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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Coming together to help the Clare House

MUSIC CONNECTIONS FOUNDATION teams with US Cellular Coliseum to Sponsor Clare House Food Drive at Central Illinois Drive Basketball Game

By Kathryn Henderson– Founder/Director,
Music Connections Foundation

I often dream about what the world would be like if people of all races, colors and religions came together and shifted their day to day focus from how to provide for self to “How can I be a contribution?”   This is a prayer I use daily:  “Lord, show me, today, how I can be a contribution.”   The act of looking for ways to help, however, often gets buried in day to day “must dos” – the logistics of daily living.   Perhaps you’ll consider a raised awareness over the next months to reaching OUT, to others, instead of IN, to ‘self.’   Here’s a secret: it makes a difference for others, but it also makes a difference to the giver.  You’ll receive more than you give.  
In March we learned that a scheduled food drive in conjunction with a Central Illinois Drive basketball might not happen.   We, at Music Connections Foundation (MCF), who serve well over 300 (primarily middle class) families each week with an early childhood music program, took action.  Time was short, and the results of what we could do were unknown, but, in blind faith, we moved to action, thinking that some action was better than no action, after all.  The folks at the US Cellular Coliseum were wonderful, offering discounted tickets to incentivize donations, providing receptacles, and even delivering the food to Clare House on our behalf.   The Drive Basketball team supported us as well. We combined an awareness day for Kindermusik – our program that makes a difference in optimal early childhood development – with an effort to give back.   Our MCF Families brought in non-perishable goods to class for two weeks, or to the “Drive” basketball game that Saturday.  In return for bringing an item, they received a discounted ticket to the game that day;  they visited our promo “booth,” where they could purchase a tee shirt to further our Not for Profit cause of reaching needy families with music education in the early years, or register for free giveaways.   We provided free tickets to some families enrolled in some of our own not-for-profit initiatives – what a wonderful chance to see a first-rate professional basketball team!    Some of our Kindermusik “graduates” sang the National Anthem that day.   One highlight

was when one of our good friends – of both Clare House and Kindermusik – came in the door with wagons and boxes full of sanitary products she had collected in response to information about Clare House’s specific need, for such products.   People of all ages and all religions and all races stepped forward to help others they did not, nor never would, know.  I dream of a world dedicated to reaching out!  I believe in the possibilities, and the innate nature of good in people.  And I believe that, with each of us doing our part – even a small part - the world would be a better place! 

Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.
-Frank Howard Clark

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