"Beale Gives Back" Program announced to support local charities in Memphis.
Downtown Memphis Commission, Beale Street Merchants Association, and Beale Street Management have announced the launch of Beale Street Gives Back, an initiative to donate $55,000 collected from the Beale Street Bucks program to several local charities over the coming weeks. Every Thursday through the end of December, new charities will be announced as recipients of the program. Porter Leath and the Blues Foundations’ Handy Artist Relief Fund (The HART Fund) have been selected as the first recipients of the program.
Launched this past summer, the Beale Street Bucks program was implemented to address overcrowding and safety issues occurring on Beale Street on Saturday nights. The program required guests to pay $10 for entry onto the street and received $7 voucher in return to use in Beale Street restaurants and shops. The remaining funds were used to administer the program. Beale Street Bucks was highly successful, resulting in a 30% reduction in safety issues on Beale Street. The Beale Street Gives Back program is funded by excess funds from unredeemed Beale Street Bucks vouchers.
Porter Leath is the primary resource for Memphis’ at-risk children and families, and The HART Fund covers health care costs for aging blues musicians without health insurance. Porter-Leath received $10,000 while HART Fund received $5,000.
On Dec. 15th, Streets Ministries was recognized as the third recipient of this initiative, receiving $10,000.
On Dec. 22nd, the Memphis Police Department was recognized as the fourth recipient of this initiative, receiving $25,000.
On Dec. 29th Operation Restart was recognized as the final recipeinet, receiving $5,000.
Operation Restart is a collaborative effort between a number of entities that include the City of Memphis, Shelby County Schools, nonprofit group Neighborhoods RunningNeighborhoods and Memphis City Beautiful to provide the opportunity to teens to work during the summer, earn and manage money and help to fight blight in Memphis.