NYC couple hosts virtual concerts to fund food pantry

AP
Created: April 07, 2021 06:22 PM

When the coronavirus pandemic started, touring musicians and married couple David Shenton and Erin Shields lost over sixty gigs worldwide.

"So we would go for walks and then we'd start to notice this long line of people that went round two city blocks--and that was the food pantry line," explained Shenton, a composer, pianist and violinist.

In September, they joined the volunteers at the church who distribute more than 1,000 boxes of food to families twice a week. As time passed, they felt the need to do more for others during the pandemic.

"And then I thought, well, we can perform," recalled Shields, a soprano from Illinois who sings with her husband, a British composer, pianist and violinist.

They recently hosted a virtual concert, broadcast from their living room, to help raise thousands of dollars for the food pantry at Mosaic West Queens Church where they volunteer.

"It makes you feel good to know you're giving something without having anything given back," said Shenton.

For Shields, volunteering became especially important last year when New York turned into the epicenter of the pandemic, with the sirens of ambulances rushing patients to hospitals resounding throughout the city.  

"It's just something my mom always said: 'If you're feeling low, volunteer, give back to other people, because it will make you feel better,'" Shields said. "And it's so true."

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"One Good Thing" is a series that highlights individuals whose actions provide glimmers of joy in hard times — stories of people who find a way to make a difference, no matter how small. Read the collection of stories at https://apnews.com/hub/one-good-thing

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