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Tommy Stinson, bassist from Replacements, notes next step for helping Haiti kids after quake
PHILADELPHIA (AP) ' A year after Tommy Stinson's online auction raised nearly $50,000 for children ravaged by last year's earthquake in Haiti, the Replacements bassist is getting ready to help out again.
"One Man Mutiny," his second solo effort, comes out Aug. 30 on Stinson's own label, Done to Death Music. He plans to donate half of the proceeds to Timkatec, a nonprofit that houses and educates homeless children in the Port-au-Prince area.
"It could be a little, it could be a lot, depending on how the record does," he told The Associated Press from his home in upstate New York, where he recently moved from suburban Philadelphia.
Timkatec was able to enlarge one of its main buildings and increase enrollment by around 200 children after last year's auction, Stinson said. He put some of his guitars and trademark custom-made plaid suits on the auction block last summer, along with concert passes and other items, after visiting Haiti to attend a graduation ceremony for 60 young men from Timkatec who earned trade degrees.
The school, founded in 1994 by a Roman Catholic priest, trains destitute boys to work as plumbers, electricians, tailors, shoemakers and construction workers; its sister school trains teenage girls as cooks, hairdressers, seamstresses and child care workers.
Haiti has been painfully slow to rebound, and its place in the international spotlight has dimmed, since the magnitude-7 quake pulverized the capital on Jan. 12, 2010. Rubble from thousands of collapsed buildings remain where they fell and The International Organization for Migration estimates about 630,000 Haitians are still without homes.
"I'm probably not going to get to do another auction this year because I don't have enough items for it," he said with a laugh. In the meantime, he is encouraging his friends in the music world to help the organization and hopes that the new record will create additional awareness of Timkatec and its mission, as well as more funding.
Stinson, who is also finishing up a new record with fellow Minneapolis natives Soul Asylum and hitting the road with Guns N' Roses in October, hopes to find time in his crammed schedule to return to Haiti in the fall.
"There still might be a small window of opportunity for me to do that in September ... for the start of the new school season," he said, "to see the new building and especially to see the kids. The kids are what it's all about."