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PUSHMETHOD and The Hoodie Shop host charity event Hoodies for Homeless

by Photo of April Baptiste-Brown

Local band PUSHMETHOD and The Hoodie Shop host a charity event for the homeless in NYC.

PUSHMETHOD and The Hoodie Shop host charity event Hoodies for Homeless

On February 5, local hip-hop/rock band PUSHMETHOD, in collaboration with The Hoodie Shop, is holding a charity event entitled Hoodies for Homeless. New York locals can bring their worn, but clean, hoodies or brand new ones to The Hoodie Shop for donations. 

We sat down with PUSHMETHOD frontman Tavis Sage Eaton and manager of The Hoodie Shop Chris Kovach to find out about the inspiration behind this charitable evening.

CHARGED.fm: Tavis, this event is a charity event based on an experience you had. Can you tell me a little more about that?

Tavis: I grew up in New York (in Manhattan and Brooklyn) and through the years, I’ve seen homeless people my whole life. When I was living in Manhattan, there was this older guy. He must have been in his 50’s. I’d never seen him drinking; he was just always really really dirty. He would come to this one corner because there was a sewer cap and a subway grate right next to each other and there would be a lot of heat coming out of that grate. So that’s where he would come every night and just lay there. I would see him in the mornings just sleeping on there, and I would always give him what I could. 

I never knew his name. I never knew anything about him. I just knew either he had some mental issues or was an addict or really down on his luck and just couldn’t get things straight. You know sometimes it’s either that person’s fault or it’s not. It doesn’t matter to me. Also I’m a veteran, and there’s a lot of homeless veterans out there too so you know if I can help somebody out, I will.

What branch did you serve in?

Tavis: I was in the Marine Corps.

So how did you get the rest of the band involved to do this event?

Tavis: I always wanted to do an event like this where the ticket into the show was to bring a pair of socks or something warm to donate to a homeless shelter in NYC. Just give them to us and then we’d go around with a suitcase full of hoodies and go give them out.

But my good friend Andrew’s father recently passed away, and we were driving out to the funeral in upstate New York in Westchester. My friend Ryan was driving and he was like, “So what’s the deal? What are your plans for the band this year?” And I said, “My goal for the band this year is to perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” From me saying the words “Jimmy Fallon," he told me he has a showroom that provides hoodies to The Hoodie Shop. 

The Hoodie Shop has collaborated with QuestLove on designing some custom hoodies for him. So we made that connection there: Hmmm…The Hoodie Shop…hoodies for the homeless…QuestLove. Let’s see if we can bring all of that together and form this one big massive event: Hoodies for the Homeless. Everything meshed right there.

We went to The Hoodie Shop and presented the idea to them, and they were 100% in five minutes into the pitch. I told my manager Hasher at Effective Immediately P.R. about it and he wanted to really dig in on some P.R. Let’s raise the awareness, see how many people we can get to donate and to come. We’re trying to get New York 1 there. Celebrities bring press and bring people, and the more people the more hoodies we get. 

Our hopes were to get Jimmy Fallon and QuestLove there, but it turns out these are the three days that the Jimmy Fallon show is filming in Los Angeles. Out of the whole year, these three days! (laughs) But we’ve got some other surprise guests coming. 

What made this event different that you were interested in taking part in it?

Chris: It empowers New Yorkers to make a significant difference in the lives of the homeless in our city. It's like a 1:1 ratio--the hoodies don't pass through many hands between the donator and the recipient and that’s a special component of Hoodies for the Homeless.

PUSHMETHOD takes part in a fair number of charity events. Has that affected your music?

Tavis: If you can make music to make somebody feel something, whether they’re having a bad day or they just want to feel amped up or they want to work out to some music, that’s one thing. But if you can make people do something, then you’re really getting to them. And that’s what we do. 

We’ve taken music and turned it into action. The whole reason we’re doing this is because we are a band and our music ranges from a wide spectrum of styles. It’s a constant evolution, a constant experiment. I don’t think it’s changed our music. We’re hoping to make music to make change.

Have you ever done any major charity events in the past? If so, are they something that you'd like to do more of in the future?

Chris: We have not, but Desiree and I have only been running the shop for six months. We absolutely intend to be involved with more causes similar to this one and we applaud our friends from PUSHMETHOD for taking the initiative to bring this one to life.

Tavis: This is our first big charity situation that we’re doing. We’re really hoping to take this event and leave a footprint so we can do this again, maybe in another city in a month or so. I have some friends at Havas, an advertising company, and they’re backing it there as well. They’re asking all their employees to bring in hoodies and Havas has agreed to match $50 for everybody that brings a hoodie from the company. So that’s pretty amazing. 

Laurie Hilton and Greg James (both from Havas Media) are helping us out on that. It’s great because everybody that we present this idea to is into it, and they all want to help somehow. That makes me feel good, for sure.

Would you be interested in working with PUSHMETHOD again in the future to do events of a similar nature (or any event in general)?

Chris: Yes, absolutely, they are great people–talented musicians as well as well-organized activists–and we applaud their commitment to giving back to the community.

What do you guys have lined up for the rest of the year?

Chris: We have a huge Hoodie Shop x KWay collab dropping this spring that we are particularly excited about. Also lots of new spring styles hitting the shop in February and March. 

Tavis: The event is on the 5th, but the very next day on Friday the 6th, PUSHMETHOD is performing at the Highline Ballroom. So even though we’re performing a couple of songs on tonight, hopefully people will like it and want to come see the full band performance the next night.

Once we get all these hoodies, we’re going to go to New York City Rescue mission to give them a bunch of hoodies. Whether you’re homeless or not, if you’re just down and you need clothes, you can go there right into their clothing room and take clothes if you need them. Then later on in the month, we’re getting together with this really great movement called #HashtagLunchbag that gets people together once a month to make like 13,000-14,000 sandwiches. Then they put them in lunch bags with a little loving note and give them out to homeless people in the street. We’re going to collaborate with them next time they do it, so they’re going to get a lunch bag and a hoodie. 

For Thursday I know I’m wearing my hood up because that’s the hashtag we’re using: #hoodsup.

Hoodies for Homeless is taking place Thursday, February 6th at The Hoodie Shop located at 181 Orchard Street from 6PM to 10PM. For those who are interested in making their contributions, but are unable to attend the event, please mail hoodies to: 

Tavis Sage Eaton
Havas World Wide
200 Hudson
New York, New York 10013

PUSHMETHOD is also performing Friday, February 6th at the Highline Ballroom.

And of course, for all your hip-hop and rock ticket needs, check CHARGED.fm!

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