The Musicians Benevolent Society of Houston (MBS) is a tax-exempt, 501c3 Texas corporation that provides professional musicians with up to $1,000 in temporary financial assistance for medical emergencies.
Since 1990, MBS of Houston has made gifts in the blues, classical, jazz, Latin, rock and Texas music communities in the greater Houston area. Assistance through December 2008 totals $71,400 impacting 190 musicians and their families. Funds are commonly used for mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, medical insurance deductibles, non-covered medical expenses, special health needs and medical equipment rentals, prescription medicines, doctors’ bills, end-of-life care, and funeral expenses.
Referrals are by word of mouth, and all transactions are held in confidence to protect the recipient’s privacy. Gifts are usually one time and non-recurring. To ensure accountability for use of the funds, bank draft checks are made out in the name of a payee or service provider. Cash gifts are prohibited.
Yearly assistance for Houston-area musicians totaled $2,380 in 2008, $2,375 in 2007, $2,250 in 2006, and $4,075 in 2005.
From September ’08 to present, MBS of Houston has served as legal and fiduciary agent for the Galveston Bay Area Musicians Alliance, an all-volunteer, unincorporated, grassroots organization raising funds to help Bay Area musicians replace instruments lost to Hurricane Ike. For updates on current GBAMA activities, please visit www.kemahcitylimits.com.
From September ‘05 to July ‘06, MBS of Houston similarly partnered with the New Orleans and Houston (NOAH) committee, raising $33,000 to purchase new and used instruments for 19 musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina and temporarily living in Houston.
MBS of Houston is an all-volunteer organization governed by 13 directors and Honorary Board Chair, the late Rory Miggins. Support comes from individual, corporate, and special event donations of cash ranging from $10 to $5,000, and in-kind corporate support as high as $5,000. As of 2004, MBS has been listed as a member of the national Entertainment Assistance Cooperative, an informal industry collaborative of organizations providing for musicians’ needs.
Correspondence and tax-deductible gifts to MBS are accepted at:
Musicians Benevolent Society of Houston
PO Box 66253; Houston TX 77266-6253
Questions and referrals for assistance may be directed to Steve Sucher, co-founder and secretary, at 713-221-8288.