Within 36 hours we will be involved in seeing to fruition a benefit concert which is also a celebration of my 40th Ordination Anniversary. It will benefit two summer programs for youth-at-risk.
To do this:
- I had the audacity to ask friends who were musicians and performers to give their time to put together a concert. And THEY DID!
- I asked and a very talented graphic artist gave her wonderful artistic services.
- Another professional with us to help us plan the concert in a way that would make it orderly, simple and fun.
- A couple I have known for less than 2 years and are not able to attend the concert gave an anonymous gift of several hundred dollars to support the youth programs telling me it was their Christmas gift to one another.
- A friend is driving 160 miles round trip to be our emcee – and he has to leave right after the concert for an evening commitment back in Buffalo.
- Another lay church professional is giving up his entire day off to help us with the concert – telling us “I can donate my time!”
- An elderly widow gave me $5 “for the children” out of the $50 monthly comfort allowance she receives in the senior facility.
- A number of people whom I know well enough to know how tight are their financial circumstances have sent contributions, and several have thanked me for giving them the chance to be part of this.
- A clergy colleague who has never spoken to me (more than hello) in 10 years sent a generous check and a lovely note.
- A member of one church which offers the youth program told us she would take care of the reception – wqe had enough to worry about.
- A colleague paid for the postage on a large mailing of letters soliciting sponsorships.
- Others are volunteering to do things for the concert.
- Some have moved personal or family functions to be able to attend.
- A number have called or written to apologize for not being able to be in attendance
- And almost 100 people and groups have signed up to be concert sponsors.
It is almost certain they we will raise in excess of $4,000 to be divided between the two programs (Nancy and I are paying the costs of the concert so ALL the proceeds will help these urban and rural children.)
This started out as a way to do some good for some kids, but it has become a blessing for us – so many people willing to give in so many ways – to share so much love – for children they do not know in hope of changing their lives and their future. It is a reminder of the unbounded generosity and rich blessing of friends and fellow pilgrim in the Way which is ours and too often taken for granted.
I suggested this idea as a way to help others and have found that it has really helped me see the blessing all around me.