Music is not the only matter that Simple Plan are engaged in. One of their other main activites is their own charitable foundation called the “Simple Plan Foundation”. Thanks to thousands of letters from their fans and talking to them face-to-face, the members of the band have realized what kind of issues (from depressions and diseases to homophobia) these young people are dealing with every single day and that it’s only Simple Plan’s music that helps them not to give up. A huge help in the establishing of the Foundation has also been Chuck’s father, who (after the band has already reached a certain level of success) asked his son “What exactly do you want the world to remember you by?”
And because the band felt that their fans have helped them to where they are now, Simple Plan decided it’s time they give back to the community. And that is how Simple Plan Foundation started in December 2005.
In the past, Simple Plan have also financially helped many other organisations, but they got burnt a few times when they found out the money went to completely different places than they were intended for. That’s why Simple Plan decided they want to keep a good eye on all the donations their Foundation is giving away – so that every single dollar goes to support good causes.
Simple Plan Foundation has set down three goals of their work:
1. To support organizations working with young people facing difficult, yet typically teenage, problems.
2. To support health and social-service organizations dedicated to helping ill and handicapped children and youth.
3. To encourage and promote the practice of music as a way to help young people find a passion in life, and to support music-therapy programs that help sick young kids.
These goals are mostly based on the what the members of Simple Plan personally consider important. For example both Pierre and Jeff had to deal with cancer in their family, which has changed their lives forever and ever since then they try to do their best to help fight against it. All the members are of course music lovers and they know first-hand that music can help people get over tough times, which is why supporting various music programs as a form of therapy is another one of their main goals.
To ensure that all the money that the Foundation receives, goes to a good cause, all the people involved with the Foundation are volunteers and therefore don’t get paid. The main board of directors consists of the members of Simple Plan: Chuck, David, Sebastien, Pierre and Jeff. Apart from them, the SPF also has its own vice-president – Mr. André Prud’Homme and among other people who help with the Foundation are also Chuck Comeau’s parents: André Comeau and Francois Talbot.
Simple Plan Foundation receives finances from various sources: both from individuals (via online donations or cheques) and organisations and also from their own charitable work.
Ever since 2008, every year Simple Plan are hosting a special benefit event for their Foundation, in which the visitors can usually attend a special silent auction, meet the band and see them perform. Every year the benefit event is different: for example in 2011 it was a collaboration between Simple Plan and the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra, who have put together an unusual and beautiful spectacle. All the proceeds at these events go to SPF. By the end of 2016, Simple Plan Foundation has raised over 2 million dollars in donations.
Another way that Simple Plan Foundation receives finances, are various smaller charitable causes or campaigns it is engaged in or rules that it has established: for example from every sold ticket for a Simple Plan show anywhere in the world, one dollar always goes to SPF. Also, SPF also receives one dollar from every single purchase of the membership in Simple Plan’s official fanclub – SP Crew. Also all the proceeds from the iTunes purchases of the single “Save You” go to SPF. The smaller charitable causes are for example the sales of special t-shirts or a Simple Plan hockey stick – again with all the proceeds going either to SPF or directly to the causes they are meant for.
At the annual benefit events, Simple Plan always announce which organisations with receive donations from SPF in the upcoming year. Here is a short listing of a few of the long-time recipients:
– War Child (organisation supporting children in war-torn countries – thanks to Simple Plan’s help, three new schools have been built in Kongo)
– Red Cross (to support the victims of the earthquake in Japan in 2011, Simple Plan designed their own t-shirt, with all the proceeds from its sale going to the Red Cross)
– MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (Simple Plan have been engaged with this campaign for years – ever since their music video for “Untitled” came out)
– Leucan (organisation that helps people with cancer; Simple Plan have been working with them for years – for example helping them organise a ski-event for cancer survivors in Bromont, Canada)
– Kids Help Phone (a free 24/7 help-line for young people with all kinds of problems – Simple Plan supported it in 2011 by selling a special “I Got My Heart On For You” t- shirt)
This is only a small list of organisation that Simple Plan Foundation is working with. The whole list partially changes every year but mostly it gains more organisations, who share the same vision as the Simple Plan Foundation.
In 2012 Simple Plan have been publicaly honoured for the first time for their charitable efforts with their Foundation, when during the annual Juno Awards they received a prestigeous Allana Waters’ Humanitarian Award, which is awarded every year to an artist, who’s charitable efforts have had a large and positive impact in Canada. Simple Plan are currently the youngest recipients of this award.
In 2013 the band received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for their work with the Simple Plan Foundation and also the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award at the Canadian Radio Music Awards. A year later, in 2014, they were honored with the YMCA Peace Medal, also for their on-going charitable efforts. In 2017, the band was delighted to receive the high honor of the Meritorious Service Cross for their charitable work from the Governor general of Canada himself.
Over the years of its existence, the Simple Plan Foundation has helped hundreds of young people. Their positive reaction that Simple Plan receives, means a lot to them. Leave it to Chuck to explain:
“Honestly, it’s more work than I ever imagined it would be, but it’s hard to put into words how rewarding and life-changing the experience has been. I never thought I could feel so proud of something. When we meet young people we’ve helped, it’s hard not to get choked up and feel good inside.
Obviously, I fully realize that our contribution with the SPF is just a tiny drop in the ocean, but my greatest hope is that maybe the Simple Plan Foundation will inspire other bands and young music fans to get involved and give back. In a world obssessed with celebrity scandals and gossip, that would be a great start, right?”
– Chuck Comeau –