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Blink-182 Pays it Forward

Kait Richmond

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Following their successful summer tour, the men of Blink-182 are giving back to the people who helped them achieve an incredible comeback. In September, the band donated $100,000 of the proceeds from their show in Phoenix, AZ to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, GA and the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Both facilities cared for Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker after the plane crash in 2008 that left him and the late DJ A.M. with severe burns, and four others dead. According to a press release, the band hopes that their donation will “help these burn centers continue their life saving work.”

10 days later, when the band was in Atlanta, Barker paid a visit to the burn center. He met with patients, signed autographs, and said a big “thank you” to his doctors. He later posted to his Twitter account: “Just leaving the JMS burn center here in GA. Amazing talented people over there, angels are what I like to call them. Wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them. Glad I was able to go by and say thank you. I’ll never forget them or what they did for me.”

Bassist Mark Hoppus is also doing some good. On October 19, 2009, he published an article on the Huffington Post about Ali Vatter, a member of the catering crew that worked on the summer tour. Two months into the tour, Vatter had to get an emergency appendix-removal surgery, and later had trouble paying the bills because she was uninsured.  Hoppus wrote, “My initial reaction was disbelief. Why would you not have insurance? Especially while on tour? Turns out I was asking the wrong question. The real question is: Why are you unable to get insurance?”

Vatter told him she had been trying to get it for years, but that she could not because of pre-existing conditions, or was just denied. Her bills amounted to $48,000 so she set up a website asking for donations: Hoppus has agreed to personally match every dollar donated until her bills are paid.

All that has ever been asked of Blink-182 is music, but they are giving even more. They show that a scandal is not necessary to keep people talking; they’re keeping their name in the headlines by paying it forward.

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Blink-182 Pays it Forward