The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Students give their ‘heart for your gun’

This past month, English Teacher Lili Kim, and her freshmen and junior students spent their Wednesday lunches brainstorming on ways to help the raise awareness and money about human trafficking. Kim’s past students already held a benefit concert last year called “Not for Sale” that mostly involved seniors. This year, however, Kim hopes to attract a wider range of participants for the upcoming concert on April 30.

After watching the movie, Taken, a film that shows the vulgarity of human trafficking, Kim assigned her students to think of projects that would help those treated unfairly. Last year, Kim showed her seniors Call and Response and many were inspired to put forth their own talents to raise awareness about child exploitation. They decided to organize a benefit concert with free admission that included break dancing, piano performances, and other talents. “Students are motivated to use their own talents versus just writing about [human exploitations],” said Kim. The funds are raised not through admission sales, but rather through audience donations. “[The students] use what they love to do to raise awareness… [it is] an opportunity for people who usually don’t perform to come out and [help a good cause],” said Kim.

Recently, many juniors sold T-shirts, wristbands, and desserts with all funds donated to various foundations. Two groups of Kim’s junior students designed and ordered T-shirts, that sold for for $15 each. Junior Esther Ang’s group sold a total of 58 T-shirts and raised $138, all donated to the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. Publicity of the T-shirts was mainly done through Kim’s classes and word of mouth through students. The ideas and designs behind the shirts were solely student created with support from classmates and peers. “The idea of the price tag on the [white] shirts was thought of by [Junior] Andie [Kuan],” said Ang.

Along with selling T-shirts, Kim’s students also collaborated in selling desserts and wristbands. Juniors Kamron Afshar, Trina Duarte, and Parsa Barhaghi sold chocolate lollipops for a dollar each, raising a total of $65 all of which are donated directly to the Global Fund for Women. Another group of students joined with the Business Club to sell wristbands; black ones for $1 and limited edition colored ones sold for $1.50. The phrase, “My heart for your gun” is embedded on each of the wristbands to remind every buyer that child soldiers are present in other areas of the world and that the money donated will aim to put an end to the unfair treatment. Freshman Eamon Jahani said, “I hope more people become aware that slavery does exist to this day, and we can make an effort to end it once and for all.”

With all the efforts aimed to end human discrimination, the “Not for Sale” benefit concert is widely anticipated event which will involve not just Kim’s students, but the rest of MSJ. Already, 27 groups of performers have signed up for the concert, but more students are welcomed to perform. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly, help out the unprivileged by making use of your talents.

To sign up for the “Not for Sale” Benefit Concert, go to E-6 or visit the Facebook event online. Tryouts are March 19 at C-120 after school.

Written by Elisa Ting
Mar 19, 2010 at 12:29 PM

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