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3rd Annual Benefit Auction Spotlights Young Talent

Formerly Homeless 13-Year Old Singer Kyla Middleton to Perform

Wayland, March 20, 2008 — In an effort to illustrate the many faces of homelessness, Kyla Middleton, a 13-year-old from Medford who is formerly homeless, will be performing at the 3 rd Annual Give US Your Poor Auction. The event, which includes hors d'oeuvres, a raffle a nd a silent/live auction featuring local "celebrities" and VIPs, will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2008 from 7:00-9:30p.m. at the Sandy Burr Country Club. The proceeds from the event will benefit Give US Your Poor, a national public education and action initiative to end epidemic homelessness.

An extremely talented singer and inspiring speaker, Kyla lived in a shelter with her mother and two brothers during her fourth grade school year without missing a day of school and finishing the year at the top of her class. During that year, she not only faced the uncertainty of her living conditions, but the stigma of being homeless.

Kyla most recently performed at the Give US Your Poor Benefit CD Concert at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester last November performing a duet with renowned Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis. Both Middleton and Frangoulis appear on the benefit CD, Give US Your Poor: 17 New Recordings to Help End Homelessness, along with celebrity and homeless musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Natalie Merchant and Danny Glover among others. Kyla sings a duet of "Boll Weevil" on the CD with popular children's musician Dan Zanes. The CD was made possible with proceeds from last year's Give US Your Poor Auction also held in Wayland.

The CD went on to get national media coverage on ABC World News, People Magazine and The Wall Street Journal as well as local television and print media. It is available to homeless organizations throughout the U.S. as added leverage for their own fundraising.

Give US Your Poor is currently completing a documentary film on the making of the CD, expanding use of its curriculum in schools, and working to promote bi-partisan legislation that addresses structural solutions to homelessness. This year's auction will help fund the completion of the documentary film for national television and help to bring the Give US Your Poor homelessness curriculum to the Wayland Public Middle School. The goal is to impact audiences on a national and local level with a very special presence right here in the Wayland schools where each event committee member has children attending.

"The annual Wayland auction has been a great source of support—financial and emotional—to our efforts," said Give US Your Poor Director, John McGah. "It's quite remarkable that a community that is not faced day to day with homelessness has been so supportive of the cause. This year there will be a lot of emotional content to the event. It is not just about raising money, but also making an emotional connection to this issue."

Organized by residents Jennifer Bonner, Kristen Fuller, Nancy Funkhouser and Robin Jones, the 3 rd Annual Give US Your Poor Auction is open to all members of the community and beyond and will be emceed by Wayland native Ted Wayman, formerly of CBS and UPN and currently Executive Director of VIP auctioneers that are participating in the live auction include State Representative Jamie Eldridge, Wayland's Lt. Chief of Police Pat Swanick, Fire Chief Robert Loomer, and Wayland Youth Sports Coach Adrian Gomes among others.

The evening's festivities will include hors d'oeuvres donated by local restaurants, raffles, a silent auction, the special live auction and the inspiring performance of Kyla Middleton. The auction items were generously donated by local businesses and individuals and range from personal services and consumer electronics to weekend getaways and exciting vacations.

Tickets can be purchased online for $20 or at the door on the night of the event for $25.

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About Give US Your Poor

Give Us Your Poor is a national public education and action initiative based at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies. It is aimed at ending homelessness by dispelling myths and demonstrating structural causes of homelessness with the general public through a comprehensive approach. The project has the support of a number of national homeless organizations, celebrity actors and musicians, politicians, researchers, and homeless people. Components to the initiative include strategic partnering, a documentary film for national television narrated by actor Danny Glover, music by Bruce Springsteen; classroom curricula; community outreach; a dynamic website; and a companion music CD featuring homeless artists and national recording stars such as Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Natalie Merchant, Pete Seeger, Sonya Kitchell, Sweet Honey in the Rock and many others. For more information about Give US Your Poor, visit

Give US Your Poor is part of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at UMass Boston

Jennifer Bonner
3rd Annual Give US Your Poor Auction

John McGah
Give Us Your Poor


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