Eight different groups and individuals performed at the UConn Medical Humanitarian Society’s “Sing to Support RCMA,” last night at the recently reopened Beanery Café in the Benton Museum.
All proceeds from the event went to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association. The idea to donate to RCMA came from MHS secretary Celeste Cyriac, a 4th-semester physiology and neurobiology and human rights double major.
“I went on an alternative spring break through Community Outreach to Immokalee, Florida with 53 amazing people and this was one of the places we went to for service. The director we talked to said that they needed a lot of funding to maintain their school,” Cyriac said.
RCMA provides both daycare and school for the children of migrant workers. This not only ensures that the students will receive an education, but also that they won’t be taken into the fields with their parents where they could be exposed to harmful pesticides and other dangerous conditions, Cyriac explained.
Cyriac said that the RCMA director “seemed very excited about the idea” of MHS fundraising for the organization. “It seemed like it would be a very good fit,” said Cyriac.
MHS donates funds from their annual Open Mic Night to a different organization every year. Last year, they donated to Lucy’s Love Bus, an organization that provides alternative therapies for kids with cancer.
“The Medical Humanity Society is a society that focuses itself on awareness and community service,” said Cyriac. “We like to spread awareness about things that are going on locally and internationally, and we fundraise for causes that really need our help.”
The student-musicians played an acoustically-oriented mix of original music and covers.
“It’s a fun event for a great cause,” said 8th-semester political science major Ben Smith, who went on the same alternative spring break as Cyriac.
A number of students who have travelled to Immokalee were in the audience. One such student was 8th-semester history major Nick Adolewski.
“It’s very nice to bring people together through music, especially at a time when a lot of people are busy focusing on their own lives, with finals coming up soon and everyone stressing over personal issues,” said Adolewski. “It’s always important to put things in perspective and remember that there are a lot of things going on in our own country and especially globally that deserve the same amount of attention we give to our own personal problems.”
Eighth-semester sociology and psychology double major Meredith Glick, who was also a leader of the Community Outreach spring break, was grateful for MHS’s choice of charity organization.
“The migrant worker population is highly overlooked, which is a problem considering it’s happening in our own backyard. I think what the Medical Humanitarian Society is doing here tonight is really admirable. RCMA, the school that provides services to the children in the area, is such a worthy cause,” she said. “The teachers there, along with members of the community, provide children with the resources to grow and learn. Without RCMA, many of these students would not have the ability to receive a quality education. There needs to be more awareness about what is happening within the community and any amount of money that is donated is a huge help to RCMA.”