From Nashville to Guatemala via Huntsville...with love
By Sheila Jones
Wow, this has been a busy, but great week with the release of Martina McBride’s new album, “Everlasting”. I hope you have had a chance to get it and listen to it!
We have launched a brand new project in honor of “Everlasting”… our project is called “Everlasting Music For Kids”.
And this time we’re headed way out of our comfort zone and way south… to Central America! (They say the best things in life are just outside your comfort zone… right?)
When I asked Martina what she thought about the idea, she said, “I love it!!!”
Our new project will help start the Martina McBride Music Education Program and provide music instruments, a teacher, and care for young girls who live in a shelter in Guatemala at Covenant House/Casa Alianza.
A newspaper reporter asked me a very good question about the project this week in an interview. He asked, “Why do you think these girls need this program? How will it make a difference?”.
I’ve been thinking about that since I was 12 years old. Some of my best memories were of the joy I experienced being a part of my school band and learning to play a music instrument.
But it was much more than just fun for me… it was therapy. I can remember my flute as my first pride and joy. My first passion when I was 12 years old. From the moment I first held it in my hands I instantly felt important and as though I had found my calling.
Growing up, I lived in a home with domestic violence. Being a part of the school band was an incredible positive in my life when I needed it most.
The kids in band were my family. The band director was my mentor. Being a “band kid” was something I could lean on and depend on. It was my Friday night every week (and many Saturdays too).
It was the one place I felt comfortable, safe, and felt as though I belonged… when I was scared and uncomfortable in my home.
The girls that we will be helping in Guatemala are ages 9-15. They have been victims of rape, abandonment, human trafficking, etc.
Although their situation is a little different than what I grew up in… I suspect the hurt is similar.
I remember how healing and inspirational being involved in a music program was for me.
I hope that we can offer them the same.
Someone asked me, “Why help kids in Guatemala?”. My answer… kids are kids aren’t they? No matter where in the world they are. If they are hurting and there is a need not being fulfilled and we have the ability to do something to help… why not?
I was part of a school band from 1983-1989.
And it changed the rest of my life.