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Let’s put on a show!

College student and singer Elizabeth Stockton Perkins launches Presbyterian Giving Catalog’s summer concert series on June 21

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

Elizabeth Stockton Perkins (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — Not to be bested by the likes of the Hollywood characters immortalized by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney — who met every nonprofit fundraising challenge with the cheery refrain, “Let’s put on a show!” — Elizabeth Stockton Perkins has already staged a few successes of her own.

And all for the benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“My mom was the one who first got me into Presbyterian Disaster Assistance fundraising,” said Perkins, a rising sophomore at New York’s Vassar College. “When my brothers and I were homeschooled in elementary school, she planned lessons and activities that encouraged us to use our skills and love of music to help others.”

After first selling home-sewn crafts and holding bake sales in elementary school — raising nearly $2,300 by baking and selling an impressive grand total of 170 dozen ginger molasses cookies during three different fundraisers — the graceful singer started to perform benefit concerts.

“Our first Presbyterian Disaster Assistance fundraiser was a living room concert of piano and violin music to benefit victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake,” said Perkins. “Mom orchestrated our rehearsals and handled the logistics — we couldn’t have done it without her!”

And now, on Monday, June 21, at 7 p.m. EDT, the lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church of Wooster, Ohio, will once again lift her voice in song, accompanied on the piano by Cameron Edmiston, also a member of First Presbyterian, to benefit another ministry that is close to her heart, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.

“I can think of no more worthy cause than the Presbyterian Giving Catalog,” Perkins said, “and I am delighted to be able to participate in this concert series with my dear friend Cameron.”

Presbyterian Catalog Cover Image.

Now in its seventh year, the increasingly popular Presbyterian Giving Catalog — which is available both in print and online as well as for immediate download in Spanish and Korean — is filled with a wide variety of gifts that provide real and positive impact around the world, including aid for refugees, access to clean water and ways to end hunger.

Designed as a way of thanking its faithful supporters, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog will be holding three unique virtual concerts at 7 p.m. EDT on June 21, July 21 and Aug. 21 to bring together friends of the Giving Catalog, Presbyterians and others to joyfully experience their shared love of music, its deep connection to worship and praise and the feeling of togetherness that is engendered when people come together in song.

Each of the three “Summer of Song” concerts will be available live to Giving Catalog donors and to groups who plan to hold viewing parties. Congregations interested in scheduling a watch party are invited to email their mission specialist for details. Those who contribute to the Giving Catalog in June, July or August will automatically receive the links to view the concerts.

As Perkins looks forward to sharing her musical gifts with the PC(USA) on behalf of the Giving Catalog, she credits not only her mother but also her home church with calling her to a life of service and song.

“My church has shaped me in so many ways,” she said. “Whether asking church members to donate to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or inviting them to one of my performances, I’ve always been met with so much enthusiasm, encouragement and positive reinforcement. Even while I’m away at college, I know that Presbyterian friends of all ages are keeping tabs on me — in a cool, not a creepy, way! — and cheering me on. That really makes me feel empowered to keep going with both my fundraising and singing.”

In fact, the ambitious 19-year-old is already entertaining several future possibilities.

“I have a lot of ideas about the future such as bringing back the cookie fundraiser, planning another concert, doing a year of service after college and maybe even making a career in the nonprofit sector,” said Perkins. “Whatever I do, I’m sure it will involve a PC(USA) community and some sort of social justice work. I strive to be like the 90-year-olds in my church who are still actively advocating for racial and environmental justice! Who knows what the future will hold!”

Now is the time to unite with thousands of others using the Presbyterian Giving Catalog to support the ministries closest to their hearts: feeding the hungry, comforting the brokenhearted and sharing our faith with young and old. Give today by clicking here.

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