As the ladies hit the stage tonight I am reminded of how many contestants and winners from AI have served alongside The Salvation Army! In 2005, we were blessed to have Kelly Clarkson as our Red Kettle spokesperson, then a year later Carrie Underwood stepped in and represented the famous Red Kettles for the 2006 year. In 2009, we were honored to have the members of Daughtry ring the bell for change during our Red Kettle season and they had the cool opportunity of launching our new iPhone app, “The Virtual Bell!!”
Here in Nashville during the Healing Haiti 1 Song @ a Time benefit concert, Melinda Doolittle hit the stage for The Salvation Army and the sold out room was alive with excitement as she shared her heart and some incredible tunes…all for a great cause!! In February, during the 2nd Healing Haiti concert, Season 8 contestant, Ricky Braddy crooned and swooned the crowd with his infectious tunes with all proceeds to benefit The Salvation Army.
And most recently, the 2009 American idol winner, Kris Allen teamed up with the United Nations and The Salvation Army where he worked in one of our hospitals located in Port Au Prince, Haiti and helped distribute 4000 high tech laminate cards with unique bar codes. These bar codes are tied to the number of family members, their location in the camp and their needs.
Dreams do come true on American Idol as hopefuls hit the stage each and every week, singing their hearts out while at the same time praying an elimination is not in their immediate future. But along the way, so many realize that the dream of a recording contract and playing to sold out shows is awesome but it’s not the ultimate high or what truly completes and makes the person. They have realized that it’s stepping outside your comfort zone, reaching out to those in need and providing them the resources they need whether it’s disaster services during catastrophes like the recent earthquakes, or if it’s promoting the ringing of the bells which collects change for change. All of it is a blessing and The Salvation Army recognizes all of these incredible artists for “Doing the Most Good” within their communities and the world around them…that’s what truly makes them a star!
*Kris Allen photo courtesy of Salvation Army USA/*Melinda Doolittle photo courtesy of 12th and Porter, Nashville TN