According to Hingham High School seniors Olivia Shea and Holly Sudbey, it takes an average of $1,000 for the organization CURE to fund a surgery for a physically disabled child in an underprivileged country.
That amount is the least the girls hope to raise through their senior project, which will bring together students with a variety of talents to perform in a benefit concert on Sunday, May 13.
“Although both of us have taken part in many other fundraisers, this is the first time we are organizing one for our own cause. We are much more passionate about our fundraiser than we have ever been about one in the past,” Sudbey said in an interview. ““In many of the countries that CURE helps, music is used as a way of expression and healing, and we feel this show can be a reflection of that.”
Not every High School senior is able to perform a project in their fourth quarter, as the opportunity is only open to those who maintain a good grade point average.
Those students that do a project use the time to give back to the community or to explore a future career, Shea said.
Rather than doing something closer to home, the girls decided to focus their effort on the international non-profit, which operates hospitals and programs in 25 countries worldwide.
The money given to CURE provides transportation from mountainous villages to hospitals, as well as medical care.
Children who are helped by CURE have conditions such as clubfoot, bowed legs, cleft lips, untreated burns, and hydrocephalus. According to the organization's website, without treatment these kids will not go to school. Since disabled children are often shunned by village societies, many will die from their conditions.
Sudbey said the foundation spoke to her, especially having dealt with surgeries and hospital experiences throughout her childhood.
“I have always been thankful for the care and doctors I have been able to receive in Boston. As thankful as I am, I have always been aware that most of the world's children are not lucky enough to receive the care that I have, and have always known that I needed to help those children,” she said.
Having been a dancer since she was four years old, Shea said that hosting a benefit concert would be a good way to give back.
“I understand how to run a production and we thought it would be a good combination of our experiences to organize this benefit show in order to put our efforts towards a beneficial cause,” she said.
The hope is that the event not only raises money, but also raises awareness for the cause.
“By organizing this concert, we hope to educate people,” Shea said. “In a small town like Hingham it is easy to forget the world outside of our comfortable lifestyle in New England suburbia. We want to spread the word about CURE and encourage people to donate their time and money toward the cause. Ultimately, it would be ideal for our efforts to inspire others to take initiative and focus on a charity that they feel passionate about.”
Both Sudbey and Shea hope the event also showcases the talent of their peers.
The concert will feature a variety of acts, including a band, a string quartet, a dance number, and others, all of who were gathered through Facebook invites and word of mouth.
Concert-goers should arrive at 7 p.m. at Hingham Middle School on May 13. Tickets are $7 at the door.