Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Can a cello save your life?

As a child, Eddie Adams, now 20,  was the target of family jokes for getting good grades and "acting white." While growing up, he moved around northern Virginia with his mother and five siblings seven times, including a homeless shelter in Alexandria. Now estranged from his family, he's a student at George Mason University, where his only home is his dorm room. He didn't have money to buy books this semester, so classmates loaned him theirs. He's a self-taught cellist, playing principle cello in the university orchestra, but he can't afford to buy or even rent a cello. He has to borrow one. But everything changed this month.

                                                                                                   Jahl Chikwendia (Washington Post)
After the Washington Post wrote about his tormented childhood and how the cello became his lifeline, people started helping. Someone started a GoFundMe page for him, and so far it has collected $141,000. "I don't want to believe it happened," says Adams, "because it's too much for me to even think about." Two strangers are buying him cellos, one valued at $20,000 and the other custom made for him and worth $30,000. A couple in Delaware bought him a $700 custom-fitted tuxedo to wear during performances. Gift cards and checks so far have totaled about $5,000. What will Adams do with the money? First, he went to the dentist for the first time since childhood. Second, he paid off $15,000 in student loans. He's also glad that now he can rent an off-campus apartment with friends next semester, so he'll have an address he can list on job applications.

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