Children take action


Lettie (piano) and Gelsomina (violin) play “Luna de Xelaju” as part of a benefit concert for storm relief.

After hearing about tropical storm Agatha, Lettie Thomas Hastings, who was adopted from Guatemala, wanted to do something for her home country. So the 8-year-old organized a benefit concert this June to raise money for affected families. The concert was a success, raising more than $200 for storm relief.

Click here to see Lettie and her friend Gelsomina play “Luna de Xelaju,” a popular Guatemalan walz. Lettie, the one playing piano, was born in Zacapa, Guatemala and was adopted when she was eight months old. She has been back twice and met her birth mother and sisters in 2006. (Gelsomina, playing violin, is Korean-American.) Lettie and Gelsomina first played “Luna de Xelaju” at a benefit concert this past fall, which raised money for a nutrition center in Chiquimula, Guatemala.

The girls join a tradition of children giving back to Guatemalan families. In May, Aidan Luebke and Brian DuVal generously gave up their birthday gifts and asked their party guests to collect school supplies and games for the children in Guatemala. Also in June, Rebecca and Rachel Van Slyke held a hotdog and lemonade stand and donated the proceeds to Common Hope.

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