New Haven, CT – There are no words to describe the tragedy that has happened in Haiti. All over the internet, newspapers and television there are horrifying images of people being dug out of rubble, homes collapsed, state buildings fallen down and children orphaned laying next to their dead parents. It is as if it were a scene taken from a horror film – but it is not film, it is real.
Everyday reports are being made of the victims 200,000 dead, 1.3 million affected, countless still buried. Hillary R. Clinton told NBC’s “Today” program that 3 million people – about a third of Haiti’s population – had been affected by the quake, and that “there will be tens of thousands of casualties – we don’t have an exact number.”
When looking at a catastrophe of this measure from the television you instantly feel helpless and can’t imagine how in the world you can do anything to help the masses. Text messages and emails fill your inbox asking you to donate $5 here and $10 there and you wonder how is your small contribution helping out? Yet, you know in your heart that you have to do something – but what?
The overwhelming cries for help hit Connecticut just as it did all over all over the world. Luckily a major voice in the state felt the compassion and understood the desire of the masses to want to help out. With all the turmoil going on DJ Buck of Hot 93.7 said, “I knew I had to find a way to get the community involved”. So he initiated a benefit concert in less than 3 days that cost the public only $10 to attend. The roster consisted of a host of Connecticut artists that not only performed for free but paid to attend the event as well as their contribution to the cause.
Some of the artists that hit the stage were Hartford’s own, Oscar Black, Ru Williams, Opium Black and Paper Boyz. Other acts from around CT were Northern League, Mook N Fair, Money Ray, and Phenomenal just to name a few. Industry artist Graph even came out to perform for the cause.
The artist that truly touched the heart of the crowed being a native of Haiti was Obas. Obas stated that, “This has been life changing, the history of our country has changed forever – we are already poor people, pain is our name.” In speaking with Obas he opened up about how this has affected his family, “My mother has not smiled in a week; the way the news is depicting our life is very hard to swallow.” He went on to say, “We saw a picture on the news of Delmar the neighborhood where we are from and it was completely in rumbles.”
After asking Obas, how did he find the strength to get on stage and perform for the benefit he said, “It was bigger than me”. And luckily he did come out because over 400 people showed up to Toad’s Place in New Haven on a Tuesday night to support the cause. In a state where un-signed artists showcases are usually not very successful it was great to see what happens when we all come together and support one another.
The entire Hot 93.7 staff was in attendance. Other organizations that had a presence in the building were Street Connfinement Magazine, NE Video, Kishi Girls and The United Way and Gwop TV. Gwop, President of Gwop TV said, “I went to support because it was the right thing to do.” Vice President of Gwop TV, Breeze stated, “Knowing that no matter where you are tragedy hits and we all have to come together to make each others lives better – it is about us as a planet.”
It was refreshing to see the turnout of the event. DJ Buck reported that we rose over $4500.00 and 100 percent of the proceeds went directly to Haiti relief via The United Way and the Red Cross. The United Way also raised money off of tee-shirt sales that read “Live United”, so it is possible that over $5000.00 was collected. DJ Buck expressed, “It felt good to see so many people come together and how strong the community can be.”
It is wonderful to see a donation of only $10 turn into $4500.00 it makes you feel like you truly were a part of helping the cause. This is what happens when we all come together. With a 6.1 aftershock of the earthquake hitting Haiti again yesterday you really feel responsible to do as much as you can. There are donation boxes everywhere taking collections for the Haiti relief. Diva’s and Balla’s Salon at 2882 Main Street in Hartford has a donation box available and many other churches, and organizations throughout the community are collecting items to contribute. DJ Buck has also stated that he will be planning another benefit concert in Hartford. We have to do what we can it is not only the right thing to do it is our responsibility as a human race to extend our help to others in a time of need.
So be sure to stay tuned for the next concert to help Haiti. Let’s get 4000 people in the building this time. We can show the world that Connecticut may be one of the smallest states but there is no measure on how big we can be when we come together, support one another and take responsibility for our brothers and sisters who need our help.