Musician Choclair launches campaign to help needy and mentally ill


Veteran musician/hip hop artist Choclair (born Kareem Blake) will be leading a “A Holiday Winter Drive” to collect donations to help provide assistance to people in need, to provide meals to the hungry, and to support the mentally ill.

The winter drive is fronted by “Made To Move Mountains Outreach”, an organization which was the brainchild of Choclair, one of the pioneers of Canadian hip hop. The outreach program works with other organizations to help with the mentally ill and other organizations that provide shelter to the homeless. The drive was launched on October 16th and will end on November 30th.

This coming Sunday 28th at FreePlay Toronto Nightclub, 300 College St. Toronto, Choclair will head up a list of performers on a show called “It’s a Wrap” – a “thank you event” for donors and those who will be donating on Sunday.

The talented musician wrote candidly on his Facebook page about his motivation for starting Made To Move Mountains Outreach: in a word “depression”. He said that the name of the outreach program was inspired by a song he wrote years ago called Made (Move Mountains).

Here’s the complete text of his Facebook entry:

“I would like to take the time so I may help myself by expressing what I’ve been dealing with.

Some of you may not have known that I have been struggling with depression for a long time now, but through family, friends and sometimes even strangers I was able to get out of the deepest darkest place I was in.

[I had] suicidal thoughts, self-pain and low self-esteem, every once and in a while I slip and get into these dark moods where my brain won’t let me function. It’s really hard to explain to people that may not understand although they try and want to. I get into a space that freezes me. I block the whole world out. I would stay in bed just having my thoughts race and torment me. I would be constantly tired because I didn’t want to go to sleep because of the extremely vivid nightmares I was having. I wasn’t eating and returning to have dark thoughts because I just wanted it all to end.

I used to be very reluctant to say anything about feeling this way because I was afraid that it would make me seem weak; the stigma with dealing with mental health is very real.

Thanks to people like Kathy Edwards and Jimmy Link they encouraged me to speak about it because there are people out there that are dealing with similar situations and it may help them to see that they are not alone.

This past summer I started talking about it and the response has been nothing but love. It really touches my heart when I receive messages from people who were happy to hear me bring it up and they express some of the things they’ve been going through. I am personally not clear out of the woods just yet as some days like this past week for some reason that feeling comes back. I do a lot better with it now-a-days because of the outlets that I have sought out, like talking about it with others, expressing it like I am with this message and addressing it through music.

I would like to thank everyone that has helped with the Made To Move Mountains Outreach and that are helping us help others. It’s really phenomenal how people will selflessly donate their time, effort and money to helping out people in need.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I am feeling a lot better today and look forward to doing my best with Made To Move Mountains Outreach and all the wonderful things that are coming soon.”

“It’s a Wrap: A Holiday Winter Drive” will be hosted by Choclair and Stacee Brizzle with DJ Spence Diamonds. The show will feature performances and appearances by Xander IX; S.a.R.a.; Solitaire; Rochester Juice with DJ Gio; Fitzroy Brown & Jay, and Reelwolf Records The Wolfpack.

Where: FreePlay Toronto Nightclub. When: Sunday November 28th. Time: 3pm to 7pm.

They will be collecting donations to hand out to the homeless.