You're Only Punk Once,

So You'd Better Do It Right

By Daphne Minks Daly

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, to put it mildly. The global pandemic and resulting circumstances put many people in difficult situations. In the short term, it's easy to look back at what has become known as the 'Year of the Dumpster Fire" and find only negative. But, amidst the virus's chaos, the human spirit's resolve has somehow managed to prevail. From the medical professionals on the front lines to the volunteers packing bags of groceries for food lines, 2020 was the year of helping others.

As the world began to feel the crunch of COVID and social discord, musician Jared Frenzel felt his punk rock roots urging him to spring into action. The punk rock community has a long history of taking a hands-on, unapologetic approach to social issues. Punks aren't known for being shy or keeping their feelings to themselves, and anyone who knows anything about authentic punk culture can attest to this hardcore community's heart for philanthropy. Since the movement's inception, punks have never been known to shy away from hard work in the name of charity. 

Photo Courtesy of Montecruz Foto

It's out of this die-hard love for helping people that Punks Giving, Inc. was born. Founder Jared Frenzel states, "Early in 2020, before the pandemic shut down live music venues, the band that I fronted had played a benefit show to help with homelessness in the local area, and I found myself on the mic excited, advocating for this small organization, matching donations and donating the merch sales to this organization." 

He continues by saying, "Who would have thought that would have been my last live show? It had such an impact on me that I wanted to do something with my burning desire to do good and help other people. And so in true DIY Punk Rock fashion, I went to work setting up everything myself, doing all the paperwork and filings to be a legit and trusted nonprofit charitable organization to assist those in need."

Punks Giving aims to help anyone in need, and the charity's mission is to 'identify and unite positive resources in the punk and hardcore community for populations in need.' This all-volunteer organization donates and provides much-needed resources to everyone, from companies to individuals and families. "My personal goal for the future of Punks Giving is simply to see the people we're able to help grow themselves and help others," says Jared. He explains his vision for Punks Giving, Inc as one "where everyone is striving for a better future." 

On December 1st, 2020, the IRS registered 501 (c)(3) was given its tax-exempt status and plans to put donations into immediate action in 2021. Jared humbly states, "It sounds cliche, but we took this challenge on simply to help people. We see the potential in all people, no matter their race, color, sex, religion, creed, or station in life, and know that a way to make a positive impact is to start with ourselves and our families and work outward to our communities, states, nation, and the world. But it all starts with us, all of us, personally."

Photo Courtesy of Christa_explores

Jared and his fellow volunteers take the Punks Giving core values of compassion, community, optimism and respect very seriously. "Our vision is to assist in developing a community where everyone is striving for a better future. The role in which Punks Giving plays in this vision, in the years to come, is to provide unity and fundraising through music, events, and art as well provide a powerful and positive resource for people to reach out to for assistance as well as personal and professional growth," he explains.

Whether you appreciate the Ramones and Sex Pistols or not, Jared's vision is one we can all get behind. To help this new charity make an impact, visit their website at www.PunksGiving.org, where you can make tax-exempt donations, get cool merch, and volunteer to help.

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