If I Die Young Presents Let’s Move Cities

Let's Move Cities 2015

What if you died tomorrow? 

No one likes to think about this, but it’s an important question. Life doesn’t last forever and there is no way of telling if your life will continue past today. You can read horoscopes and visit psychics, but they’re unreliable. They can be proven wrong, so you have to consider the possibility. You could die tomorrow, and if that happened, would your life have been worth it?  Would you be missed? And what would happen to the loved ones you left behind? 

Kevin Barnett has thought about that question every day, and that question is what led him to found the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, If I Die Young, whose goal is to “create a transparent community dedicated to raising awareness of addiction, self-harm, suicide, and depression.” Originally a blog on Tumblr, they challenge the social rules about discussing mental illnesses, encouraging those who struggle to put themselves out there. The group constantly raises funds to treat teens and young adults dealing with addiction, guiding them on the path of healing. One of the ways they hope to achieve this goal is through Let’s Move Cities, an upcoming musical event in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

Warped Tour 2015

Warped Tour 2015

Advancing past a simple concert, Let’s Move Cities is bringing together the amazing talents of these artists: Something More, a band from Bel-Air, Maryland, specializing in a blend of pop and punk; In Theory, an alternative-punk quintet whose acoustic sounds originated from Swedesboro and Mullica Hill, New Jersey; Kevin Burke, a soloist from Long Island who works in pop and rock; and the group of four from Scranton, Pennsylvania, whose music mixes the experimental, alternative, and rock genres, Dreamers, Like Us. As well, there will be guest speakers and a fundraising raffle open to everyone, not just those who attend. Those who wish to donate can purchase one entry for $3, two entries for $5, and ten entries for $20. Those entries will make the owners eligible to win prizes such as Wisdom skateboards, clothing from the Koalacore and Love Hard companies, and vinyls from American record label, Pure Noise Records. As awesome as those prizes sound, what’s more incredible is the opportunity to help people who are suffering, giving them a chance to break free and live a better life. 

South By So What 2015

South By So What 2015

If I Die Young started from a friendship—an encounter between founder Kevin Barnett and a young man named Cody. The two met in 2010 during Kevin’s freshman year at community college. Cody suffered from depression, his  only family was a mother with a pill addiction, and he believed he had no friends. He told Kevin he wanted to end it all, but Kevin continued to encourage him and became his friend. He told Cody to take a week and make a list of all the people that would be affected if he were to die that day. Cody was to give him the list at the end of finals, but on the way to his exams, Cody was killed in a motorcycle accident. They found the list in his backpack, with only Kevin’s name written on it. 

In my opinion, Let’s Move Cities is a very important event and If I Die Young is a spectacular organization for all they do. As someone who has personally suffered from depression before, I fully support all of this and I believe you should, too. Everyone only gets one shot at life; there are no do-overs. No one should have to suffer these negative thoughts, feeling worse and worse until they decide to end it early. There is no reason for society to pressure those who are suffering to remain quiet about their problems. Like If I Die Young is striving to do, everyone should become open about this topic, so we can destroy these dark thoughts, once and for all. 

If I Die Young

If I Die Young

I know Cody would have thrived in a community with fellow teens and young adults that were willing to check in with him, support him, [and] love him. Let’s Move Cities is much more than just a concert. In addition to performances by a variety of artists, we have messages from guest speakers and a fundraising raffle. We all experience ups and downs in life, but this an evening full of hope, where we can gather as a community to support one another. Teen Challenge Philadelphia will be at the event as well, which is a fantastic rehabilitation facility that we are very excited to work alongside,” Barnett said

Let’s Move Cities will be held on December 13, at the Foxhole Lounge in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. The show starts at 6 pm, there is free parking at the venue’s lot, and tickets are $12 in advance ($15 at the door). If you live in that area and you’re reading this, I deeply encourage you to attend and take part in this amazing experience, supporting this righteous cause. Even if you don’t, you should still give support, either by participating in the raffle or donating to If I Die Young on ifidieyoung.org. There is always a chance today might be your last day, but then again, it might not be. It could be someone else’s last day, perhaps a loved one or someone you’ve never met. Don’t let it be by their own hands.

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