All about the outreach programs and activities of Hope for Healing.Org. Check for the latest updates on how we help sexual or domestic violence survivors, train clergy, work with restorative justice kids and where we'll be setting up sexual or domestic violence displays next. View updates for our Blog Talk Radio program Voices of Hope. Always lots going on here...
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Vintage Trumpet Makes Child's Dream Come True!
You're a 5th grader with a love of music. Boy oh boy do you want to play in the band. At night, you fall asleep dreaming of becoming a musician. Louis Armstrong is your hero. Jazz keeps your toes tapping and your dreams flying. But there's a reality called poverty that you can't escape so you shelf your dream and keep hoping for a miracle.
But miracles happen at Hope for Healing.Org.
A child came forward with a request. She wanted to be in the school band but she knew there was no way her family could afford an instrument. Could we help? We said we'd try.
After an instrument was found her parents decided that being in the band would be too much hassle. It would require hours of practice, private lessons and almost constant fundraising. For a family already struggling it would be too much to ask. Disheartened, the child was made to take back her request for help finding an instrument.
We understood but we were sad for her too. Beatings aren't the only tools abusers use in families wearied by domestic violence. Manipulation and denial of activities (also called isolation behavior) are commonplace. The trumpet, a beautiful vintage model already repaired by the local shop, was put on the shelf.
Another child came to our attention. A stray comment made by a parent indicated a child who potentially wanted to be in the band - on a trumpet. The child was having a tough time. There was a custody battle and the child was possibly going to move to another school. We remembered the trumpet but didn't say anything. We wanted to be sure the instrument would go to a home where it would be treasured and put to use before mentioning it.
On the parent's next visit we casually brought up the subject. That's when we were told about the child's interest in jazz music, about how the child wanted badly to play and wanted to follow in the footsteps of a cousin who competed nationally. From watching his cousin he knew about the long hours of practicing and was willing to work.
Then, the clincher. The parent was willing to do whatever necessary to help the child follow his dreams. We were told whether it was constant fundraising, a second job or both, the parent was willing to do it.
Our executive director went to the cabinet and came back with the horn. She pointed out that it was not new or shiny but was in perfect mechanical condition and with care should be playable for many years.
She also made the suggestion to pick up a bottle of key oil - necessary for many instruments. But, we're not sure she was heard over the excited whoops of joy.
If you were listening the other day and thought you heard thunder, you are probably mistaken. We're pretty sure you heard the sounds of a happy fifth grader who's going to be in the school band.
With your help, that's how we make hope happen at Hope for Healing.Org!