A press release had this to say about what and why:
State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex will join Grammy-winning rockers Hootie & the Blowfish in Charleston on Friday, August 15, during the final stop of the band's Homegrown Tour to name the musical group a Palmetto Ambassador for Education.
The band will be the first-ever recipient of the new recognition, created by Rex to recognize groups or individuals who make extraordinary contributions to South Carolina's public schools.
"Hootie & the Blowfish continues to shine a light on the inadequacies and inequities in our public schools through their work in economically disadvantaged communities across the state," Rex said. "I know they join me in recognizing that the time has come to address these challenges with a new system of funding our schools."
In 2003, when the band learned about budget cuts taking place in education, they established an annual concert in their hometown of Charleston as a way to raise awareness about the needs of local schoolchildren. The band asked ticketholders to bring school supplies, and the response was overwhelming. Since then, the band has expanded the initiative to other markets across the country. In total, the band has gathered enough school supplies to fill 40 buses, with a value of more than $250,000.