The 5th Annual UTW Day took place
on June 10, 2017 …
… and we had 9 events on 5 continents – Asia, Oceania, Europe, South and North America – including our flagship event at the UTW Headquarters in Los Angeles.
Everybody involved – organizers, performers, volunteers, cause representatives and guests alike – had a great time, enjoying fantastic live music and art performances while gathering donated items and raising money and awareness for local causes.
UTW DAY AT THE UTW HEADQUARTERS IN LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles is the home for Unfuck The World’s headquarters. It was here where in 2006 UTW Day creator Maike started selling Unfuck The World t-shirts to raise money for local charities and to support UTW actions.
For the last four Unfuck The World Days, UTW L.A. organized public, day-long events, celebrating organizations that are all about positive local actions. We had live music, real time video calls with people in other countries having their official UTW Day events, and we raised money for our non-profit, A Million Drops.
This year, the UTW L.A. team did something very different. We practiced what Unfuck The World stands for: Positive. Local. Action. On UTW Day 2017, we gave a make-over to 2nd Chance For Sobriety, a sober living house in Los Angeles.
Sober living instead of prison
2nd Chance For Sobriety is home to seventy men ages 20 to 45 who live there for up to a year, most of them by court order. They were transferred there from jail or prison where they did time for drug related charges.
Darrel, a young homeless man, is one of them. Our non-profit, A Million Drops, had been supporting him for a couple of years, when he was arrested last year. After he had spent two months in jail, the judge him sent to 2nd Chance to finish his sentence. Darrel reached out to UTW Creator Maike, and she went to visit him.
Sitting in the Visitation Room, chatting with Darrel and some of the other residents, all Maike could think of was how sad the space looked, and she wondered how anybody could find the strength to make a positive life change in such a depressing environment.
An idea was born
Working as a set decorator in tv and film, Maike knew how easily one can transform a space, and quickly, the idea became a plan. With the help of her network, the vision was put on paper, a project presentation was created to help reach out to potential donors and volunteers. The goal was to beautify three areas – the Visitation Room, the Dining Area and the Back Yard.
Leading up to UTW Day, our team spent weeks planning, fund raising and asking for help with needed items and materials. The support was incredible. Individuals and companies followed our call and supported the project with monetary and in-kind donations. (Please see the list below). And then it was finally time to get to work.
Volunteers and residents, working together
On UTW Day, team members, volunteers and residents worked tirelessly from 7 am to 7 pm. Together, we were able to completely transform the space. The results blew everyone’s mind, and the whole experience was so inspiring for everyone involved that we are already talking about what we can do next.
Omaha’s UTW Day event took place once again at Jerry’s Bar in the Benson area.
There was an outdoor beer garden, drink specials, raffle, online art auction, and food. and throughout the day, eight live bands performed. The temperature got up to a sizzling 98 degrees, and the organizers were happy to have a great turnout.
The Omaha UTW Day organizer were able to raise $2,233 that were donated to the local Keystone Klub Pool for much needed repairs.
For this year’s UTW Day event in Melbourne, Mel and Michelle teamed up with Pinchapoo.
Pinchapoo is an organization that has been distributing ‘pinched’ hotel toiletries since 2009, helping improve the quality of life for disadvantaged people around Australia.
They had a lot of response; many people dropped off toiletries to support the cause.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The official UTW Day 2017 event in Rotterdam was organized by Valentijn Vogel, and it benefitted Shelter Suit, a Dutch company that manufactures water- and windproof coats which can be transformed into sleeping bags for homeless people.
About the event
For UTW Day, Valentijn and his wife Janneke turned their small Korean restaurant in the heart of Rotterdam into a live music venue, and they invited friends, customers and neighbors to come by. Local bands My Reign Coat, Minor Planet Magdalena, De Dikke Kees and Motordood performed and rocked the place all day!
Valentijn wrote: “We’ve had an awesome UTW Day! We were able to tell a lot of people about UTW and about how a million small actions can make a difference. I’m happy to announce that we have collected 548 euros for sheltersuit. Stoked!!”
The official UTW Day 2017 event in Mococa was organized by our supporter Guilherme Ferracioli and his friend Gustavo. Guilherme and Gustavo participated for the second year in a row!
A concert in the woods
This year, Guilherme and Gustavo organized a live concert in a forest just outside of Mococa. Their goal was to bring together members of their community, and many people followed their call. Everyone brought blankets and food, and together, they had a picnic on a meadow surrounded by trees while enjoying a performance by Gustavo and his band.
