Let the music empower you

Jim Gaven set out to make a difference in the world through music after graduating from Seton Hall in 2006. Bringing music to people in some way, shape or form every day was important to him. Now, as the music coordinator at Allies, Inc. he is able to do just that.

Allies is a nonprofit organization that aims to support and empower individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, according to Gaven.

“I believe the music program is vital to our friends’ self-expression,” said Gaven in an email interview. “It is a way for everyone to share their love of music in a friendly, educational, creative, fun environment. There is an outlet available for our friends to freely express themselves without judgment.”

Currently, the program is running on some donated pianos, two acoustic guitars and homemade instruments, which is not enough for the amount of participants. Gaven started a fundraising campaign in which he asks people to donate either money or instruments to the program. The campaign will provide the program with enough instruments and resources that will benefit the individuals in the music program as well as the organization as a whole.

“The music program impacts the individuals it serves by providing them with a well-rounded experience with music,” said Gaven. “Whether it’s learning how to play a specific instrument, listening to music, creatively writing/brainstorming, recording, going on trips to radio stations, recording studios or weekly/monthly music nights, there are activities for someone of every skill level to enjoy.”

Gaven has started to raise awareness for this cause by telling his family and friends, using social media and contacting media sources.

People can donate to this cause with money, instruments or volunteering time with Allies.To donate to this cause, you can also purchase a song that Gaven wrote that was inspired by and for the friends at Allies.

“We’ve lived in a world for too long that focuses on what people with developmental and/or physical disabilities are not able to do, but I am urging people to focus on all they can do,” said Gaven. “We all have our faults, flaws and shortcomings, so to think that people with developmental and/or physical disabilities are any different, we’re only fooling ourselves.”

“I believe we all have the ability to inspire one another- All it takes is a desire to make a difference, the time to make it happen and love,” said Gaven.

For more information about this organization and donating opportunities, check out our website.

Rebecca White can be reached at rebecca. white@student.shu.edu.

Author: Rebecca White

Rebecca White is from Orange County, California and is a senior majoring in Communication. She started out as the Pirate Life Copy Editor her sophomore year, worked her way up to Assistant Pirate Life Editor her junior year, and enters her senior year as Pirate Life Editor. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester and will graduate a semester early in December 2016. During her time at Seton Hall she has interned for CNBC and CupidsPulse.com, an entertainment site where she coordinates the celebrity interviews. She aspires to be a novelist while working in the publishing industry, either as a book editor or magazine editor.

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