Steven Tyler, who probably doesn’t actually need to be introduced, but is the front man for Aerosmith, has started a new charitable organization inspired by one of the band’s most famous songs. The group is called Janie’s Fund, and is aimed at raising money for and awareness of girls who have been the subject of neglect or abuse. The group is named for the song “Janie’s Got a Gun,” which came out 26 years ago, and is about child abuse and incest. It was kind of a heavy topic for a rock band to cover, especially one as mainstream as Aerosmith, but it has remained a pretty popular song, whether or not people realize what the song is about.
Tyler certainly realizes it though, and according to the group’s website, this is Tyler’s life’s work. That’s a pretty impressive statement to make, considering the career he’s had. Janie’s Fund is a byproduct of Tyler teaming up with Youth Villages foundation, an established non-profit which is focused on helping victims of child abuse. That’s a pretty solid step in itself, because despite his long involvement in charity work, Tyler is a rock star, not a professional child care worker, and by teaming up with people that have experience helping at-risk youth, he can be much more effective.
The group has a Prizeo page, which is kind of like a Kickstarter for non-profits, and it’s already raking in quite few donations. Keeping with the trend of other crowd-sourcing sites and programs, donors get “swag” if they donate enough and are entered into a contest to hang out with Steven Tyler on the red carpet. That’s probably a pretty big draw for a lot of people, and auctions and raffles have long been used to raise money for charitable causes, so it’s a system we know works.