Hillsboro High School seniors Yousuf Ahmad and Hailey Simon are spearheading a citywide interfaith initiative to benefit the children of Iraq.
The two are coordinating a concert to benefit No More Victims, a nonprofit organization committed to restoring the health and well being to victims of war and advocating for peace, at 6 p.m., Friday, April 18, at Rocketown.
"We actually were looking for a benefit to raise money for," Yousuf said. "What we were looking for was a new charity that isn't professionally staffed and didn't have millions of dollars so our contributions could really make a difference. We just wanted to try something new."
The organization they found after researching on the Internet was No More Victims, which works to obtain medical sponsorships for war-injured Iraqi children and to forge ties between the children, their families and communities in the United States.
"I look at the news a lot," Yousuf said. "I saw a statement by the World Health Organization saying that Iraqi children are more vulnerable than ever, and it's the most dramatic decline in recent history."
Cole Miller of Los Angeles developed the No More Victims project, helping organize and fund the effort to get medical treatment for Iraqi children and their families.
Miller's efforts have inspired more than 30 American communities to develop similar projects under the banner of No More Victims.
While the program unites the efforts of Americans, Yousuf plans for the fundraiser to unite young Nashville.
"This is completely youth-oriented," said Yousuf, who also sits on the Mayor's Youth Council.
Yousuf and Hailey are recruiting young bands and artists to donate their time and work to the inter-faith cause.
Yousuf, a Muslim, and Hailey, a Christian, have been working with their communities of faith to raise awareness and funds for the planned event.
Many community-based organizations such as the Oasis Center, the Mayor's Youth Council, local businesses, and various churches, synagogues and mosques have joined the effort to help raise funds and promote the effort.