Whether we’ve had to fulfill requirements for an honor society, pad a resume, or to try to convince the world that the Greek system is something other than a primal dating industry, most of today’s twenty-somethings have had some experience with volunteer work. The catch is, well, that there’s typically a catch. We pervert altruism into a self-serving mode of academic, professional, and/or social advancement. In short, we’re in it for the commemorative t-shirt.
Thankfully, this generalization doesn’t always hold water. Case and point: Noah Brock. This local musician admits that “there is little to no glamour in [his] life.” He lives modestly with his wife and puggle (a pug/beagle mix) in a rented house behind a fire extinguisher refilling plant. Though Noah disagrees, he’s done something rather noteworthy; he has organized an Art Show and Rummage Sale to raise money for and awareness of Sister Care, a local charity organization benefitting women and children who have fallen victim to domestic abuse. Sadly, the question that comes to mind is: why? What motivated Noah to organize such an event? When I asked him, he responded with a refreshingly candid, “I can’t really say.” To me, this inability or unwillingness to rationalize his charity reveals an unadulterated innocence of intention. He’s not in it for self-flattery or politics; he quite simply wants to use Columbia’s vibrant arts community as a vehicle to fundraise and promote “a great charity that is sometimes overlooked.”
Noah’s fundraiser is to take place this Saturday (6/16) from 10 am to 5 pm at Conundrum Music Hall (626 Meeting St., West Columbia). The event will include: live acoustic music from Alderman Douglas, Hope Clayton Cullum, Marv Ward, and The Dubber; a raffle ($2 per ticket) featuring prizes from local West Columbia businesses Bug Outfitters, Sun Spirit Yoga, and Scratch and Spin Records; beer and soda will be sold by Conundrum (no outside alcohol permitted), and KC Hot Dogs will be vending. Admission for this event is $3, and anyone interested in setting up a table or booth for the rummage sale can do so for $5. All proceeds from the door, table fees, and raffle tickets will go directly to Sister Care.
“There are certain things no one should ignore,” Noah told me. Battered women and children certainly fall into that category. So, too, do those folks like Noah who remind the rest of us to pay attention. So this Saturday, pay attention. Come to Conundrum, support a great local cause, and pay Noah a compliment he will likely dismiss.
-- Austin Blaze, intern, Jasper Magazine