May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo, Day of Giving: Sending kids to Washington D.C.

On this day of giving, let's send a group of dedicated high school students to Washington D.C.
Grant High School Drum Line
May the 5th, Cinco de Mayo, is a day that will live in infamy, as a group of ill equipped Indians and Mestizos stood their ground, fighting and defeating a well-equipped French Army.  But, this story is not about heroics as much as it is about changing the course of American History.  That battle determined if the French would get into the American Civil War in support of the South.  It is that double outcome that is celebrated.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations found their way back in the 1960s, in recognition of battles fought against America’s rich and powerful.  Unfortunately, by the 1980s, it had become celebration of food and liquor, with few any longer understanding the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo.  That is, until more recent years when communities across the United States have adopted this day as the day of giving.  Suddenly, Cinco de Mayo became relevant again.

The idea behind Cinco de Mayo, The Day of Giving, is for cities to challenge each other to see which can raise more money for their local nonprofit organizations.  Last year, Sacramento raised over $3 million for 394 organizations.  Nationwide, over $100 million was raised.  Now, today, over 500 organizations are involved in Sacramento and with a goal of topping $5 million.

Many individuals who can give will be looking at the materials sent to them by specific nonprofits via mail or email.  Others will learn about them through social media.  And yet, others are still uncertain and want to give where their contributions will make a clear and immediate difference.  There is one such group, which has been working hard to attain their goal of raising $100 thousand, The Grant HighSchool Drum Line.

On the Jimmy Kimmel Show
Launched 4 years ago, the Grant Drum Line is a diverse group of students who discovered their musical talents during their lunch hour.  Led by Mr. James VanBuren, a music teacher at Grant High, they have managed scrounge for equipment and uniforms so they can play in public.  They have played for many nonprofit events and activities, and it was one of these performances that caught the eye of the National Selection Committee.  They were invited to perform at the National Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C., 2015, hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives.  They also get to go to the White House. 

In total, their estimated  costs for transportation, housing, and meals will will be $100 thousand.  As a result, they began a fundraising campaign that has caught the attention of local and national media.  They even appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show.  Today, they remain about $21 thousand shy of achieving their goal.

You can help!  Since it is Cinco de Mayo, The Day of Giving, you can make a difference by instead of buying that extra beer or margarita, Donate to the Grant High School Drum Line.  You will see you contributions at work immediately.

For more information or make a contribution, either go to or

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