Vivian Daly '13

Getting to volunteer with Oxfam at Coldplay the other day was amazing! I was a super long weekend, but a lot of fun.

My Sunday started with having to move out of my summer dorm room on campus and bring everything back home, summer housing had ended and I decided just to go home for a little instead of living in transitional housing on campus.

After packing my car and leaving the hill at 8:00am I headed into Boston (the only place I could find with a Kinko’s open at 9:00am on a Sunday. I had to print out a few color flyers for the Coldplay show that explained why these tours are so beneficial to Oxfam America. I made a map using ArcGIS that displayed all the cities Oxfam had traveled to in the US because of Coldplay, talked about a few key volunteers that came to us through Coldplay including former employees and Action Corps Organizers, and explained that because of Coldplay concerts, Oxfam’s constituency base had grown by 100,000 supporters – and guess what, Coldplay actually got to see this handout!

After that I headed to L.L.Bean (my part-time job this summer) and worked until 3:00pm and then headed start to the Garden for the show. At first I could find the other volunteers and was getting a little nervous, but then I saw a few familiar faces from the Boston Action Corps and went to sit with them until Rachel arrived. Rachel has been the Oxfam Tour Coordinator traveling with the band. Every few nights she travels from city to city with the other roadies and leads a team of Oxfam volunteers. I have been communication with her through e-mail and had spoken to her on the phone once, but it was really exciting to finally meet her and get to see what she’s been doing.

Rachel rounded up all us volunteers and brought us in through security to the venue. Once inside she began to brief all of us volunteers, first with some quick ice breakers and then jumping into more in depth explanations about Oxfam, GROW, and canvasing. She did a great job at making all the volunteers feel excited and ready to talk about GROW (even through she had to yell over Marina and the Diamond’s sound check). Then the door’s opened.

Concert goers started pouring in and carrots, peas, bananas, chilies, tomatoes, and ears of corn started talking to them about food injustice and our ability to end world hunger. Everyone was really responsive to our message. Some already knew about Oxfam (often through Coldplay and Chris Martin’s previous involvement with the Make Trade Fair Campaign), others supported our message once they listened, and others were just pumped to take some goofy pictures with some veggies. All the volunteers continued canvasing for about 2 hours and then it was time to clean-up and see the show, but before seeing the show myself and a few other Oxfam employees helped Rachel bring all the materials backstage and then got ready to meet Coldplay!

Chris, Will, Guy, and Jonny all shook our hands and introduced themselves and we took a quick picture. Then it was time for them to go on stage. We all rushed back to our seats to see the show and saw the guys we had just taken a picture with preforming in front of 17,000 people.

The show was great! They really try to interact with the crowd always calling out to everyone in the audience, not just going through their sets of music. Each and every audience member also got to be a part of the show through our light-up wrist bands. Chris also wore the Oxfam logo on his shirt, like he’s been doing for every show, which I find super cool.

The next day I came into the Oxfam office in the morning and then got to do it all over again at night! After two nights we got over 850 sign-ups in Boston – which is amazing. As of now we just jumped over 10,000 Oxfam America sign-ups for the Mylo Xyloto tour!

I took a bunch of pictures, which will be coming soon, but until then be sure to check out the Oxfam on Tour Photos facebook page to see how the night went!

Coldplay!

Some of the Oxfam staff who have been working to coordinate volunteers all around the US for got to meet Coldplay last night thanks to our super awesome Tour Coordinator, Rachel. I’ll be telling you more about volunteering before the show, getting to see the show and getting to meet the band soon, but I just wanted to share this photo. :)

Vivian

I just got back from the Coldplay concert in Boston, the first show that I’ve gotten to go to since I started organizing the volunteers for the tour.

The show was great! It was also awesome to be telling people about GROW… but one more really exciting thing happened (I’ll give you a hint, it involved meeting a really big Oxfam supporter!). I’ll tell you soon with a picture :D

Hi All!

This is a post written by Rosie Cowling who works for Oxfam Great Britain and has been working on Oxfam’s Coldplay Tour blog this summer. It has some additional information and statistics regarding the GROW Method!

Be sure to check it out!

The GROW Method just launched today!

You should check out the facebook app or the pinterest page!

The GROW Method is the next step in the GROW campaign here at Oxfam. The idea behind it is that there are certain things that we can do in our everyday lives that can help us all work towards a world with no hunger. These are easy things that anyone can do even if you don’t have much time. They are:

  1. Save Food – This can be done through saving your left overs or planning you meals for the week so your food doesn’t spoil.
  2. Support – Local farmers and fair trade products.
  3. Cook Smart – There are ways that you can save energy, water, and time by cooking smart. If you get a bamboo steamer and cook your veggies while you’re boiling rice, pasta, or potatoes. You can also try new recipes that don’t require you to use the oven or stove – this is especially nice during not summer days, when you don’t want your house to get even hotter!
  4. Shop Seasonal – Seasonal items are usually the cheapest and most fresh, if you shop at a farmers market, you don’t even need to think about what’s seasonal, whatever is there is in season.
  5. East less meat – This is one that people seem to have a lot of trouble with, but it doesn’t mean you can never have a cheese burger again, it simply means that you should try to limit you meat intake. This isn’t only good for the environment (because on the large amount of greenhouse gasses produced in the production and transport of meat) it’s also great for your health and long as you replace your protein intake with beans or nuts (if you’re interested in why check out the film Forks Over Knives)

I plan on trying a few GROW Method changes, I already don’t eat much meat, but I might try cooking with a bamboo steamer or even some new recipes that don’t require cooking. I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

This was taken at one of the DC shows earlier this month.

