Friday, September 13, 2013

If you're lucky enough to live in a market with a country music station that broadcasts The Bobby Bones Show you'll be familiar with the 30 Abes campaign dedicated to bringing hunger relief to the Maison des Enfents de Dieu orphanage in Haiti.

Amy, female voice-of-reason and co-host on The Bobby Bones Show, is the heart and soul driving the success of the 30 Abes campaign, and she's doing it all with as much passion and perseverance as she had on day one. Amy has never given up on her belief that even the smallest change can make a big difference, and she is inspiring those around her to think the same way every day.

Yumology was lucky enough to sit down and talk to Amy about the 30 Abes campaign and what plans she has for it in the future.

What inspired you to start your own hunger relief program, 30 Abes, rather than just donating to an existing one?
After visiting the Maison des Enfents de Dieu orphanage in Haiti I knew I wanted to help those children some way some how.  I sat down with their director and learned about how tight their monthly funds are. Maison spends $5,000-$6,000 a month on food and feeding the children at the orphanage. That’s a huge financial strain, and I knew being able to supply food would alleviate those costs for them so they could focus on many other things the kids need.

People in the city of PAP know the orphanage receives help from Americans so they often come knocking asking for food. In the past the orphanage has not been able to help, but with the packages 30 Abes will provide, the orphanage director can assist others in need and provide them with a box that will feed a family for one month.

When Numana contacted us about doing a food packing event for 30 Abes, I knew right away where I wanted the food to go.  We wanted listeners in markets outside of Nashville to have an opportunity to get involved and that’s where the t-shirts came in. But 30 Abes has evolved so far beyond that. What began as donations through t-shirt purchases has evolved into a movement around this food packing event that will change so many lives in a positive way.

Although Numana approached us about the packing event, Bobby was the one who decided to go for the world record of packing 500,000 meals. Bobby is a go-big-or-go-home guy so it made sense to aim for breaking the record.  Wichita formerly holds the record and if Wichita can do it, Nashville can do it!

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced getting 30 Abes off the ground?
When we launched the campaign a lot of people didn’t understand what we were doing. The t-shirts were popular but people didn’t understand what the bigger picture was. It took a month to really get everyone to catch on.

I went down to Maison des Enfents de Dieu and shot a video with the orphanage director and children, walking people through what 30 Abes was all about. The video helped get people on board, and it explained to the kids in the orphanage what people in Nashville were doing to help.

Once the video was up we started promoting 30 Abes through social media. That helped people understand the cause, but then the challenge became getting people to act. A lot of people think about doing something good but get busy with other projects and day-to-day lives. They forget to act on things they think are a great idea.

Now that the funds have started to come in our target of breaking the world record is a major challenge we are all rallying around. Sony Music and a ton of their artists: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney and so many others have climbed on board and encouraged people to volunteer. Their support gave 30 Abes the extra boost and encouragement we needed.  Let’s make history. Let’s impact hunger. When people believe in you it makes it easier.

You’ve obviously had an excellent response from the music community, how would you like to see the food community get more involved? This is a hunger relief effort after all!
We’d love to see anyone interested in impacting hunger on a local level as well as a global level participate.

In addition to Numana supplying the food for the food packing event, we are working with Second Harvest Food Bank and collecting non-perishables for local hunger relief efforts as well. We want to recognize hunger everywhere.  A lot of people have asked “Why Haiti and not the U.S.?” I truly believe we are strong enough to help people here as well as people there. 

I don’t want to put boundaries or borders on hunger. A hungry child is a hungry child. I don’t want to put boundaries or borders on people wanting to help either. Food industry, music industry, everyone should get involved.

What needs to happen in order for you to consider this campaign a success?
We’ve seen such a great response and Bobby keeps saying "If we stopped right now we’ve done enough." 30 Abes has a motto inspired by the starfish story about making a difference for just one person. We’ve already fundraised enough for so many meals, we are making a difference for hundreds of people at this point. But breaking the world record would be a great success story. Delivering 500,000 meals will make such a huge impact on those children that I’m not letting myself think we won't get there. On September 28 I want to stand on that stage at the packing event with the orphanage director and show him “Here are all these people and they came here for you.”

Are there plans for any other packing events in other cities?
Not at the moment, but it could be something we consider doing in other markets with other stations the Bobby Bones Show is affiliated with if they were interested.

Bobby and Eddie’s band the Raging Idiots will be in Wichita tonight hosting a concert at Midwest Kia, the proceeds of which benefit 30 Abes. Do you envision a Charity Hilarity Tour taking place anytime soon?
Well, their first show was in Nashville, so Wichita is really their second stop. I think they already feel like they are on tour! We’ve had other markets reach out which we are very excited about but nothing is on the calendar yet.

What is your favorite Raging Idiots song?
Big Head Bobby

You chose to begin a hunger relief program so we have to ask what does food mean to you?
Life. Living. I feel so blessed to be in a place and grow up in a family where food was a source of bonding.  When I think of food I think of family. I think of sitting around the table enjoying food my family prepared and bonding over it.  My goal would be for everyone to have family bonding time over food.

Unfortunately, the orphanage doesn’t look at food that way. For them food is for survival. Through 30 Abes my thoughts on food have shifted somewhat. I’m more conscious of the food I buy and the luxury of having the things I want at my fingertips.

Finally, just for fun, what’s your favorite food?
Does chips and queso count as food?  If so, then definitely chips and queso! … But of course I know how important my fruits and veggies are too.

We at Yumology wish Amy, The Bobby Bones Show, Numana and Teem Haiti the best of luck at their September 28 event. We encourage any Yummies in the Nashville area to sign up and volunteer

We encourage any Yummies in the Wichita area to purchase tickets to Bobby and Eddie's Charity Hilarity concert taking place this evening. 

Finally we encourage you Yummies in other markets worldwide to make this day delicious by purchasing a 30 Abes t-shirt to truly promote fashion sense. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile users can also text "BONES" to 80888 to make an automatic $10.00 donation through their phone bills. Super-simple Yummies! Get those thumbs going!

Thanks for the interview Amy. Your appetite for life (and queso) is inspiring! 

To learn more about how you can get involved in the 30 Abes campaign visit



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