Flagpole livened by tunes, charity

Walking to Dallas Hall, students may see or hear an abnormal sight this week —students around the flagpole performing music.

The students aren’t preparing for a Meadows final or seeking campus fame; they’re promoting a clothing drive sponsored by Tunes for Texas, a new charity club on campus that puts the musical talents of SMU students to philanthropic work.

Tunes for Texas produces charity through entertainment.

“We tried to envision a way we could combine community service with music and tap in to the musical talents of the student body to give back to the community,” co-founder Vafa Behzadpour said. “That’s when we came up with Tunes For Texas.”

Behzadpour and his co-founder Dylan Erwin met at Mustang Corral last fall. The two first-years bonded over their love of music and started playing together “just for fun.” Wanting to do more with their music, they took their talents to Cook Children’s Hospital.

With help from SMU Community Health Education, the group has been able to expand their charitable activities to include a clothing drive benefiting the Dallas Life Foundation and The Salvation Army.

“When cleaning your dorm or apartment you find many pieces of clothing you may not need anymore,” Erwin said. “By donating their clothes, students are directly helping those in need
around Dallas.”

Dallas Life Foundation is nonprofit foundation that first opened its doors the homeless community in 1954. The Christian group provides guests with basic necessities like meals, shelter and clothing, and additional services like counseling, medical, dental, vision and spiritual care.

The DFW chapter of The Salvation Army has been “doing the most good” for the community for more than a century. Started in Texas in 1889, The Salvation Army aids the homeless, families in crisis, veterans and other under-served populations.

Students can support these organizations with donations through Friday. The clothes will be dropped off first to Dallas Life, then Salvation Army Sunday.

Students are always welcomed to come out and participate with us. We are
always open to having volunteers and no musical talent is required. We just
look for students who want to help,” Erwin said.

After seeing a positive response from the SMU community, Tunes for Texas plans on making the clothing drive an annual event. According to
Behzadpour, a Tunes for Texas philanthropy concert is also in the works.

Students interested in joining Tunes for Texas can contact
Behzadpour and Erwin directly via campus email at
vbehzadpour@smu.edu and derwin@smu.edu. The club is advised by Assistant Director of Health Education Lisa Joyner.

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