How to Grow Your Heart Three Sizes

Working at a production company in Nashville, I never know what kind of day to expect.

As soon as I walked through the door this morning, the Country Music Association called and needed a piece of sound equipment ASAP.  They were holding a press conference in 45 minutes and needed it like now.  I gathered the gear and headed over where I was welcomed to stay for an announcement regarding their upcoming CMA Country Christmas show, hosted by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

CMA press conference stage.

I snuck a seat in the back row, quickly hoping to see Santa as the holiday music jingle jangled all around and wrapped gifts sparkled on the stage (why is it only October?!).

Not Santa but she’ll do!

Jennifer Nettles  graced the stage, announcing the “A Gift for All,” campaign at this year’s CMA Country Christmas show.  When concert goers fill the Bridgestone Arena on November 3, they are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for a child of any age.  The CMA will be donating all gifts to the Nashville based non-profit, The Bridge Ministry.

Now I’m not very churchy so I typically would have tuned out at the word ministry.  But this organization not only holds a weekly outreach for homeless people and their families under a Nashville bridge, they also collect toys for them during the holiday season.

At 6pm on Christmas night, volunteers take donated toys and gift them to kids under the bridge. Last year, The Bridge Ministry ran out of toys before all of the waiting kids received a gift (much to the devastation of volunteers – I was near tears at the story and I have a prickly Grinch heart).

As a result of the shortage last year, CMA created “A Gift for All.” By taking donations the night of the Christmas show, they hope to grant all homeless kids under the bridge with at least one toy to open this Christmas day.  And it’s a brilliant idea.

So while we’re just on the brink of the most wonderful time of the year, budget to get a toy for a kid in need. No matter where you live. It will make your tiny Grinch-sized heart grow three sizes.

I swear.