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News & Stories: 2009-10

Benefit for Haiti
March 4, 2010

Carrie Bensfield was driving home from Chicago with friends when she realized she wanted to do something for Haiti. "I went to Haiti this summer," explained Bensfield, a first-year student majoring in religion and communication, "and so the earthquake was near to my heart because I had met the people."

A Haitian childBensfield’s fellow passengers felt the same way, and together they came up with the idea for the Haiti Benefit Concert, held 6:30–9 p.m., Friday, March 5, and 2:30–5 p.m., Saturday, March 6, at the Calvin College Chapel. The $3 admission charge for either night of the concert, also sponsored by Calvin’s Social Justice Coalition, will go to Haiti relief via the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC).

Two days—11 acts

"We wanted to leave a deep impression, and we didn’t feel that one day was enough," said concert organizer Becky Kim, a first-year student majoring in social work and religion, of the twin event. The Haiti Benefit Concert will feature five musical acts—Eunji Kim, Samwise the Butcher, Total Depravity, Hannah Gravenstreter and Bernelle—on Friday and six acts—Kyle & David, Fall Out Shelters, The Spree, Phil & Ryan, Jamie and Sam and Ben Grosmeyers—on Saturday. The event also features a silent auction of donated photography and paintings.

Benefit organizers, who also include first-year nursing major Kristin Kujawa, have a special plan for the concert t-shirts: red shirts bearing the slogan "Don’t forget to remember Haiti." They’re calling on concertgoers and others to buy the shirts and wear them for a week, an effort they have dubbed a "clothing fast."

"In Haiti, you may only have one shirt," Kim explained. "It helps to raise awareness," added Bensfield.

More than words

Becky Kim and Carrie BensfieldBoth young women were heartened by reports that Haitian president Rene Preval had called for three days of fasting and prayer in the aftermath of the earthquake. "I wept and wept," Kim said.

The concert organizers have high hopes for the benefit. "We know it’s not just the numbers that are big," said Bensfield. "It’s people acting on Haiti’s behalf."

Kim agreed: "The most important thing is inspiring people to make a change, to not just talk about disasters like these and feel bad about it and then move on with their way of life."

When the Haiti earthquake happened, Bensfield said, she cried continuously, and she began to call God into question, especially after the nation experienced an aftershock. "I’m learning that God can take tragedies like these that are so bad and make something good out of them," she said. "We serve a God who does not waste anything, even tragedies."

~By Myrna Anderson, communications and marketing

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