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"Just around the corner..." Can YOU help the Bruce Funds Chicago campaign?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

August 5, 2023

EDITOR'S NOTE: Our friend Donna Gray at Bruce Funds has launched several campaigns for upcoming U.S. shows, with more to come, as always. The most imminent campaign, of course, is next week's two-night Chicago run, which is officially and unsurprisingly sold out. Donna has been working with Andrew Harris and Brian Reed, who manage two Chicago YMCA Housing sites for low-income residents. Andrew and Brian reached out to Bruce Funds to try to get Springsteen@Wrigley tickets for as many of their interested residents as possible. (And as you'll read below, there are MANY interested residents.) We asked Andrew, who's also a Springsteen fan himself, to share his story personally with our readers. Please read it, and if you or anyone you know happens to have any Springsteen@Wrigley tickets you can spare to donate (for ANY location inside the ballpark,) please click here to donate your ticket(s) to Bruce Funds ASAP.

Hi everyone. I am Andrew Harris, the housing manager at the Irving Park YMCA here in Chicago. We are a men’s-only residency, as we rent only individual furnished rooms to our tenants. We rent to men of all ages. Our youngest resident is 21 and our oldest is 92. We are one of the last affordable single-room occupancy centers left in Chicago. Our tenants work at jobs you will see at a typical Bruce Springsteen concert, from operating the concession stands to serving as one of the Uber drivers who drop you off at the venue. It'd be safe to say that all of us have come in contact with one of these typical low-wage workers every day that our tenants fulfill. Each of the Y housing centers in Chicago has a case manager like myself on staff who can help these men try to move upward on the social ladder, but as we all know, this is a very long and difficult process.

Recently one of our residents was playing Bruce's album Nebraska (great album) a bit too loudly, and I went up to speak with him about the noise level. We got to talking about "The Boss" and how much of a fan he was. The resident mentioned that Springsteen was coming to Chicago and how he never has seen Bruce in concert, and how much of a dream come true it would be to see him play at Wrigley. That is when I started my search to see if I could find anyone who would donate tickets to our low-income adult residents. I was lucky enough to find Bruce Funds, and I reached out to Donna to see if she could help us secure some tickets to the show. She was immediately on board and was able to secure us a pair of tickets from an amazing fan (Field seats, no less!)

We then held a tickets raffle for all interested tenants in both our location and the Lakeview Y (managed by my colleague Brian Reed.) Participation in this raffle was astronomical! I was surprised to learn that most of the residents have never been to Wrigley Field, let alone seen a concert there. Springsteen songs take a rough and unflattering look at America. It makes perfect sense that Bruce’s songs would strike a chord with our residents, as they can relate more than most about how rough times can get. The resident who won the tickets has been walking around with the biggest smile on his face and is PUMPED for the show.

Hopefully, as more tickets come in, we can hold more raffles for the interested tenants and send many more of our interested residents to see Bruce at Wrigley Field, as his fans graciously donate. All of our residents would either have a very hard time affording or would never be able to afford typical housing in Chicago. These donated tickets go a long way to help give our guys a sense of normalcy. The lucky residents who attend the show will get to "escape" for a bit into the songs of the Boss, performed in person. Thanks again to Donna and Bruce Funds, without which none of this would be possible.

Again, dear readers, if you have any Chicago tix to spare for this campaign, please click here to donate your ticket(s) to Bruce Funds ASAP. Thanks!


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