dan and i were given tickets to ‘starry night’ christmas concert

for last saturday. the musical performances featured students

studying music at utah state university as well as some

professional musicians from around the state. i loved the

variety and different types of music that were  represented.

there were some jazzy numbers, a blues number, a

banjo-fiddle duet, classical-sounding stuff as well as

contemporary. we thought it would be a fun date + get us

in the christmas spirit, but i didn’t know that it would

have such a huge impact on me. i left feeling like i needed

to be better, and that i wanted to be involved in things

greater than myself.

grinch-heart         GRINCHHD5

now that I’m writing about those feelings, it reminds

me of the grinch’s experience where his small heart was touched

so much that it grew three sizes! and he yells, “max, help me! I’m feeeeling!!”

i definitely felt something that hit me to the core and, like the

grinch, realized “maybe christmas means a little bit more.”

so why did this concert leave such a lasting impression?

the musical talent was amazing, the atmosphere was festive

and refined, but the best part of this concert was their purpose.

i had never heard of this concert before and knew nothing

of their purpose or tradition.

the past three years the proceeds are donated to a charity that

alpha tau omega chooses.||alpha tau omega fraternity hosts the concert||

“every greek organization has a philanthropic focus or specific charity

that they usually donate to if they have the chance.”

-tiernan thorley || production stage manager + ATO member

they look through a long list of charities until they find the one.

this year ‘racing for orphans with down syndrome’ was that one.

and what an amazing one it is.

FuelRED

||RODS: racing for orphans with down syndrome||

the members of RODS participate in races throughout the world

whether its a 5k, marathon, sprint tri-athalon, or full iron man, they

race for the cause of helping these children find a home.

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there are hundreds of children with down syndrome throughout the

world that have been abandoned by their birth families because

of their perceived disability. It is common practice in many cultures

that upon finding out that a newborn child has down syndrome, that child is

immediately placed in an orphanage. this is where the child will stay for

their first 5-6 years of life at which time they will be transferred

to an adult mental institution. it is not uncommon for many of

these children to pass away after being transferred to an

institution because of the extremely difficult circumstances found there.

Ironman

RODS has learned that there are many

families very eager to adopt these children. they believe that

most if not all of these children would have a home if they could

simply help families overcome the financial burden of international adoption.

on average, an international adoption ranges from $30,000 – $40,000.

this burden is simply too much to handle for many families.

but ROD’s helps children and families unite by alleviating

as much of this burden as possible.

 you can

read more about how the charity was founded + donate + learn how to get

involved + see pictures of the beautiful children who are ready

to have a forever family at rodsracing.org

||^^click pictures to get to their website||

like the grinch, that warm feeling inside effected me in ways i

didn’t expect. tears ran down my face as we walked to our car.

my heart broke for those children that were left alone, especially

thinking of my little girl in that situation. I thought, “what if that

was her? what if she hadn’t been born into our family?”

being adopted i know what a wonderful blessing it is to have

opportunities and a family you wouldn’t have had

otherwise.

I came down pretty hard on myself. I was so ashamed

how  narrow minded i had become. how could i complain about

a bad hair day, or  when i’m having a difficult time writing a post?

there are couples praying, hoping so desperately for the child they long

to have be a part of their family, just as my parents did.

I was completely humbled and fortunately so.

so whether i continue living in logan or move away, i would

travel every christmas season to see this wonderful concert!