The second interview Shockwave had at Vans Warped tour was with Jason Blades, the music/events coordinator for To Write Love On Her Arms.
Shockwave: So, how are you liking Warped Tour?
JASON BLADES: So far it’s good. This is our organization’s eighth or ninth year on the tour doing the whole thing, so it’s good. It’s always a different summer, but it’s great to reconnect with the attendees and some of the bands that we’re friends with. So yeah, it’s been great so far, we’re a little over halfway through.
That’s good. Are there any hardships you face while on Warped Tour?
I’d say every summer we go through four or five pretty heavy storms, tornado warnings, hurricane warnings. I’d say that’s difficult. Then there’s just the heat and humidity daily, dealing with that. But it’s all rewarded by getting to interact with all of the kids and getting to connect with them, hearing stories of how we’ve helped them or just the message we are trying to promote, how it’s been meaningful to them or their friends. It’s worth it all.
Could you tell me a little bit about the message?
Yeah! So, my name is Jason, and I work for a non-profit organization called To Write Love On Her Arms. We are a non-profit movement that’s dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people that struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. We also exist to encourage, inspire, and inform of the best treatment in recovery.
That’s so fantastic. I really wish there were more people like you.
There’s actually, if you were to head around Warped Tour and check it out, there’s four or five mental health based non-profits that are here today. Us, one called SCAD, Heart Support, and another one that’s right next to us called Hope for the Day.
Yeah, it’s cool to see so much good work out here happening today. There’s also like, 15 other non-profits on Warped.
Where did T0 Write Love On Her Arms first start?
We’re based out of Melbourne, Florida, so all the work we do is practically virtual or mobile. We work to connect with people in their local area through events that we do, conferences, and speaking engagements. We just started out of an attempt to try and help this one young girl, and tell her story so that some people would be encouraged and hopefully be moved by what she went through, but also how she found help and treatment through friends and counseling. Now we still exist with that same mission, and we just try to help people wherever we can.
What’s it like as a non-profit?
I’ve been involved since 2009, so I’ve gotten to see quite a bit. It’s really cool seeing the types of doors that have opened for the organization because of the work that we’re trying to do. It’s always rewarding and it’s great to be out here for something good.
Do you guys do mission trips and stuff?
Technically we’re not a ministry so no, we don’t do trips like that. We, as an organization, just exist to meet people where they’re at when they’re struggling. So, we’re all over the country through different events. So I mean, people could check out our calendar and see where we are going to be and come out, visit us, hang with us, work for the cause.
Where’s been your favorite place to go with this?
I’ve done quite a bit internationally with them as well as all around the country. I like it all, to be honest. Wherever there’s people we can connect with, you know. We’ve realized people can struggle and hurt all over and across the world, so in that sense, anywhere we can help people.
You guys are awesome. We love you guys where I’m at.
Well thank you, that’s cool.
Thank you for the interview.
Oh, no problem!