By Tia Lynn Lecorchick, Managing Editor
MaCayla Cook, a local teenaged musician, put on benefit concert for Show Hope, a non-profit adoption organization caring for orphans in over 50 counties, at Perk Avenue Café in Madison on Friday, January 9.
The concert raised $900 for Show Hope. Show Hope was founded by a contemporary Christian artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, and is based out of Tennessee. Show Hope provides aid to orphanages around the world, particularly in China.
“I do not know how many people came Friday night, but it was a packed house and we raised $900 and gave 100 percent of the donations to Show Hope,” said Cook.
“There are most likely still some donations that will be sent directly to Show Hope for some people that heard about the concert but couldn’t make it and told me or my parents that they still wanted to donate.”
Cook, as an official advocate for Show Hope, will also provide attendants with pamphlet sharing information on how to go about sponsoring an orphan. This year’s concert was even a bigger success than last year’s concert.
Last year, Cook raised $500 for Show Hope at the concert itself, and then people continued to donate afterwards, totaling $900 in donations for the cause.
This year she raised $900 at the concert alone, with more donations to be trickling in afterwards. Show Hope’s cause is one near and dear to MaCayla Cook’s heart, as her own younger siblings, Hannah and Chloe, are adopted from China. It also is an expression of devotion to Cook’s deeply held religious faith.
“Show Hope is so important to me because it helps the lowest of the low: children and babies with no parents that have no hope for the future. Sometimes there is no hope that they will even live without the medical care that Show Hope provides,” explained Cook.
“It is also very important to me because it is one of the things that God directly tells to do in the Bible; James 1:27 says ‘Pure and lasting worship in the eyes of God means that we must care for orphans…’ Cook was joined by fellow musicians Caleb Williams on guitar, Logan Nation on drums, and Fulton Pritchett on trumpet. Members from the Buckhead Bluegrass Band also played with Cook, including Steve Back on guitar, Woody Woodward on mandolin, and Jim Winkler on bass.
“In all, the concert was about two-and-a-half hours, and we played 27 songs…It was a nice variety of pop, soul, Americana, country, ballads, and bluegrass, which I was able to do thanks to all the people that played with me. I also had a sizable group from the Movement Club (which is the club I started at the high school last year that raises money and awareness for Show Hope and does orphan-related service projects throughout the year) come out and help me,” said Cook.
The concert also included other artful expressions other than music to raise awareness about the plight of orphans throughout the world.
According to Cook, Jackson Mitchell and Kylie Anderson read a dramatic reading about how it would feel to be an orphan, and Mandolin Moody and Lydia Adkins read statistics about orphans and Show Hope while Sherine Kullmann, Lacey Campbell, Giselle Acosta, Jordan Guy, Taylor Guy, and Caleb Knight held corresponding posters up with the statistics.
“So I had a ton of people that contributed to the concert, and I couldn’t thank them enough because it wouldn’t have been so successful and big without them. The most important songs to me were Love Takes You In, which was written by Steven Curtis Chapman, the founder of Show Hope, inspired by his adopted daughters, and Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone, which is what we ended the night with,” said Cook.
According to Cook, Show Hope is a nonprofit organization, which means 100 percent of what you donate will either go to paying for costs of medical care for orphans in Maria’s Big House of Hope need, or it will go to families who feel called to adopt but can’t afford it. “I feel so lucky to have a community that is so willing to support not only me and the music I do, but that also supports Show Hope, which is definitely a worthy cause. I want to thank everyone that came out and supported so much!” said Cook.