It is unusual, but I think this is what it feels like to love the world; to place the hope for our future on our children, believing that they can succeed where we have failed. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œMatthew Toddâ€
Â Each year when I ponder what the Christmas Article should contain, I always consider what will make the greatest impact or best benefit the young artists represented and promoted through this site.
With Christmas being a time of giving, I could not think of a greater example of young artists using their talents to help make a difference in the world than the â€œINTERNATIONAL CHRISTMAS CHILDâ€ project.
This CD project spearheaded by a band of brothers from Scotland is a great example of adults helping â€œChildren helping Childrenâ€. I asked Matthew and Nathan Todd to share a little about this project with Rivenmasterâ€™s Place and provide insight about each participating young artists.
Â Matthew shared;
â€œIâ€™m coming round to the belief that, just as adults all have an unwritten responsibility to support and nurture children, children have an unwritten responsibility of reminding adults what is important in life. They do this, often, simply by being themselves.â€
Matthew and Nathan Todd have been running projects for a few years now, all with the goal ‘to inspire and transform’. What could be more inspirational and transformational, they thought, than an album of children singing to help children? What they could not know was, if any would join them in their quest……….
Matthew went on to explain;
â€œOne word could sum up the whole month of October for us: â€œApprehensionâ€. The messages were sent out to artists and their managers on October 12 and we awaited the responses. We were asking for a track from about 16 artists which could be included on a compilation album raising funds for Operation Christmas Child. Then the drama began! After several weeks of language barriers, messages going to fake accounts, communications being lost in cyber-space and time rapidly running out, we arrived with 14 young artists buzzing with enthusiasm and ready to submit.”
The process that followed getting the tracks mastered, artwork made, albums duplicated, website up and promotion started would take pages to describe but, suffice to say, Nathan and I spent many sleepless nights (and days!) at our computers in every spare moment. Nathan being a full time student and a partner in GN Todd (web development), was literally working around the clock, meanwhile I was trying to communicate with 14 different artists, often in languages I spoke very badly or not at all! Then our brother Phil came on board to make our promo video and our cousin Tom got involved with promotion. A generous friend of my fiancÃ© agreed to translate our press release into French, and a professional media consultant got us an article in the Herald. This was becoming bigger every day!
I remember walking into our little Glasgow flat (aka ‘The Ladz Fortress’) about 11pm on a cold November night after a hard day of teaching and choir directing, and seeing Nathan working on the website, Phil (visiting) editing the promo video and Tom working on an animation for our logo. I sat down to answer a message from France and had to stop to think out loud: ‘this is awesome!’ “Nobody told me that making a difference would be this much work, but nobody told me it would be this exciting and fulfilling either!”
Our biggest challenge is that people are so bombarded with advertising, especially at this time of year, getting someone to buy something is a real challenge. We in the Western world have also become quite emotionally numb, finding it hard to trust big charities or organizations and no longer believing that buying one CD or even one track on iTunes really can make a difference. To be honest, we are still a long way off our goal which was to raise Â£2500 (over $4000) for Operation Christmas Child though we are over half way there, but there are other goals which have exceeded our expectations. Every young artist on the album went out of their way to promote the album and some even made personal videos to recommend it to their fans.
There is no currency for inspiration and yet, without it, the whole world could one day just decide to give up. As I promote these young artists, watch them sing and see them sharing their gifts with such passion and enthusiasm I feel a strange tug on my heart-strings. How is it that I can feel a sense of pride and joy in children that are not related to me and, most, not even from my country? It is unusual, but I think this is what it feels like to love the world; to place the hope for our future on our children, believing that they can succeed where we have failed. And, like my God who loved the world so much he wanted to give the best Christmas present anyone could give, it inspires me to give my all to make the world a better place.â€