Category charity

Uganda Skate Union Support Shirts & CNN

The Uganda Skateboard Union in Kitintale Uganda has whittled itself out a little place in the hearts of us here at Sparrow. If you are able to, please consider buying one of these t-shirts we made to support their beautiful program that embodies solidarity and hope.


One year ago Cassi Amanda Gibson visited their handmade skatepark and emailed us photos. Since then the kids of the skateboard union and Jackson Mubiru, the union’s founder, have consistently inspired us and everyone else who we shared their story with.


To say that skateboarding will put an end to a 20 year long civil conflict would be naive, but the principals exercised by the Uganda Skateboard Union have, and will continue to change lives for the better. In a region where international non-profits and NGO’s providing aid are often viewed with skepticism, or viewed as parental, these youth have created their own social epicenter where their positivity and creativity is infectious.



Their numbers are growing exponentially every day, and with the growing numbers, gear and resources are being run through faster then they can arrive in the region. Sparrow was stoked to team up with Sky High Skateshop, Special Sauce, Supreme, and Boundless NYC in helping provide the Union with over 100 pairs of brand new skate shoes, dozens of new decks, trucks, clothes, books & magazines. The kids were stoked too. Cassi and her sister Nicolette returned to Kampala twice over the course of the year to bring the kids more supplies and to film a short video for The kids are also pretty good at getting their own press, like this photo feature on and most recently this video feature on


With their growing numbers their dreams are growing too…



The kids hope to expand their park and build an adjacent school. In a country where publicly subsidized schooling ends at age 12 and only the most fortunate can further their education, this kids are taking their DIY approach one step further with a plan to build a solar powered learning center as part of the programming offered through the union. This will cost them $13,800 (US Dollars) to build and outfit with books & five computers. The Sparrow Project has made these shirts to support the dreams of the Uganda Skateboard Union, when you purchase one %50 of the proceeds will go directly to the Uganda Skateboard Union. The kids in Kitintale live the very essence of solidarity, we tried to capture a piece of that and put it on a shirt.

Long Beach Swim 4 Humanity Event to Benefit Surfaid International

Much thanks are due to Danny Bobis of Cipher for this contribution, and moreover big thanks are owed to Danny for all the hard work he has put into coordinating this amazing fundraiser in Long Beach.

Worldwide, 10 million children die each year from preventable diseases.

You can help make a difference by participating in Swim 4 Humanity in order to raise money and awareness for SurfAid International’s life-saving programs.

Surf Aid International is a non-profit humanitarian organization, dedicated to the improvement of the health, wellbeing, and self-reliance of people living in isolated communities connected to us through surfing.

Swim 4 Humanity is hosted in six cities on the west and east coasts from March to May 2010 and this year the Long Beach High School Surf Club is playing host to the NY Swim For Humanity event on Sunday May 16th, from 12-5 pm in Long Beach at the LBHS pool.

Prior to the event, participating teams and individuals get sponsored by friends and family for a 30-minute swim at one of the swimming pool venues. Competitive freestyle swims will be held each day and fun team relay races will take place in the afternoon. The ‘getting sponsored’ fundraising is pretty effortless and done through the email program on your personal donation webpage that’s set up for you once you sign up for the event.

Awards and prizes are presented to participants based on their fundraising totals. Top fundraisers, top fundraising teams, relay race winners, and top competitive freestyle swimmers recieve premium prizes. This years top fundraiser will receive a surf trip to Indonesia including round-trip airfare, courtesy of World Surfaris and Joyo’s Camp, the list of prizes & great stuff goes on…


If you want to donate to the LBHS Surf Club Fundraising Team click here



50%50 Solidarity Shirts

For those visiting from Please be sure to check out our new online store here.

It’s exciting news to say that after a lot of saving up money, designing, and signing contracts the Sparrow Project is proud to announce that this Spring 2010 we will be launching a line of benefit shirts, that are sweatshop-free, printed with love in Long Island with soy & water based inks & color discharge elements.  They are full-bleed, seam-to-seam, art prints that benefit the projects we love most.  The Spring 2010 line will benefit Farm Sanctuary, Hope International for Tikar People, The Uganda Skateboard Union, Clean Ocean Action, The Icarus Project, & the Sparrow Media Project.


Each design is a partnership between Sparrow & an artist or activist who works with one of the organizations that will be benefiting from the sales.  We are calling the project 50%50 because even though we offer art direction we want to empower the people involved in the causes to have their struggle reflected in the art.  This is just a sneak peak at what will be coming.  Tee’s will be available online soon for $25.  They look good & feel good.


Many thanks to Brooke, Alex, Beck & Jason at MerchDirect for bringing this all together.




Street Heart Benefit, an Inspirational Success

On December 3rd, The Sparrow Project joined, Special Sauce and the Guardian Brian Foundation in presenting “Street heART,” a unique benefit art auction aimed at raising awareness & much needed funds for individuals with severe brain injuries, brain cancer, and prolonged brain trauma. What started as an idea shared by Vanessa Diaz of RAW creative agency and Maria Ruggiere soon became an event that would encompass all walks of life and give hope to so many. For many artists & attendees at the Street heART opening it was a night of firsts. For some in attendance it was their first brush with activism, for some of the contributing artists it was an inspiration to be able to help people, for others it was the definition of solidarity in action.

