character isn’t quantifiable. Their humility is a trait we all strive to emulate in our own personal lives. These four guys have truly left a legacy upon this world.
Dustin, Eddie, Riley, and Teppei, thank you for being amazing individuals who set the gold standard not just as musicians, but as people. You’ve taught all of us how to be better human beings and how powerful a role we can play in benefitting others. It’s been an honor partnering with you for seven years. We love you dearly.
Today is the last day of the Frontline tour. Roadies and interns alike, as well as some staff members will say their goodbyes and the doors of the office will shut for the holiday season. Some never to return, some to come back for the next adventure in January. So as the season winds down to an end, I gathered a few select people and asked them three questions to reflect on the Frontline Tour. These were their answers:
1) What set this semester/campaign apart from the others?
Adam Finck (Director of programs)
AF:The success of the last two tours was unreal, and it has really supported this season of exponential growth for IC on the ground. We have new Congolese and international staff working from our base in Dungu, and our staff from our Uganda and US office have stepped up in big ways to support. It’s been incredible to see building plans for a rehabilitation center come to life, and children traumatized by the LRA receiving counseling for the first time. And with each additional HF radio that was fundraised and implemented has come the protection of and early warning for hundreds of people, not to mention the ability for other humanitarian groups to deliver vital services, including medical care for victims and reunification for those who escaped from Kony’s ranks.
Zach Barrows (Movement Director)
ZB: I think that this semester for me and this group of people was really unique because it was by far the consistently positive group of people I’ve ever worked with here. I think that’s indicative of their character.
I know that these guys on the road left it all out on the road, then gathered back up and left it all in this room last night. To see everyone cranking until midnight, never mind the movement interns cranking everyday and to see them not slow down.
Feeling success makes you lose your fear. But with these guys, it wasn’t one of these times that everything came easy, but to me it was so indicative of their character as individuals that when they had to battle for everything, they battled to the very end and they always had the best attitude. We hit that 1.7 that we needed to hit to keep every single promise, which they could have easily cashed. This was the hardest we’ve ever gone in a fundraising campaign. These guys it was everyday something new, going harder. The perseverance, the dedication, the commitment, the positivity and the amazing attitude is what stuck out to me.
Taylor Foodie (Recurring donations intern)
TF: It was nice to come into an environment where I felt that a lot of the same people shared the same thoughts and the same feelings about different things going on in the world. I think that’s rare because in the hustle and bustle and people disagree with you, and I think that’s healthy, but to get around people and just have that energy feeding off of each other for service. You’re all so different but your connected by the one thing that holds you all together. People are even my friends anymore, they’re my family.
Janay Poole (Booking Assistant)
JP: This semester was different because the group that we had come in was so positive. We laughed so hard we they first came in here because we’d be like, “We’re going to spend the whole weekend booking” and they’d be roaring and cheering. And we’d be like, “Who are these guys, haha.”With tour and the office a lot of them have been beaten down but they still remain positive. It’s wonderful.
Sarah Lipscombe (Book Drive Assistant)
SL: I was a huge supporter before, for like 5 years. So it was really refreshing for me to be in the mission’s trainings because there had been all this stuff that I had no idea was going on, even being such a fan of the organization. I put my faith in that because sometimes people would say, “y’know you’re just drinking the kool-aid” but being here and hearing about the actual work on the ground strengthened my faith in what Invisible Children was doing.
Jess Morris (Regional Manager)
JM: I honestly think what set this semester apart was starting this semester with the fourth estate. That galvanized us in such an incredible way when 60 or so new people came in and we just trusted that they would all be such incredible representatives of Invisible Children and they were. That jump-started this entire class in a great way.
Erin Miller (Roadie – Middle America)
EM: It was a really unique experience for me because I had a different experience than most. I was a big supporter of IC and when I first came in, I was a Movement intern but then ended up being a roadie. So I had the opportunity to make really strong relationships within the office and then with everyone who was on the road. It was just really wonderful to be fully embraced by both groups and to be able to promote Invisible Children from both sides.
2) What was your favorite memory from the campaign?
AF: My favorite memory this past semester had to be with Ben Keesey out on one of our missions to extend the radio network further in Bas Uele. The Catholic mission we had stayed at in the past had no extra rooms open for us, so Ben and I ended up sleeping in these awesome little huts way out in the village of this little community. Ben walked into this little hut and immediately was chased out by a pack of feral roosters that had set up shop in his room. It was a great trip though. We heard personal stories of the HF radios changing the landscape of these communities, and we were on the ground when 13 LRA escaped from the LRA and the radio network helped to facilitate their return home. I can’t image a more rewarding experience.
