“It is fun because it’s dead day, everyone’s studying, you’re exhausted, you have so much to do, but you get to go to this event and settle down and listen to music, and Santa Claus comes, and there’s little Breakup Cookies and there’s coffee,” says Samford junior, Morgan Cochran. She’s talking about the S.A.V.E. benefit concert, held at Samford University on Dec. 9th, at which Cochran will be singing.

S.A.V.E., or Sustaining A Village Everyday, is a nonprofit organization that was started by high school students in an effort to serve others. Morgan Ohlinger, trip coordinator for the Samford chapter of S.A.V.E., says it was created, to “invest in others through fundraising, business management, and mentorships, resulting in self-sufficiency for a village. The vision is to steward our talents to serve others, and it is five-fold: business, ministry, education, health, and housing.”

The focus of the Samford chapter of S.A.V.E. has a medical focus, centered around the village of Boukeron, Haiti. Each year, members of the group go to the Boukeron on a spring break trip, where they serve the village and run a medical clinic, build wells and have the unique opportunity to see their fundraising efforts come to fruition.

One such fundraising effort is the winter concert. S.A.V.E. President Julia-Jordan Lake says, “We have raised around 1,000 dollars at our previous benefit concerts. We are hoping to meet and even exceed the proceeds from previous years.” In an effort to raise more money, the club opted to hold the event on Samford’s campus on the university’s “dead day”, or, the Friday before finals that does not have classes.

Cochran says, “It’s tricky, the time they picked to do it, but I think it’s going to work to their advantage because people are just going to want a break.” Tired, stressed students will get a chance to relax and spend time doing something other than studying.

However, this is not the only way that S.A.V.E. is attempting to draw students in to the concert. Lake says, “We want the whole Samford community to come out because so much of the Samford community is represented in who is singing at the concert. We contacted just about every Greek organization, indies, athletes and tons of other various student orgs.”

This tactic is a smart one, according to Cochran, who believes, “The more artists that you choose from different social groups, the more people that are going to come…so when you look on the list there’ll be a little bit of everybody.”

This benefit concert will feature food, hot drinks, music from students and even a visit from Santa Claus himself. S.A.V.E. is hoping that Samford students and members of the community will come take a break from their normal lives to support a village many miles away. Ohlinger says, “Members of Samford’s community should come to the concert to enjoy Christmas music, tacky sweater contests, hot chocolate, coffee, Church Street cookies, and most importantly to help our friends in Boukeron, Haiti.”

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To see more photos, click here.

To learn more about S.A.V.E., click here.

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