Professional musician Casper Babypants has been singing his way into the hearts of the Wellspring families, supporters and friends since 2011. It all started when he wrote the song “Happy Heart,” having been inspired by Rena Mateja, who, at age eight, chose to go door-to-door and ask her neighbors to donate coins to help support homeless children served by Wellspring Family Services. Rena’s vision and courage gave birth to “Kids Helping Kids”, a youth philanthropy program that, to date, has raised more than $40,000.
Caspar, aka Chris Ballew, a member of the former alternative rock band, The Presidents of the United States of America, recently brought us up to date.
W: How are you keeping current with Wellspring?
C: Kids Helping Kids is my integrated social media focus for shows I’ll be playing in the greater Seattle/Tacoma/Everett/Bellevue area in May and August.
W: How does your song “Happy Heart” still live on and resonate with you?
C: “Happy Heart” has validated a concept lived out by the great folk singer Pete Seeger who looked out on the Hudson River that had been polluted by toxic chemicals and said, “We’ve got to do something about cleaning up this river.” But instead of cleaning up the entire river, he encouraged people who also lived along the river to join him and just clean up their part. This started a chain reaction of doing your part, the part you can see or touch.Rena asked herself, “What can I do?” and that’s what has stayed with me.
W: So, it’s everyone doing his or her part to meet a larger common goal, creating a community of caring and connectedness, right?
C: Yes. I wrote a song called “Hold Fast, Baby Barnacle” about a little barnacle without a mom and dad, clinging to a rock in the middle of a storm. At one point, he feels the encouragement of the other barnacles:
"I feel their love a huggin me
even though they have no arms"
My mission with music is stress reduction for families through a shared aesthetic experience. My attraction to Wellspring is people not only trying to survive as a family, but literally trying to survive some potentially catastrophic obstacles. So, in some ways, my mission with music and Wellspring’s mission are similar.
For that little barnacle to cling to a rock hearing and knowing that he’s loved by others is central to my mission and Wellspring’s.
For music videos, CDs, album cover art and upcoming concerts, visit babypantsmusic.com.