Web series Spare Change is changing lives one note at a time—music note that is! The organization uses music to unite businesses in support of charities. Business can be featured in their popular videos buy donating to a designated charity. Josh Corcoran of Spare Change chatted with us about the organization and their featured Pittsburgh charity in their last episode of the year—the Batch Foundation.
PITTSBURGH BEAUTIFUL:Can you briefly describe how Spare Change works?
JOSH CORCORAN: Spare Change is a web series where we use music to unite businesses in support of charity.Typically, we ask businesses to donate to our featured charity in return for being featured in our videos. We also perform music and accept donations in our bucket to support the cause.
PB: How did the decision go to use the “I Wish it was Christmas Today?” song from Saturday Night Live?
JC: I found an old casio keyboard that was being sold in a local antique shop for $15 and it reminded me of the Saturday Night Live sketch “Christmas Treat” where Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan and Tracey Morgan perform “I Wish it was Christmas Today”. I thought it would be a funny way to sing a christmas carol without taking ourselves too seriously and paying homage to one of my favorite SNL skits.
PB:What sort of feedback have you received from Charlie Batch’s involvement in the series? How can people get involved with the Batch Foundation?
Charlie and his wife LaTasha were very supportive of our Spare Change movement and thanked us for featuring Best of the Batch in our 11th Episode. The foundation does incredible work for youth in Pittsburgh, including reading and computer literacy, after school programs, and their “Batch a Toys”. At the end of our video, there will be a link to donate to the foundation. We’re asking everyone to donate $1 to support the cause. You can also visit batchfoundation.com
to learn more.
PB:What was the process like for arranging the cameos in your video?
JC: It was wild! I probably emailed and tweeted at Mayor Peduto 20 times before I received a response. When we met him, he first congratulated us for getting a hold of him. I really believed in the concept and the thought that this video would benefit everyone who was involved, including the Best of the Batch Foundation.
PB: Why do you think social media/the internet is the future of giving?
JC: We really believe in the idea of micro donations and the cumulative power of a lot of people donating a little bit of money. That is why we’re calling on people who enjoy the video to donate just $1 to the foundation. We think it would be incredible to have 5,000 people donate $1 rather than have one person donate $5,000. Social media allows us to pull our resources together to make a positive impact.
PB: How did you get involved with Spare Change?
JC: In the past, I played professionally with the band Table Ten, touring the east coast for three years after starting the band at Penn State. More recently, I was in between jobs and killing time by performing music. We played on the street one night when a gentleman asked us to spare some change. Almost instinctively, we gave him all of the money we had been given from our guitar case, and his reaction drove us to see what other good deeds could be accomplished with music. Fortunately, I was filming that night on my iPhone (which you can see in our first episode), and since that night we’ve continued to push ourselves and grow this concept.
PB: Does Spare Change perform a different song each episode or go to a different city?
JC: Most of the time we’ll perform multiple songs at an event where we know many people will be at. Other than our 8th episode in State College, we’ve stayed local to the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, but we hope to continue to branch out and feature new towns.
PB: What are some other causes Spare Change has supported?
JC: The Education Partnership, Humane Animal Rescue, Breaking Free Therapeutic Horse Farm’s Horses for Heroes program, Acres Project, and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). We’ve also helped promote events for charity, like Mon Valley Sizzles and sometimes we’ll take the money and just give it away to someone in need.
PB: Why was Pittsburgh chosen for this episode?
I knew this would be our last episode this year, so it felt appropriate to end it where it was started, back in Pittsburgh
PB: How can we watch the episode?