Well guys I just got back from an amazing charity event and I decided that I wanted to do a short blog here telling you about all the amazing charity work I do. You know volunteering my time is something that really blesses me. My beginnings came from a grant and a very underpaid teacher, but the love he put into music and teaching is why I am able to be who I am today. I like to think that my charity work is really making a footprint on many people’s lives.
My main charity is teaching children music. When I was about 24 I decided that I wanted all children to have the same opportunities as I did. I wanted to make sure that they were able to really get a feel for music and see if it was something they loved. However, I soon found there were other reasons that kids came to my free music lessons. Many of them were escaping home lifes that weren’t always so pleasant. I began to hear stories of moms and dads fighting, being on drugs, and drinking too much. I began to hear that music class was the greatest escape these children had. I soon found that they came not for their love of music because they knew that I loved them and I cared about them and that I was one of the first people in their lives that ever did. You know it’s sad that we live in a society where children feel like they have to escape from their parents, but we do. I can’t say that everything I teach them is just love, some of them really do love music and they are really good at it too. My little orchestra has played all over Atlanta. When they play for people and they hear the applause you should just see their little faces light up. That is when I know that every bit of my time I put into these children is worth it.
My second charity doesn’t always involve my music however sometimes it does. I’m with a group who gives kangaroo time to drug addicted babies who have been abandoned. Kangaroo time is just allowing a baby to rest on your skin. It helps them so much. Lately I’ve been taking a CD I made of me playing lullabies to play as I hold these children. I tell you there hasn’t been a baby I haven’t held yet that I don’t want to adopt. Many of these little babies are in so much pain because they have to go through withdrawals. Seeing these little precious children hurting just breaks my heart. I sit there and just rock and pray for them. Many times after I’m finished volunteering I have to go home and just cry for these little babies. I pray that they find good homes and that they don’t have any damage, but it is something I feel is necessary. Someone needs to show these little ones that this world is full of love and that they don’t have to go down the paths that they were born into.
Of course my orchestra does a lot of charity work. We hold about six charity concerts a year, however, if there is a tragedy then we will normally hold a concert for that as well. We’ve raised a lot of money to support many different organizations. My favorite charity concert of course is the Christmas concert. We get so many donations for toys at this time and being able to give those toys to children who are less fortunate is so wonderful. I can’t imagine being a child and hearing other kids talk about how awesome their gifts are and know that I wasn’t going to get something awesome too. For us to be able to go into the schools with all these toys and make sure that every child has something is just amazing. I know that years down the road these children will remember these acts of kindness and I hope they feel the need to help out in return.
My least favorite volunteer work is playing the harp at a drug rehabilitation center. Many of the patients there are very kind and they find my playing to help them. However, there are a few who will actually approach me and ask me if I can sneak them in drugs. I cry for those people. I cry because I want them to find help, but if they can’t help themselves I don’t know how to help them. It seems that drug abuse in our country has become more and more of an issue and I just hope that one day we can find a solution to keep our children from getting addicted. It’s a sad state of affairs when you go into a drug rehab and see fifteen year old girls pregnant and on drugs. It breaks my heart to pieces. I wonder if someone like my music teacher could have been in their lives if maybe they would have found a different path. I often wonder if there are words I could say to help them find the right paths. In the end however I play my harp. I praise the ones who have had successes and I tell the ones who are struggling I will pray for them. Other than that I don’t know how else to help these poor souls.
As you can tell I keep a fairly busy life with my charity work. Sometimes it gets to me and I feel like I am going to burn out. However, when I think about the differences that I am making in people’s lives that is what keeps me going. I want to ensure that I am doing something to be a change maker. If we don’t all do something to make a change then I worry about the future. I know that we can’t make everything perfect, but I do know that we can’t do any harm by trying to make it better.