The Abilene branch of YoungLives had their first benefit concert at The Well Church last Friday night.
The concert was used to raise money to send the teen moms YoungLives serves to YoungLife camp over the summer, which is something they most likely wouldn’t be able to afford on their own. Funds were raised by asking for $10 from anyone who attended.
YoungLives is a part of the international non-profit YoungLife, but it specifically ministers to teen moms and their babies. The benefit concert was an idea by Holly Gillmor, junior Family Studies major from The Woodlands, and she began planning about a month before the event.
Gillmor, who serves as the coordinator for YoungLives Abilene, has been a leader in the organization for almost three years and said she thinks the concert was a success.
“This was our first benefit concert so we really had no idea what to expect in way of turnout,” Gillmor said. “We raised over $300 to send teen moms and their babies to camp this summer and I think that’s amazing.”
Jake Rosser, junior multimedia major from Abilene, was one of the three student musicians who performed at the concert. He said the organization, while he hadn’t participated in anything for it before, seemed like a good opportunity.
“I have never been involved in YoungLife [or YoungLives] before,” Rosser said. “I heard about it in high school and how it was very welcoming.”
Rosser, who performed several of his own songs and a few upbeat covers, said the concert was a good way to minister to those YoungLives is dedicated to serving.
“I performed because I knew it would be a fun and easy way to help young teenage moms be able to go to camp and hear about the love of Jesus,” Rosser said.
Gillmor served as the main coordinator for the event, but said she was helped by several others involved with YoungLives.
“I had help from my area director, Chuck Rodgers, with tables, flyer making and money for drinks and desserts,” Gillmor said. “I was also able to coordinate with one of the YoungLives mentor moms, Mindi Curnutt, on things like decorations and other small details.”
Gillmor said the concert meant a lot to both her and the young moms it benefitted.
“This event was important not only because it raised money for teen moms to go experience the best week of their lives, a chance to be a teenager again and to hear about Jesus at YoungLife camp, but also because it raised a necessary awareness of this ministry to ACU students,” Gillmor said.
Teen moms are a group in need, but are often forgotten about, and Gillmor wants to change this.
“Teen moms are so marginalized and looked over,” Gillmor said. “Frankly, I don’t think anyone takes time to think about them and how much they actually need support. However, I believe that if we are truly following Christ’s example these are the groups of people we need to be friends with, these are the girls that need love and friendship free from conditions or agendas.”
Gillmor is planning another benefit next fall and hopes to be able to plan one for this coming spring as well.