The debate and debacle over heath care in this country has become a familiar topic for all of us. Outside of the media spectacle and whirlwind of pundits the issue of health care is an all too real and at times fucked up reality. Sadly, the medical expenses related to prolonged brain traumas are often not completely covered by those victims with the best private medical insurance… now imagine what it is like for the partially insured, or worse yet, the uninsured…

“Outside of the heated national debate engendered around health care, too often victims of serious brain injuries, even those who have insurance, cannot receive the proper benefits to help them meet the special needs they have, making it even harder to maintain a semblance of what most of us take for granted as a ‘normal life.’ This is why the work that The Guardian Brain does is so essential,” says Vanessa Diaz director of events production for Special Sauce. “Special Sauce is proud to be bringing together 22 artists spanning from Los Angeles to the Netherlands to support individuals who suffer from the lasting disruption of brain trauma and cancer.”

“Recently I learned that the Guardian Brain Foundation gifted a wheelchair accessible van to a local family whose 7 year old son suffers from limited motor functions as a result of a brain hemmorage,” says Street HEART contributing artist Brendan Munday of Huntington, Long Island, “I am grateful that my art can help benefit another child just like him.”

Solidarity. Standing together as a community, graffiti writers, urban typographers, stencil artists, illustrators, and graphic designers donated their talents to raise thousands to benefit local individuals who suffer from severe brain trauma, cancer, and prolonged brian injuries.

Street heART’s opening event had a few stars, a few pro skaters, a few professional break-dancers, good music, and it resulted in a decent amount of local press coverage. Sparrow Media sent the press releases and The Long Islander (local weekly, circ 18,000) ran a nice spread on the opening. You can check out our video wrap-up above and you can visit our exhibit page for a gallery of high-res images of the opening.

17 of the 25 pieces sold before the show came to a close on December 30th, the remainder of the pieces will remain available for purchase downstairs at special sauce’s flagship store, every dollar raised from the sales will directly benefit the Guardian Brain Foundation’s efforts to directly support Long Island’s brain injured.

For Vanessa Diaz & Maria Ruggiere Street heART started as a small idea & quickly grew into a event that inspired hundreds and raised thousands of dollars, their inspiration was infectious…

To Write Love on Her Arms Founder, Jamie Tworkowski, Speaks About Hope, Non-Profits, & The Power of a Story

Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of a non-profit called To Write Love On Her Arms aimed at helping high risk young people combat depression, self injury, and addiction by meeting them where they are, online.

TWLOHA started as a story and one-off t-shirt with aims of helping to pay for the much needed treatment of a friend. TWLOHA quickly grew into something much larger. Within three years time TWLOHA received over a half million on-line subscribers, directly responded and helped over 100,000 at-risk people from over 100 countries, and has invested over $600,000 into treatment and recovery. The reach of how many people TWLOHA has helped indirectly is impossible to quantify. Amidst this journey TWLOHA has also rallied support from popular musical artists and has received world-wide press attention.


In this video Jamie Tworkowski meets up with Sparrow Media to discuss his group, the ups & downs of starting your own non-profit, and the power of the written, screen printed, and sang words that started it all, “To Write Love On Her Arms.”


Jamie’s story is one that shows us that the smallest initial actions, in this case a story and t-shirt, can affect infinite lasting change on our world. Jamie was recently nominated for an MTV “Good Woodie Award” for philanthropy & activism. Voting is open every day online until November 16th at be sure to cast your vote!



Tworkowski remains humble, despite the enormity of his success and subsequent accolades. As we met up with him at the CMJ music marathon in New York City last week we could not make it to the panelist’s green room without stopping to talk to dozens of admirers. Jamie and all of the TWOLA staff have become life preservers for thousands of sinking and at risk youth, with it has come some sort of philanthropic rock-stardom. Perhaps it is well deserved. The thought of a short story and slogan forever changing and in some cases directly saving the lives thousands of people is inspiring.

To learn more about To Write Love on Her Arms you can visit…



To learn more about starting your own non-profit organization visit…


Skateboard Drive for Ugandan Kids


In February of 2009 activist & photo journalist Cassi Amanda Gibson visited the Kitintale skatepark in Uganda. She brought back a beautiful series of photos of the young locals discovering their own skate styles & forms as well as photos of the gorgeous and complex surrounding Kitintale community. Her photos inspired two of her friends, community activists Andy Stepanian & Dan Tudor to do something to support the kid’s creativity & expression in Kitintale. On June 6th, 2009 Cassi will be returning to Uganda & the Kitintale park & our aim is to take (2) 100lb crates filled with donated gear (new or lightly used) to the kids in Kitintale, if you or your shop can help, please do. Specifically, we are looking for decks, trucks, wheels, bearings, and shoes, however any additional gear (pads, caps, clothes) will be warmly accepted. In the weeks leading up to the 6th of June Andy Stepanian & Daniel Tudor will be rounding up donations & visiting local shops soliciting their help. Receipts can be provided upon request to donors for tax purposes. Dan, Andy, & Cassi will be filming this process for an online video magazine segment set to air at the end of this summer, and would love to credit those who donated to their efforts in their film segment. If either you, your brand, or stop would like their logo to appear in the film segment please email the all logos, links & similar info to Andy by July 1st, 2009 ( We all look forward to working with brands, shops, & donors like you on making something great happen for the skaters in Uganda.

For information on the Kitintale park & the skaters in Uganda visit

To view some of the photos from Cassi’s last trip you can visit