Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm Recording a Record on PledgeMusic To Benefit O.U.R.

Well, the day has come that I can finally tell you about something that my head, my heart, and my voice have been quietly and anxiously engaged in for a long time now. Nearly a year ago I got a call from a company I worked with on “Change of Plans” called Foundation Entertainment. They informed me that they wanted to give me a gift of $20,000 to give to a charity of my choice! Wow, such an awesome thing right? I got to work trying to select a charity. Little did I know, this was one of the most overwhelming and difficult choices to make. I've worked with so many incredible charities since my time on idol, and there just doesn't seem to be one more important or needful than another. I felt quite heavy sifting through causes and wondering where this small, yet big donation would best be put to use. The world is full of need, heartbreaking unfulfilled need. I felt quite heavy sifting through causes and wondering where this small yet big donation would best be put to use. I sought for action, transparency of use of money and a direct use to the cause. I have an extremely tender heart for the struggle of mental illness, so that is where I was focusing my research. While I felt very strongly for the cause I had some trepidation for reasons I couldn't put my finger on. It was impressed upon me that there was a specific organization that I was suppose to find. I stewed about it everyday and turned to prayer for direction to find this specific charity. One day, I was scrolling through my IG feed where I came across a picture of Stephanie Nielson 's (Nie Nie Dialogue’shusband  on the floor with his hands behind his back in what looked like an intense situation. I read the caption and felt prompted to read her blog post which lead me to O.U.R., Operation Underground Railroad. Her husband Christian had just been apart of a jump team on a rescue mission with OUR to rescue and place in safety, nearly 30 children from sexual slavery in the Dominican Republic. Soon I was on the phone with the founder, Tim Ballard. He told me about his extraordinary and proactive efforts to go in and rescue children from the bonds and terror of sexual slavery. And then take them to safe havens of recovery. It's an ambitious + complex effort, one that seems almost impossible. But OUR is all about action and makes it possible. Sexual slavery is happening everyday, all day these CHILDREN are raped repeatedly. It is extremely tough to fathom or think about, and yet I have educated myself on the realities of the ugly evil truths and facts of the matter, and it's moved me to action. 

After 6 months of searching, this was where the money and awareness and conversation was supposed to go, of that I felt sure. But I wanted to do more than just transfer the money. I felt like there was something of myself I could give. Music seemed to be a good gift. I also wanted to expand the $20,000. 

So here's where you and I come in. I started a PledgeMusic page today, where you can donate to this cause, it can be a little or a lot, and in return you will receive from me, a special collaboration record, each song written and recorded with a generous and talented artist such as Deana Carter, Mindy Gledhill, David Archuleta, Leigh Nash, Lucy Schwartz, John Hanson, Chris Seefried, Daniel Tashian, Carly Smithson, and Jack Matranga.

Many people have asked me if I'd ever do a lullaby record… Welp I've been working around the clock on this with these incredible friends and fellow artists and I can't wait to share it with you. It is a record i’m calling “Lullabies and Happy Songs”… And I'm not talkin cheese ball kids music, but some pretty and magical tunes of joy and comfort that I feel anyone could enjoy. 

If we can pull together, I’d love to raise $20,000 more dollars that Foundation Entertainment will match, which could mean a donation of $40,000 that would fund almost 2 rescue missions!!! It would be a dream come true. Please please join me on PledgeMusic, become educated with this incredible cause, and I hope it moves you like it does me.