"Hope" is a musical project for Zhou Lin to benefit the Childrens Burns Initiative. All donations made to purchase the CD will provide seed money for the Childrens Burns Initiative to provide compassionate burn care for children in the developing world.
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The story behind the Hope CD...

As Zhou Lin has spent her first summer in Boston undergoing reconstructive surgery at Shriners Hospital to help her walk again after the kerosene explosion that destroyed her legs and hands, we have been embraced with unbelievable tenderness by staff at Shriners, as well as by the diverse Boston community. The Hope CD project was born out of desire to express the joy that has supported Zhou Lin's painful struggle forward, and to represent her desire for hope to rise from the ashes of the fire that burned her.

During late nights in the Shriners hospital playroom as Zhou Lin's treatment progressed, I spent hours talking with Norman and Sri, medical students from tsunami-ravaged Banda Aceh, Indonesia who had come to Boston with their little nephew, who had been burned in a stove explosion. We all felt grateful for the amazing level of compassion and care that we were witnessing at Shriners, but were also sobered by the thought of the thousands of other poor children around the world who are burned each year but have no way of getting access to proper care. Many burn victims remain at home for the rest of their lives, too disfigured and disabled to feel they can ever see the light of day again.

Shriners Burns Hospitals have an amazing record of helping kids overcome both the physical and psychological scars caused by severe burns, and the organization is excited about sharing the lessons they have learned from decades of conducting research and providing state-of-the-art burn care to children in need. Yet to help package and share this expertise in such a way that it can be used by medical personnel in the developing world, funding will be needed to help crystallize this knowledge into a meaningful format and deliver it in such a way as to make a lasting impact.

As the Childrens Burns Initiative came into focus, it became clear that we needed funding. I found my greatest moments of inspiration listening to music, so I started approaching some of the terrific musicians I heard around Boston about contributing original compositions to a benefit CD that could help fund this project to help provide pediatric burn care to needy kids around the world. I even posted an ad on Craigs List to reach out to more musicians in the Boston area, and within a week or two I had received a stack of CDs so amazing that it made choosing songs for this compilation very difficult.

The Hope CD has come together as an inspiring collection of original compositions by a very diverse group of Boston-area musicians who all want to see Zhou Lin's dream of helping other burned children in the developing world come true. The CD is a funky, eclectic mix of alternative, folk, pop, jazz, easy listening, and blues, and each song speaks to the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, reminding us that fire can burn the body but doesn't have to destroy the spirit.

Thanks for the Hope CD go to the wonderful musicians that made the project possible, as well as to designer Jane Chao for the cover art and liner notes, to Norman and Sri from Indonesia, Vijay Kolachalama from India, and Zhou Lin's teacher Xu Lan and our dear friend Dai Ming from China for helping to assemble the actual CDs. (We assembled them all by hand to save on costs.)

If we can sell 500 copies of Hope by Christmas, the Childrens' Burns Initiative will be officially off the ground, and burned children around the world who don't even realize they have hope yet will be closer to receiving the healing they need to get back to a more normal life again.

Thanks to YOU for providing the support we need to make this dream possible. Remember, Hope CDs make great stocking stuffers!

Brecken Chinn Swartz
on behalf of HandReach
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