Humanitarian Aid Society Hosts Original Works Event

This past Sunday from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Zoom, the Humanitarian Aid Society (HAS) hosted the Original Works event, which featured 16 performers and presentations on non-profits from Drew Paglia ’22 and Anika Bagaria ’20. 

This past Sunday from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Zoom, the Humanitarian Aid Society (HAS) hosted the Original Works event, which featured 16 performers as well as presentations on non-profits from Drew Paglia ’22 and Anika Bagaria ’20.

To begin, Co-Presidents of the HAS, Zack Finacchio ’20 and Rachel Krumholtz ’21, welcomed participants and introduced 5Help and the Akshaya Patra Foundation, the two charities that the concert supported. Throughout the evening, Krumholtz wanted to “raise awareness on issues that people are facing today and to the work that these two charities are doing to help.”

Anoushka Sharma ’23 opened the event with an original song, “Invisible,” followed by a pre-recorded performance by Giao Vu Dinh ’20, who performed a swing version of “Still Into You” by Paramore. Isabelle Monaghan ’20 then sang an original song, and Gabby Medina ’21 followed with her take on “Bleeding Love” by Beyonce. Next, Nick Winkler ’20 performed “Yesterday” by The Beatles with the piano. Evelyn Dugan ’21 and Jacqueline Chen ’21 then presented a duet, with Chen playing the piano and Dugan showcasing an originally choreographed dance. 

Paglia then introduced the nonprofit 5Help, an organization that he and his sister, Heather Paglia, started to support workers on the frontline. 5Help has received over $25,000 in donations, and the two were featured on Fox & Friends in early April. Their mission is to “support efforts to help those in need…while utilizing the power of small donations from a large number of people to benefit small businesses and those in need.” Paglia hopes to use the “Power of Five” to help those in need, which entails donating $5 or more and sharing the fundraiser with five or more people. “Everyone can be a part of the solution,” said Paglia. 

Afterwards, Alistair Lam ’23 performed an original poem titled “Observations.” Samika Hariharan ’20 then sang “Young Wild Girls” by Bruno Mars, followed by Alex Kowal ’20, who rapped an original song titled “Corrente,” which was inspired by Lawrenceville’s Corrente Walk located in front of the Crescent Houses. Lawrenceville’s Suave then showcased an original choreography to the song, “Mi Gente.”

Bagaria then gave a presentation about the Akshaya Patra Foundation, the largest mid-day meal program to alleviate child classroom hunger. Funded by and distributed through charities, the Mid-Day Meals promise to enhance enrollment, improve nutrition levels, and develop academic performance among children. Currently, the organization is working to provide food for those in India during the pandemic and has served over 17 million freshly cooked meals and distributed over 600,000 packed grocery kits to those in need.

Following Bagaria’s presentation, HAS President Lauren Recto ’20 then performed an original song titled “Company,” followed by a performance of “All I Want” by Shreya Kumar ’20 and Nolan Lee ’21. Deven Kinney ’20 also sang “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna, and Emily Li ’18, the founder of this event three years ago, closed the event with a performance of her original song, “When.” 

Following the event, Finacchio reflected, “Taking something that is so fundamental and regular with the HAS and having to transfer that to a brand new medium was definitely difficult, but I think that by working together and by staying very on top of everything and staying very organized, we were able to pull off a successful event.”

“I loved the event. I was just blown away by how talented everyone is and how committed everyone was to this event. I really do think that this was a great way to get everyone involved even though we’re off campus. This just continues to bring hope and uplift people to make a change now,” said Jessica Fernandez ’22. 

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