Monday, December 14, 2009

Concert Prep Craziness

So tonight we had our rehearsal for our 3rd annual "Children for Children" concert where the kids and their friends perform a concert for their parents and other friends to raise money to help needy children. I had 25 kids (most of them small boys) here for a practice for the Nativity play for the finale of tomorrow's Concert. I've mostly lost my voice trying to talk over them all to explain the needs of the orphans and the kids in India and Africa and somehow wrangle them into some semblance of a non-wrestling-focused Nativity scene. Why do I get myself into these things??? Hopefully tonight's crazy rehearsal will make tomorrow's concert somewhat more manageable than it would be otherwise. But wow, I'm totally drained. And I've got to get myself psyched up to pull off the concert tomorrow!

If you happen to want to know more about the causes we're supporting this year with our concert, we're trying to:
  • help provide food and care for destitute orphans in Bulgaria (click here to see the organization I work closely with in Bulgaria - all the money goes directly to helping these sweet kids that I've actually met),
  • raise money to send my sister, Charity over to India to work with the children of lepers (click here to learn more about the organization she'll be helping and see the cute kids she'll work with - she leaves in January)
  • help to build wells in villages in Mozambique in conjunction with work that my brother Talmadge and his wife Anita are doing there (click here to learn more about the organization and families they're working with).
We've raised $700 or $800 in the past with this little concert (and that money is always matched 100% by my family's foundation -the Eyrealm Foundation- so we actually get to give double the amount that the kids "earn" through their concert). This year, however, we're anticipating fairly slim contributions as everyone is struggling. Still, every little big helps and the organizations we're helping can make a little money go a long long way (they have very little overhead and work in countries where things are pretty cheap). Plus when every dollar given gets doubled, that really helps!

It's great being able to give to worthy causes, but most of all, I guess I put myself through all this stress every year because there's nothing like the look on my kids' faces as we count up the money they've "earned" through this concert. They get so excited about giving to others who they feel they've come to know a little bit through photos and stories, kids just like them who have so much less than they do, kids whose lives they can actually help to change for the better. There's nothing like seeing their eyes go round and sparkly as we add up the loose change and dollar bills and occasional checks in the donation box and talk about all the warm blankets and good food and good times their "friends" in other countries will be able to have thanks to the money they hold in their hands. Caring and sharing - THIS is what Christmas is all about.

I think my favorite moment ever as a parent was as I was tucking Ashton in bed after the first Children for Children concert we did 3 years ago. We'd just counted all the money and talked about how we had earned enough to not only pay for new windows and blankets in a horribly dilapidated orphanage I'd visited the previous year, but we even had enough to buy the orphans some simple Christmas presents. Ashton gave me a big hug (he's not usually a hugger) and said, "Mommy, this is the best day of my whole life! I can't WAIT for the orphans to get our money!"

If anyone out there in the blog world wants to give to a good cause, the ones above are really good places to put your money. And if you want to donate as part of our group, the Eyrealm Foundation will match the money you donate and your money will be doubled which is always nice.

I'll let you know how tomorrow night goes. Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers said that this thing will come together somehow and that it will be a really good experience for the kids (and maybe even for me too!).

1 comment:

Märta said...

Saren,
We happen to be fellow St. Georgians and might just be able to squeeze in a concert tomorrow! Where and when? We would love to support beautiful families doing amazing things! Thanks for making our home a Great place to live!

Marta

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