Wait! It’s not as bad as it might seem! No, you won’t hear musicians from the Oregon Symphony actually singing (something that, believe me, you never, ever want to hear!). What you hear are dozens of arrangements of Christmas favorites played by a variety of wind and string instruments in places where the holidays perhaps don’t often shine as brightly for those of us who are experiencing good fortune in our lives right now. Like having a roof over our head, or parents who love us and each other.
Today I went down to the Community Transitional School with eight of my OSO colleagues to play carols for the students and staff. CTS serves kids whose mothers are battered and have left home, or children whose parents are themselves homeless. We were met with dozens of happy, shining faces, and they enjoyed every moment of our visit, as did we, ourselves. It was great to bring some joy to these kids who are having a very difficult time of it right now, and hopefully we supplied a rare happy holiday memory for them to look back on in the years to come. This service is coordinated each year by Assistant principal cellist Marilyn De Oliveira and OSO Education and Community Engagement Program Director Monica Hayes. Kudos to them for such remarkable outreach efforts!
CTS is an incredible resource that I did not even know existed until today. In addition to teaching the children the basics of the “Three R’s”, they give the kids two nutritious meals a day, provide new or gently used clothes and shoes, socks and underwear each year. They transport the kids from wherever they are to the school each day. The children even get free dental screenings each year thanks to Tooth Taxi.
This is such a worthy place to support, if you’re inclined to give donations to non-profits this holiday season, please think of CTS when you do. Here is a link to their donation page. If you’d rather purchase some much-needed items for the school, you can take a look at their wish list page.