Rascal Flatts Works To Prevent Teen Suicide [VIDEO]
There are many out there that think of Rascal Flatts as country music's version of a boy band; NSYNC with a steel guitar and fiddle. But the trio of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney are much more than their countless hits, giving back countless hours to charities across the country. The group is very giving of themselves and their time in helping local communities across the country, by raising money to build playgrounds in underprivileged communities, giving the gift of music to children's lives by supporting music education in disadvantaged public schools, and fervently supporting the Make A Wish Foundation and the St. Judes Children's Hospital.
But maybe, the charity closest to their hearts is the Jason Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to, and the prevention of the teen suicide problem in the United States. Rascal Flatts are the celebrity spokespersons for the organization, and take their role very seriously. In additions to creating public service announcements for the group, the trio promotes the B1 Pledge, a nationwide effort to educate teens on how to recognize the signs of another youth struggling with life and possibly contemplating suicide. As part of their role, the group is directly involved in the project's national media and social media campaigns, which includes poster distribution in schools and a social media campaign. Rascal Flatts will also be playing public service announcements prior to shows on the current concert tour.
When asked about Rascal Flatts' music and their involvement with JFI, the group's guitarist, Joe Don Rooney said in an interview with USA Today that he has always wanted the group's music to touch the fans and evoke emotions, while in an interview with the Las Vegas review journal, lead singer LaVox states he is moved by fan's responses to their music. Both band members site the story of a Wisconsin man who had been driving to work, thinking about suicide. He was having drug problems, compiled with the life problems that addiction usually brings about and felt the easiest way out way out was suicide. He was off to act on his thoughts when he heard the song "I'm Moving On" playing on a local radio station and pulled off the road, called the station and relayed his story to them. The song saved his life.
After the band heard the story, they felt they had to do something to help with the epidemic of not only suicide in our country, but in particular teen suicide. As ambassadors for the foundation, the group feels its most important role is to create an awareness of the "silent epidemic", and to help provide tools, resources and services to students, parents, teachers and youth workers to help them identify and assist at-risk teens.