Total Rock Star of the Week: Jon Bon Jovi
I have been a long-time fan of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Jon Bon Jovi, but today I consider him a hero. Jon is not only a talented vocalist, guitar player, and songwriter, but he is also a philanthropist with a heart of gold. In my book, that makes him a “Total Rock Star.”
During our economic downturn in 2008, he opened three JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurants in New Jersey to help feed the homeless and others in need of warm, nutritious meals. He lets folks work for their dinners by washing dishes and doing other chores. They can also leave money for themselves and others in a pay-it-forward manner. That’s how Jon has able to break even every month, with a little subsidizing from his own pocket.
Because of the coronavirus shelter-in-place order, Jon can no longer rely on volunteers to help out so he washes the dishes himself. In the middle of this scary pandemic, his restaurants are still open, offering take-out meals to those who need them. For years, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation “has helped provide support for over 600 units of affordable and supportive housing in 10 states for thousands of people including youth and veterans.” I just love this man. And there’s more.
Jon wrote the first verse and chorus of a song called “Do What You Can” about COVID-19, which he recently shared with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. You can watch it here. He invited people to send in their own lyrics so that he could show how the pandemic affects the rest of us in the next verses.
Since the interview with Jimmy, Jon has gathered thousands of ideas sent to him by fans through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to create the next part of the song. You can listen to the second version of it here.” He gives credit to each author who contributed and invites more of us to post a verse in his ongoing challenge. #DoWhatYouCan #bonjovi.
Now, Jon’s performing the song with other musicians, too. The “Do What You Can” movement is growing bigger every day and is creative as hell. What a beautiful way to support his community and uplift our world. It made me do a happy dance in the middle of my living room. Jon gives me hope during these scary, uncertain times.
“Remember, when you can’t do what you do, do what you can,” Jon says. For me, that means sharing his good work with you. If you feel inspired, please share this article so that more people can join his movement.