Planetshakers will be performing at the last U-Church of the semester Nov. 18. But this won’t be a normal U-Church.
Lee has made the decision to turn the U-Church into the Josh Owens Benefit Concert in order to raise funds to help Owens’ family pay some of the bills that his time in the hospital has caused.
Walt Mauldin, the vice president of Administration, said that the idea originally came from student Lorien George.
George, who has been working with Lee to make this become a reality, explained the nature of the benefit concert. Though the concert will still be free and open to the public, they will take a break during the concert to talk about Owens’ need and his situation and to raise an offering.
Josh York, director of Facilities of Management, contacted Planetshakers’ management to see if it would be possible to make their concert a benefit for Owens. According to Mauldin, they said they loved the idea and Lee has worked on planning since. Mauldin said,
We hope student groups will rally together and raise money for Josh Owens and his family. The Scriptures tell us when one member of the body suffers, we all suffer. That is why we are doing this together.
The benefit concert will happen exactly 13 weeks after Owens’ accident on August 19. He and two other Lee students were traveling back to campus from a Christian conference in Kansas City, Mo. when their car hydroplaned and crashed.
Owens, a transfer freshman at Lee, has since been hospitalized at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga.
His progress has been slow. Though Owens has made strides in recovery, he’s suffered from multiple relapses and dealt with several infections. Owens is still not fully communicative, but is making improvements in that direction, George said.
“His injured lungs have strengthened to where he is currently breathing on his own now. Internal bleeding is under control. He’s finally started coming out of his coma, and has begun some therapy …” George said. “He is conscious, but not always fully. He’s starting to react again and recognize/respond to certain things. People wanting to give to help Owens, though, don’t necessarily have to go to the concert.
“People can also mail in checks or even donate online with a debit/credit card. And it can be tax deductible,” George said.
Owens’ family could not be reached for comment.