Stars take the New York stage for foster kids benefit concert with magic to do
You probably know someone who's been through foster care or adoption first hand, and – as one of the event's creators James Wesley Jackson said – you "just may not know it."
The 9th annual Voices: Stars for Foster Kids benefit concert took to Town Hall in NYC on Monday, opening with Magic to Do from the musical Pippin. And the night's benefitting organization, You Gotta Believe, certainly knows a thing or two about creating magic.
Nearly 400,000 kids are in foster care in the US today and every year about 22,000 "age out" of the system – often expected to figure things out alone when they turn 18 without anyone to fall back on. You Gotta Believe helps them find forever families.
Broadway, film, and TV stars and foster families took to the stage to share their experiences of foster care and adoption, weaving stories with songs. Before the show, they spilled on why highlighting foster care is so close to their hearts.
"It's great that our community can get together to do something like this... and spread the joy and love," Broadway star Norm Lewis told TAG24.
Whether through volunteering or kindness alone, TV and stage star Donna Murphy urged others to listen up and lend a hand.
"How cool would it be to support young adults who don't have what you might take for granted?" she said.
You Gotta Believe does magic for foster kids in New York and beyond
The concert delivered a mix of touching performances from stage and screen stars like Murphy, Patina Miller, Krysta Rodriguez, Cody Saintgnue, Gracie McGraw, Sharon Catherine Brown, Bellamy Young, Adam Pascal, and The Voice winner Javier Colon.
"I get to sing a song from Hair, which was one of my favorite movies growing up," Pascal revealed to TAG24 before the show. "I'm really excited."
The jam packed 2.5-hour show was the concert's first return in-person since the pandemic. It uplifted and inspired attendees, all marking how much the spirit and work of You Gotta Believe means.
Event co-creator, Broadway guru, and radio host Seth Rudetsky explained that the night serves as an ask for young people and students who aren't in foster care, too.
"A lot of young foster youth don't have any stability, so it would be great if there is a younger person that could say, 'I'll be your friend, even if you change homes or change schools.' You can be a constant for them."
"It's really important to help support those who need help. Who need family," co-creator Wesley chimed in. "We all need family. And that's what this organization is about."
You Gotta Believe provides services and training for teens and prospective parents working to create permanent homes by bridging the gap and lending 24/7 support.
Since its beginning in 2015, Voices: Stars for Foster Kids has raised over $3.3 million for the organization.
Cover photo: Collage: Jenny Anderson / Getty Images for You Gotta Believe & TAG24/Lena Grotticelli