Renowned singer/songwriter Tim Easton recently approached director/photographer Stacie Huckeba with the idea of a video and single to shine a spotlight on a local charity. Huckeba immediately suggested the Southern Alliance for People and Animal Welfare (SAFPAW).

“A little over a year ago, I met Laurie Green with SAFPAW,” Huckeba says. “Laurie is the only employee, and she draws zero salary. SAFPAW focuses on homeless people and their pets that are outside the system — the ones overlooked by the Salvation Army and organizations with lots of volunteers and funding.”

While many think of homelessness as strictly an urban problem, in recent years, “rural homelessness” has increased dramatically. Small, ad hoc tent cities are located in many rural and suburban areas, and the people living in these settlements often have little or no access to the social support systems found in urban areas.

Seeking to learn more, Huckeba spent two weeks with Green driving to remote areas and hiking to homeless camps. Each day they brought propane tanks, tents, sleeping bags, food and other necessities to people in need. Green also assists and educates individuals about available social services through established programs — such as benefits for homeless veterans, job programs for homeless individuals and safe transitional housing for homeless women and their children. SAFPAW also lives up to its acronym by providing care for the pets of homeless individuals.

“Laurie spends one day each week driving around to remotes areas and gathering up cats and dogs,” Huckeba says. “She takes them to the vet to get spayed or neutered and receive their vaccinations. She then delivers them back to their owners the next day. I’ve seen her work all day until past sundown and never stop. Laurie really is the most kick-ass person I’ve ever met.”

To focus attention on SAFPAW, Easton and Huckeba collaborated with Cafe Rooster Records to create a video and single of Easton and friends covering the little known Bob Dylan song “Rocks and Gravel.” Recorded at Eastside Manor, with Easton on lead vocals and backed by the Cordovas with special guest singers Megan Palmer, Julie Christensen and Aaron Lee Tasjan, the video makes its debut just in time for Thanksgiving.

“Rocks and Gravel” by Tim Easton and friends is available as a “pay what you want” track at Bandcamp with proceeds going to SAFPAW. For more information on the Southern Alliance for People and Animal Welfare visit safpaw.org.

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