St. Martin de Porres, Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines, September 2006:
Giving to the Sound of Music
As we approach the one-year mark of fundraising for the St. Martin Children’s Village, the network of supporters is growing ever wider. Thanks to strong word of mouth, friends of friends of St. Martin are now coming forward to pledge unsolicited funds. Coincidentally, live music-which is a huge part of the St. Martin children’s curriculum-is the channel for their largesse.
In October, two benefit concerts are being held by organizers who’ve already come forward to pledge a portion of proceeds to help expand the St. Martin facility. In Brooklyn, N.Y., teenage musicians, are hosting Teens for the Philippines on October 14, to raise money for the cause. Touched by the stories of kids growing up with far less than they are blessed to have, the high-school age musicians, who played a benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina in fall 2005, are happy to be able to use their music to contribute toward a better life for the St. Martin residents. “We are lucky to have all the advantages we do,” says Henry Crawford, 15, Cool and Unusual Punishment bass player and benefit organizer. “It feels good to do something to help kids who’ve had far tougher lives.”
One week later, the St. Martin Children’s Village will receive more support, this time from concerned citizens with close ties to the Philippines. On October 22, in Asbury Park, N.J., Tambayan Productions, promoters of many up and coming Filipino-American bands, is throwing Shore to Rock, the 2nd Annual New Jersey Pinoy Music Festival, partial proceeds from which will also go toward the St. Martin Children’s Village.
Shore to Rock organizer Eddielyn S. Pelaez, who heard about the JDVSF’s work on behalf of the children at St. Martin from a friend, says that the impulse to help those living in hardship back home is second nature to Filipinos in her community: “We all have an open heart and hand for children’s organizations. We understand the hardships of families in the Philippines, especially when it comes to poverty, hunger, and education,” says Eddielyn, who was born in Pampanga, but moved to the States with her family when she was 2. “We all are happy to find new ways to make a difference in the lives of our future.”
If you’d like more information on Shore to Rock, log on to http://www.myspace.com/TambayanProductions.