Andrea Herz Payne and Hunter Payne felt out of their element at a CD-release party of a glam rocker. “I’m sitting there thinking, this is totally not our crowd,” Andrea recalls. But, the rocker had gotten in touch with the Paynes to donate the proceeds of his CD release party to their organization, Aid Still Required, which raises money to help rebuild communities in the wake of natural disasters.
When the Indian Ocean tsunami occurred—Hunter, an independent musician, was participating in a Landmark course where each participant takes on a large community project. His first thought was to get his musician friends to contribute tracks to a benefit CD to raise money for tsunami relief. Calls came in from all over the country with offers to help. “Hunter and I looked at each other and said, ‘Maybe this isn’t a one-shot deal. Maybe there’s going to be other projects. Maybe this is going to be our life,” Andrea recalls.
Aid Still Required’s mantra—“Together we have the power to change the world”—speaks to the grassroots network of people the organization has built to support its efforts. The CD contains songs from some of the biggest names in music, including Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, and James Taylor. NBA superstars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Tracy McGrady have all recorded public service announcements for the organization. Although the organization’s fundraising goals were initially set in the $100,000 range, they are raising more than $200 million to fund aid projects and expand the organization’s scope to helping victims of other humanitarian crises and natural disasters around the globe.