Norman McKinney volunteered in East Africa from 1994-95, and when he returned to the United States, he told Samm Donelson one thing.
“When he came back, we had this conversation. He said, ‘we need to do something,’” Donelson said. “So we started the United Children’s Fund.”
The United Children’s Fund, which has offices in Boulder, Colo. and Vancouver, Canada, brings aid in several different ways to East Africa, especially Uganda. The organization is helping to build secondary schools. It also brings antiviral drugs to those who have contracted the AIDS virus, and UCF also works with doctors and nurses to teach women how to take better care of themselves and to take care of children with AIDS. In addition, the organization teaches women how to become more self sufficient in order to provide for their families.
“We decided some years that we needed to work on both ends,” Donelson said. “First, we needed to keep people alive and we also need to get people educated. We needed to focus on those two things.”
To help their efforts in East Africa, the United Children’s Fund is hosting a concert on Saturday March 13 called “We are the World, a Celebration of Life and Song” at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Broomfield, Colo. A group formed of several Nativity choir members will perform, and Donelson, also a Nativity choir member, will sing a few solo numbers. The Colorado Children’s Chorale Concert Choir is performing for the benefit, led by Associate Director Mary Louise Burke and accompanied by Tad Koriath, principal accompanist for the Chorale and Nativity music director. The event is free to the public, but donations will be accepted.
The is the fifth year that this annual event has been held at Nativity, and it’s one that involves two of Donelson’s passions in life.
“Other than loving to sing, I love the notion of people coming together to do something for people who are in need, people who are less fortunate, and that we are recognizing that we are a global community and that it’s our responsibility to help people,” Donelson said. “That’s what we should be doing as human beings. I think we need to go at that in a proactive way not a reactive way.”
The event begins at 7 p.m. Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church is located at 900 W. Midway Blvd. in Broomfield, Colo. If you would like more information about the concert or about the United Children’s Fund, visit www.unchildren.org.