On Thursday evening five wide-eyed, nervous students entered the dining hall of Water Street Homeless Shelter. They had come to sing for guests who were coming off the cold Lancaster streets for a warm meal. When our children eyed the crowd of unfamiliar faces we heard them saying, “I wish I hadn’t come. I’m not going to sing!” Executive Director, Diana Vuolo, replied, “You are afraid and nervous but that is because you are focused on yourself. Your job tonight is to focus on others. Give the gift of music to your audience and see if you can make them smile!”
When the time came for their first song we thought two of the girls were not going to join the others. Reluctantly they followed the other children to the mics with their teachers close behind. Starting off with the national anthem they quickly grabbed the attention of their hungry audience waiting in line for food.Several guests softly sang along with the children and smiles were a reflection of their delight. Because of the constant flow of traffic and our allotted time the
children were able to perform each song three times. Each time they became more relaxed and confident. It gave me chills to hear them sing “Roar” by Katy Perry. The words speak about finding strength to overcome difficult situations. It was evident our children found strength to overcome their fear of singing in front of a crowd.
They accomplished their mission to bring smiles to the faces of many who have little to smile about. As we headed out of the dining room, single file, the guests high-fived & fist-bumped the children praising them and thanking them for the performance. Joy filled our children’s hearts. It was a great experience for everyone and we are proud of our students for overcoming their fears and giving back to their community.