Crosswinds concerts cross oceans

For the last few months, campus group Crosswinds has featured local rock bands in AIDS charity concerts.

Thousands of miles away, two children in Southern Africa are reaping the benefits.

Proceeds of the monthly concerts, held at the Crosswinds office, located across from the soccer fields on Sycamore Street, go toward feeding, clothing and schooling Memory and Njabuliso, two children growing with AIDS in Swaziland and Zambia.

“Serving is something that is on the hearts and minds of college students,” said Jennifer Smith, who took over as director of Crosswinds in January and started the concerts this summer. “Regardless of your religious affiliation, everyone usually cares about other people.”

The concert series, which fit into the overhaul of Crosswinds, began under Smith’s stewardship. Since then, she has introduced new “One Life” group meetings, where students get together to write letters and send photos to the children.

Despite its affiliation with the United Methodist Church, the bands are secular.

“We are actually steering clear of Christian music. We want secular music, stuff that everyone else listens to,” Smith said. “We want to change the way people see Christians. A lot of times people aren’t known for inviting non-Christians into their world and being


Local bands like Woodale and Zerocreep are advertising their concerts through Myspace profiles.

Tickets are $5 with a USF ID, and all proceeds go to Memory and Njabuliso, who Crosswinds found through World Vision, an international relief and development agency.

“What’s going on in Southern Africa is a pandemic,” Smith said. “This needs to be something that we decide that we’re going to stop.”