Meet Charlie Welch, executive director of Texas-based Melody of Hope, which partners with other groups to inspire people through the power of music. Welch founded the organization three years ago as a grad student while on a mission trip overseas to Africa. She says it was then when she realized that music truly is the universal language that speaks to all cultures. Welch hopes to create a non-profit organization using music that will address other societal problems.
Welch overseas the daily duties of Melody of Hope while working in the music industry. We wanted to know more about Welch and Melody of Hope and she was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Dawn Tongish: Please begin by telling us about Melody of Hope.
Charlie Welch: Melody of Hope is a non-profit located in the DFW area. We exist simply because we believe that music can bring hope to the world. Melody of Hope seeks to partner with various non-profit organizations located throughout our community. The goal of these partnerships is to raise funds while also becoming a voice and advocate for each charities cause. Our priorities and project funding is based on the needs of the community that provide; support to low income families, educational opportunities, spiritual and mental counseling, economic development, health care, job training, support for wounded warriors, and resources to help end sex trafficking. We accomplish this through the power of music. The primary ways we will raise awareness is by putting on benefit concerts, music showcases, producing compilation CD’s, and in the future hosting a yearly music festival that will benefit dozens of non-profits in our community that are making a difference. We want to give our community the opportunity to support multiple causes. In my research, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say, “we already give to this charity, and we can't do another.” Of course we would never want them to stop donating to that charity, but we want to create a place where people can donate to multiple causes at one time. So each event you attend helps multiple non-profits. Melody of Hope aspires to bring people together through the power of music. We want to help provide the funding and support that is not so easily accessible to non-profits. Together we realize that we can target multiple issues that plague our local communities, contribute to the sustainable growth of our country, and further serve tomorrow’s generation.
DT: How have you seen music make a difference in lives?
CW: Oh goodness music can enrich the lives of others in so many ways. Music stimulates the mind, nurtures the soul, brings people together, and fuels creativity. Creative minds change the world. My favorite thing about music though is that it really is the universal language. It transcends all boundaries of communication to every race and every culture. Helping people should do the same, help should have no boundaries and that is what Melody of Hope is all about.
DT: How did you become involved with Melody of Hope, and why are you so passionate about the work being done with the organization?
CW: It’s a long story so I will try and sum up the last 5 years in a paragraph haha. Well I have always been passionate about three things throughout my life; Jesus, people, and music. So while I was in graduate school I decided to work on a project that allowed me to incorporate all three of those passions. At the time I was also simultaneously working for a record label; G4 Muzik. While I loved my job, I just felt like somehow all the money, fame, and resources could be utilized to help make a difference in the community. I began working on a business plan that centered on a music festival that traveled all across the world. Well life literally took me across the world to Ethiopia. Before Melody of Hope could come to life, I had already made a commitment to move to Africa for 10 months to do mission work. It turned out to be a blessing because I got to see upfront what it was like to live in immense poverty and what it looked like to be without hope. When I returned to the states I relentlessly started to take steps to bring Melody of Hope to life. I am so passionate about my work because I truly believe that change starts with a single melody of hope.
DT: Why do you work in the non-profit sector?
CW: I work in the non-profit sector because I want to use my skillset to really make a difference. The joy that comes from giving rather than receiving is indescribable and I know that I have been blessed in life to allow me to bless others. Being in the field and seeing how your efforts positively affect people in need is good for your heart!
DT: It can be difficult for any non-profit to pay the bills. How do you stay afloat?
CW: We have just been extremely blessed with financial contributions from numerous people in the community. Skills based volunteers have helped tremendously as well. For instance our lawyer, CPA, website designer, band liaison, event coordinator, etc. have all graciously volunteered their time and skillset to help melody of hope get up and running. It also helps that everyone has full time and part time jobs!
DT: How can the people of North Texas and beyond help meet your needs for 2014? What are your biggest needs?
CW: I think the best way that the people of North Texas can help meet our needs is by helping us spread awareness and supporting our upcoming music shows. We will be posting our event schedule on our website www.melodyofhope.org and our Facebook page www.facebook/melodyofhope very soon! I would love for our local community to start helping “our local community”. Sometimes people don’t realize that help starts where you are. You don’t need to travel halfway across the world to help somebody, its as easy as purchasing a concert ticket. We would hope that on a larger scale, bands all across the country would get on board with what we are doing. We want Melody of Hope to become a household name. We want to create this attractive platform for artists and fans to know that if they perform or attend a Melody of Hope show, they are using music to help make a difference.
DT: What is the most memorable moment in your experiences at Melody of Hope?
CW: Honestly I would have to say the most memorable moment so far has just been launching Melody of Hope. When I approached my family and friends with this crazy idea of wanting to start a music non-profit because I wanted to help people, I had no idea the amount of support I would have gotten. This endeavor has truly allowed me to see the pure goodness in people. Every time I turn around I am being blessed with another person who is willing to selflessly donate their time and resources to a greater cause. It blows my mind. I love the fact that the people and the community actually “own” a non-profit. Together we can do so much more to change our world.
DT: What is the first thing you do when you walk into work each day?
CW: Oh my goodness well aside from thanking the good Lord for another day, it seriously changes every day. As director, I wear a variety of different hats. My day could look like anything from meeting with bands to discuss upcoming shows, collaborating with local non profits to discuss how we can help them raise funds and awareness, working on the financials for the government paperwork, coordinating a volunteer meeting for people interested in getting involved, networking and meeting with potential donors in the area, addressing envelopes for newsletters, the list goes on. I never really leave work haha but I absolutely wouldn’t trade my job for anything! “Let the Music Bring Hope”
If you'd like to nominate a local resident for a BubbleLife community profile, contact Dawn Tongish at email@example.com or find her on Twitter at @DawnTongish.