NASHVILLE, TN…. June 28, 2023
New York Times best-selling author and podcast host Annie F. Downs partnered with fellow author and podcaster Carlos Whittaker for the “Here For You Tour” this June, raising over $45,000 for local small businesses along the way. Each night they featured a local small business owner and surprised them with a mini- giving blitz amongst the audience, providing a tangible way for the local community to engage and rally around one of its own on a deeply human level.

Prior to the tour kickoff, both Downs and Whittaker explained on their socials how local businesses could enter to win the chance to have a table in the lobby at each city’s tour stop. As a team they worked through the hundreds of responses to choose one in each city, and a week prior to the show, informed each local small business about also bringing them on stage at the end of the evening, where they were then surprised with the generosity of their local community.

Check out a video summarizing these special moments in the clip below:

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“It has been such a privilege to feature a small business in every city and surprise that business owner with a moment of giving,” Downs’ commented. “Our audience in every city went above and beyond in their generosity to show their support and partner with the small business owner to help them achieve their next dream. What an honor to stand on stage each night, beside the small business owner, and watch their face, their tears, their joy, as the audience gave them thousands of dollars. That is the most fun I’ve had on stage in a long time!”

Whittaker echoed those emotions, saying, “I always wondered what it would feel like to take the concept of a giving blitz that my Instagram community does online, and do it in person. Well, now I know that it feels amazing! Depositing back into every single community that the Here For You Tour stopped in was incredible. It just goes to show that every single one of us has a reflex of rescue inside of us and that has been so sweet!”

The tour was both Downs’ and Whittaker’s first co-headlining tour together, one in which they created a one-of-a-kind event that made twelve stops across the nation. During each show, in addition to gifting the small business owners, Downs and Whittaker shared their unique commentaries on today’s culture. All local businesses that were showcased are linked below for more information:

“Here For You Tour” Small Business Recipients:

Sioux Falls, SD – Juniper Apothecary
Minneapolis (Plymouth), MN – Soul Grain
Grand Rapids (Caledonia), MI – Copper Stones Studio
Indianapolis, IN – Evergrace Designs
Columbus, (Canal Winchester), OH – Deez Cookies
Charlotte, NC – Dunlap Love
Franklin, (Nashville), TN – Curated By Confetti
Chicago (Naperville), IL – Sonder in Sunlight
Florence, KY – Red Sewing
Kansas City (Oak Grove), MO – EtchLife
Dallas (Richardson), TX – Natural Sloth
Austin, TX – Free Leaf Ltd

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