Tuesday, August 30, 2016

By George! George Winston To Return for HEAR US Benefit

August 30, 2016
For information: 
Diane Nilan, 630/267-5424

[Naperville, IL] Homeless babies, toddlers, kids of all ages are counting on fans of George Winston, the popular musician whose piano and guitar music has delighted fans for decades. His benefit concert for the Naperville-based national nonprofit HEAR US Inc. on Oct. 13 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Naperville will support the organization’s newest project, Yay Babies! Yay Kids!

“George is incredibly supportive of programs serving homeless and hungry people,” states Diane Nilan, president and founder of HEAR US, a unique effort giving voice and visibility to millions of homeless children and youth in the U.S. 

Winston has performed 2 other benefit concerts for HEAR US since it started in 2005. Nilan, former shelter director at Hesed House in Aurora, has been living in a small van, traveling the country raising awareness of and inspiring compassion for invisible homeless families and youth.

The Oct. 13 concert will feature a variety of George Winston’s styles including melodic folk piano, New Orleans R&B piano, and stride piano.  He performs songs from his seasonal favorites “Autumn,” “December,” “Winter Into Spring,” and “Summer,” as well as Peanuts pieces from his Vince Guaraldi tribute albums “Linus & Lucy –The Music of Vince Guaraldi,” and Love Will Come-The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol. 2,” and more.

HEAR US relies on generous donations and events like this concert to fund efforts to improve lives of over 3 million homeless children and youth. Their latest project, Yay Babies! Yay Kids!, creates ways to help babies, toddlers and kids in local communities. Nilan’s latest video production is a 2-minute public service announcement film, Yay Babies! It’s designed to be shared on social media and focuses on the segment of the homeless population seldom considered—babies. The video can be found at www.hearus.us.

© Pat Van Doren
Another exciting HEAR US effort is underway—the publishing of “The Charlie Book” outlining 60 ways to help homeless kids—which will have its national release at the concert. This 20-page guide gives practical information and offers ways individuals and groups can help families and youth in homeless situations. With the extensive HEAR US network, this book promises a national impact, both in practical ways and in focusing attention on an often-neglected population. 

The book is named after Charlie, the iconic photograph of Charlie, a small homeless boy holding a cat, an image captured by photojournalist Pat Van Doren, a HEAR US board member. This image, now central to the HEAR US logo,helped Illinois pass the nation's first state law to remove barriers common to homeless students attempting to get their education. Van Doren, Nilan and many other HEAR US board members were part of that campaign that led to passage the federal law, The Education of Homeless Children and Youth Act which protects the educational rights of over 1.3 million students without homes. 

Information about the concert and ticket sales can be found at www.hearus.us.  

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