TF: There was a point where I came and I started breaking down. I think it happens for everyone about have way through the semester. I was in a meeting with my boss Natasha [Bliss] and I’m so glad this is on tape, but Natasha is literally the most beautiful person and the best boss. I just broke down because I realized that I had been given the most unique opportunity. Sometimes you get into that routine of, “I’m going into an office,” but then you realized that I’m in the Invisible Children office and I’m helping to end a war and all those things that go along with it. It was a really nice moment. I just realized how lucky I was, in an instant.
ZB: Favorite memory is definitely Emily Burchett personified everything that I just talked about with that puking rally. When she just hit eject and honestly just made it rain out there. And then with tears flowing down her face, just charged it and just took down three grown men, buried that thing and put it away with three men much larger than her not doing it and she’s the first one done. It was unbelievable. I met this girl when she was a sophomore in high school. It was insanity.
As far as the conflict goes, this was by far the most amazing time that I’ve ever been a part of. From everything that we’re doing with the rehab center, up and functioning, radio towers going up and reporting and the Crisis Tracker going live, changing the game on the ground, Obama sending the troops. The face of this conflict changed forever during this semester. To be a part of that and to be with a class being fully committed. You really saw that with this class and then the 12 that came before them, more then ever, the conflict, we saw that fruit actually saving lives along with improving them. That’s a new thing; it was incredible across the board.
Josh Wolny (Roadie-team Deep South)
JW: I don’t think I’ve dragged the sea floor of my mind to see what really stick out but definitely Jewel Caroll, the girl from the Fourth Estate that couldn’t come because she had Lyme disease. We got to meet her on tour and she is huge for Invisible Children. She was severely debilitated but yet the happiest person on Earth. We had one day open and we got the ability to spend the day with Jewel and her family. And it was also the first day our Ugandan teammate, Agnes got to see the ocean. But it was like this girl who has every right to be depressed and sad is so happy and so excited about what Invisible Children was doing and was just encouraging us more and more. That was my crazy moment.
JP: The launch dinner when they had all the former roadies stand up and be recognized. That really touched me. To realize how big our network of alumni is. They made the comment that “you stand on the shoulder’s of the giants that came before you” and I realized that I lay some of the pathway for the people going out on the road and people had done that for me. None of us could have done it without each other. Years and years of hard work really made it possible.
JM: For real, I think my favorite memory was 12:05, when everyone in the movement room after all the trips were given away when Adam Finck made his announcement, were sobbing. This group was so programs oriented and so on fire about that, that I think it was so validating to hear such incredible news from Adam. To be in that group, with everyone weeping with joy, it was the highest of highs we could have had.
3) Last words of encouragement to the Frontline Tour
ZB: What we are a part of here, it’s a really hard place to leave but it’s a place we’ll all have to leave at some point. With that attitude, I feel like this class is a lot more prepared than others because they didn’t always feel the success and the glory but they always went big no matter what. Your not always surrounded with people who will continue to blow your mind. But people have that in them and people want to live in that way. Continue to live with this much intention and seek that out, I would say that is the best thing they could do. Get after it. All the way. You’ll never regret it.
JE: I think the most exciting thing about Invisible Children is that even though everything we do here is the same issue, we all find different ways to give it a different cover. We find different ways to tell the story, to excite people. But underneath it all it’s the same thing. Going into Kony 2012 and the encouragement that everything we’ve done in the past 8 years and have it culminate in the next year, hopefully with the arrest of Joseph Kony.
TF: Remember that this is your experience, no one else’s. Sometime I got so caught up in someone else’s negativity or even their highs and I wasn’t having my own. I think that’s really important. Just remember- it’s your experience. What you’re feeling is ok. Make the most of it. Feel how you feel and want to feel.
JW: Love your teammates more than you think you should. It’s an investment that will come back.
JP: Know that this is temporary- but you’re involvement may look different but it will be lifelong. Just because you’re not in these walls doesn’t mean that you’re not a part of this and that you haven’t significantly impacted it while you were here. Enjoy it all. It’s goes by quickly so enjoy every moment.
EM: I’m just so excited to see next semester from start to finish. I’m excited to see the teams and I’m excited for Kony 2012. I’m also just really excited to see everyone who’s leaving accomplishments in their next endeavor.