The Queens College Students Helping Honduras chapter held a benefit concert at the Agora Café on March 14 to raise money for Honduran youth education.
Students Helping Honduras is a non-governmental organization, whose goals are to reduce gang violence and poverty in Honduras through youth empowerment and education. The organization raises money for the cause through fundraising and volunteering.
This semester Students Helping Honduras is trying to raise $3,000 to help offset the costs of construction materials, employing workers and taxes to build an educational institution for children in Honduras.
“Our goal is to spread awareness about the conditions in Honduras,” Kevon Manners, a senior nutrition and exercise science major and vice president of Students Helping Honduras, said. “The whole point of the club is to fundraise, but what we really want is for people to know, understand and care about the issues that are going on in Honduras. And why it’s so important to support this cause.”
The Students Helping Honduras benefit concert attempted to achieve its financial goal by selling tickets to a showcase of music and other performances on Monday night.
“We have a lot a friends who sang and we sang,” Meera Desai, a junior majoring in linguistics and president of Students Helping Honduras, said. “We thought it would be really fun to bring together a bunch of groups from our school and use their talents for a good cause.”
The event featured students dancing, a beatbox performance and singing performances. The Queens College acapella group, the iTones, made a special appearance at the event.
Desai not only co-hosted the event along with Manners, but also performed her own emotional song.
“I had written that song right after I had come back from Honduras. And I was like ‘wow, such a humbling experience.’ And I just really wanted to convey that in a nice way to people, or to myself. I was trying to understand and wrap up everything into something. Into feelings you could use to feel passionate about,” Desai said.
Reinard Bukalan, a senior, performed his beatbox vocals and participated in a beatbox battle, which was a popular performance among the audience.
“I really enjoyed the beatbox battle,” Desai said.
Secretary of Student Helping Honduras Susana Gomez, an elementary education and Spanish major, presented a slideshow and video that displayed the club’s trip to Honduras.
“I gathered clips and photos from different people to create a collage, a montage to raise more awareness and share our experience,” Gomez said.
Included in her presentation were the organization’s ambitions to build 1,000 schools in Honduras and the importance of spreading awareness and volunteering.
Danielle D’andre, a sophomore communication science and disorders major, expressed her enjoyment of the benefit concert, its advocacy, and its success.
“I thought it was a lot of fun and it had a good turn out. I thought the performances had a lot of personality to them,” D’andre said. “I think it’s a wonderful program and something I would definitely consider joining.”
In total, the Students Helping Honduras benefit concert raised $160 that will go toward the cause. The organization has two more fundraising events planned for this semester, a Thrift SHHop (selling donated clothes) and bake sale. The club is planning another trip to Honduras this summer to continue their endeavors.