You can see the Oxfam logo on the bottom left corner of Chris Martin’s shirt!

Hi All!

Just wanted to let you all know about some of our success after the second leg of the Coldplay Tour in the US!

As of now we have over 9,000 petition signatures. Some of those petition signatures are regarding Food Aid reform, which is a section of the Farm Bill that was voted on by the senate last month and the others are from our current petition. Our current petition for  GROW is in support of small-scale farmers in an effort to reform the broken food system.

We have over 10,000 pictures on our GROW Wall. You can add your picture too! All you have to do is tweet @oxfamontour or #lovefoodhateinjustice.

I really hope you stop to talk to some Oxfam volunteers if you’re going to a Coldplay concert this summer.  :)

My internship is just about halfway over now. Yesterday marked the end of the second US leg of the Coldplay tour with their second show in DC. At one of their DC shows HC grad and former Oxfam intern, Caitlin D. was the team leader. Caitlin did a really awesome job as the team leader, since she already knew about Oxfam through her SIP internship last summer and her work as Oxfam Club organizer on campus this past year, she knew the importance of being an exciting team leader for her volunteers and could explain the importance of GROW to concert goers and Oxfam newbies.

The other team leader for the DC show was Christopher M. He has done a lot of work with Oxfam in the past and will be coming to the office in a few weeks to be the CHANGE lead facilitator. CHANGE is a program that Oxfam had for first-years and sophomores in college. It’s a week long intensive workshop that trains them to be Oxfam organizers, them the following year they move back to their campus and run a campaign on their campus. They can pick from GROW and Extractive Industries (Oxfam’s campaign around natural resources, which is super interesting!) I wish that knew about GROW when I was younger, I totally would have applied and I would highly suggest it to any underclassman at HC (we’ve had two CHANGE leader in the past).

Now that the DC show is over I only have about 10 more concerts and 5 more weeks! Summer internships are go by so fast. In the next half of my internship I’m going to continue working with the Coldplay Tour, but will also be doing some more work with the Oxfam Action Corps and a GIS mapping project, which I’m super excited about. I took a GIS class at HC, but have yet to be able to use the program outside of class. I can let you know more about those projects as I work on them, but until them…

Here are some pics from the tour so far!

This is Cheryl D. the Oxfam Action Corps organizer in Philly and one of the team leaders for the Coldplay show. After having so many phone conversations and exchanging a ton of e-mails with her it was really neat to see her working at the concert. In her blog post you can read about how she got involved with Oxfam through her love of Coldplay.

Some of our DC volunteer taking pictures with concert goers!

Be sure to stop by the Oxfam photo-booth if you’re going to any Coldplay concerts this summer!

4th of July in Boston is great! I would definitely suggest it if you’re ever in the city for the summer. There’s this really great concert and the fireworks show is one of the best I’ve ever seen. This year was a little different than most, there was a lighting storm right before the fireworks, so they ended up being delayed, and then during the show there were downpours for maybe five minutes. Even though I got soaked it was a lot of fun. :)

The tall ships are also in Boston right now commemorating The War of 1812. Here are some pictures of the ships I got to see!

A Colombian tall ship.

The USS Constitution (aka Old Ironside)

This one is in Boston year-round!

If you are ever spending some time in Boston, here are somethings you can do for free or very little money!

I really like going to museums… so most of these are museums, but I’m sure you could find other things too.
The Museum of  Fine Arts is FREE on Wednesdays after 5:00pm. I’ve been going here since I was little, and I love that it’s free once a week. When I go I usually pick one section of the museum to see. Last week it was the new Contemporary Wing. They recently moved and expanded the wing and it’s amazing now. The contemporary gallery used only be one hallway mainly consisting of photographs, now there are photos, paintings, sculptures… there was this once sculpture that was a bunch of golden beads hanging above a passage way that you had to walk through, it was really neat that the artist made a piece that the viewer had to touch. There are also these really interesting Alex Katz prints that I want to go see next week, last week I only got to run through them.
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is also free on Thursdays after 5:00pm. I went there two weeks ago and there was this great exhibit of Josiah McElheny pieces, he builds these really neat reflective sculptures. I ICA tends to be a little different compared to the type of art most people are used to, but I would still suggest checking it out. It’s also right on the water front and has a great view of the Boston Harbor.

    ICA, Boston

    Josiah McElheny’s reflective sculpture

    The Peabody Essex Museum is free all day Fridays. I haven’t been here yet, but really want to see their new Ansel Adams exhibit! The close at 5:00pm, so I can’t do during the summer since I have work, but I plan on going once school starts!
    The deCordova is also free all day on Fridays. I went there for the first time last year, it’s this really nice outdoor sculpture park but there is also an indoor museum. I really liked being able to walk around outside and see all the different sculptures.
    Museum of Science is pretty cool and you can get $5 tickets if you have a Boston Public Library Card, you just need to go to the library to pick up the tickets.
    4th of July in Boston is always a lot go fun a totally free! There is a Boston Pops concert and a guest band and then this awesome fireworks show! I fit doesn’t rain tomorrow I’ll let you know how it goes. :)
    Happy 4th of July Everyone!

    Vivian

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