The organizers had asked their guests to bring canned food and milk to be donated to Casa Abrigo, a local shelter where children from poor families can spend the day while their parents are at work. All donations were dropped off the next day, and they were much appreciated.
Guilherme wrote: “Words can’t describe how great it feels to be part of UTW Day!”
Byron Bay, Australia
The official UTW Day 2017 event in Byron Bay was organized by our supporter Genevieve Lee. Byron Bay participated for the first time, and we are thrilled to have them on board!
Genevieve’s goal was to unite her community and introduce them to local organizations that have a positive impact.
The event was hosted by MC Mark Swivel, fresh from the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Byron Bay’s own, rock band Mercy-Mercy performed a fantastic live set, and local organizations got the opportunity to showcase innovative ideas from everyday people for positive local actions. Visitors got to vote for their favorite idea. All profits from the event went to the winner, the Water Care Project.
Pratima Lightworker, Director of the Water Care project, wrote: “UTW Day was an awesome day for everyone here. It was absolutely marvelous that Dr. Mary Gardner and I won the first prize for the Water Care Project! It is such a worthy project that effects the lives of everyone in our delightful shire. With the Belongil river rated just a ‘D’ and the Richmond an ‘F’, there is a lot of improvement that can be made. Thank you UTW for your immense support!”
An Invitation By The Aeta People
Our official UTW Day 2017 organizers in Olongapo, Gershom and Melissa Pertacorta, had been invited by the tribal chief of the indigenous Aeta People to celebrate the event with them, and to bring along family and friends. The two created a Facebook event, asking anyone interested in joining them to donate water and food supplies, as well as gifts for the Aetas.
The plan was to meet at the outskirts of town early in the morning. From there, they would hike on remote mountain trails all the way up to Mampueng, the small village that is the home to the Aetas.
Leaving Stress Behind
About a hundred like-minded people followed their call. As planned, the hikers met up at dawn, and trekking and crossing rivers, they disconnected from their busy lives, immersing themselves in nature.
They left the noise of the city behind. listening to the mountain breeze, the gurgle of a fresh water spring and the sound of a warm rain shower.
Many of hikers carried heavy loads on their backs. Food and beverages, clothes and school supplies – gifts for the Aetas and their children, tents, tables, instruments and even a generator, all had to be transported up to the remote village using nothing but woman and manpower.
By the time they arrived, everyone was ready for a break.
The visitors were greeted with excitement. After exchanging gifts, many took the opportunity to cool down in a nearby spring, goofing around and having water fights with the Aeta kids.
Meanwhile, one of the visitors delighted the children by painting their faces, while others engaged the crowd playing songs on their guitars.
When the sun began to go down, meals were prepared and tables set.
At sunset, everyone started gathering around the bonfire to enjoy the freshly prepared food and a serving of organic Java Plum Wine & Wild Honey served from bamboo cups made by the locals as a souvenir.
Plans For The Future
They had gathered to make a difference, and underneath the full moon, many great conversations took place and plans for future positive local actions were made. Aeta People and visitors became friends, feeling love, respect and understanding for one another.
The official UTW Day 2017 event in Cleveland, OH was organized by our awesome supporter Shel Greenberg Erba.
Shel invited friends and neighbors to join her for one of her popular Punk Yoga sessions.
Instead of charging a fee, she asked everyone for a donation to benefit the Neighborhood Pets Outreach & Resource Center, a Cleveland based nonprofit that helps local low-income families take care of their pets.
The organization provides low-cost vaccines, spat/neuter surgeries, training, resources, leashes and other pet needs, so these families don’t have to give up their animals.
Shel wrote: “I worked at a humane society for a few years, and it crushed my heart when so many people had to surrender their animals because they could not afford to care for them. My two dogs and my cat are my life …”
Tolga on board first time
The official UTW Day 2017 event in Tolga, Australia, was organized by our supporter Christine Boll. Christine hosted a vegan pot-luck in her house, and everyone – vegan or non-vegan – was welcomed to gather in a non-judgmental, supportive environment.
A great success
Christine wrote: “My Vegan Pot-Luck Lunch was a great success. I live in a small, rural area, our main industries are dairy and beef cattle. Not a popular place to be vegan. I didn’t realize there were so many other vegans in the area. About 14 came to the lunch and some drove over 1.5 hours to come. I also got messages from four other vegans who live in the area who weren’t able to attend but want to connect in the future!”
This is exactly what UTW Day is about: connecting strangers, reconnecting old friends, building a network, giving and receiving support.
The donations that were made during Christine’s UTW Day lunch benefit a local cow sanctuary.