By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, a benefit concert is being held for a family whose unselfish and giving nature inspired members of the First United Methodist Church.
Despite living in impoverished conditions, the family raised more than $600 in a recent Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign the church held, according to church members.
“I’m very proud of them for wanting to do something,” said Toni Kiernan, mom of Jonn Kiernan, 11, and Joseph Walrath, 7, who raised the money.
Kiernan went on to say that though they have to make do without a lot of things, but the family survives. Her boys tell her the family is rich with love and that they have each other, Kiernan said.
“It’s amazing how caring and giving my boys are turning out. It makes me feel like I’m doing a good job,” Kiernan said.
Robert Kiernan, grandfather of the boys, said he taught his two children to take an active interest in the community and help others when they were growing up.
“I’m glad to see that tradition passed down to my children and now my grandchildren,” Robert Kiernan said.
The two boys even emptied their piggy banks to help the cause, according to Robert Mancusi, who is spearheading the concert efforts and also serves as the assistant professor of music at Eastern New Mexico University.
“When asked what had motivated them to raise so muchzz, the kids said it was good to do something for children that had less than them,” Mancusi said.
The family began visiting the church a few months ago and soon became members, said Raychel Randle, friend of the family.
“Those little boys know what it’s like to do without,” Randle said. “It gives us all an idea of what can be done if you truly believe. I’m just so proud of those boys.”
The family lives in a residence with leaky pipes with no gas and no heat, according to church members.
“When I heard all of this, I knew I had to do something. That is how the benefit concert came about,” Mancusi said.
The concert is being held Saturday at the First United Methodist Church.
“It’s for a special family in need. They have very, very little,” Mancusi said.
What: What Would Jesus Do Benefit Concert
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Place: First United Methodist Church
Information: Robert Mancusi at 562-2371 or the church at 356-8597.