In 2016, we noticed some children in our church who loved to sing and were the "social butterflies" of the church. Of course, they loved Christmas and always wanted to help decorate the sanctuary, make Christmas crafts and yes, you guessed it, grab the microphone and pretend they were the Christmas soloists in the Sunday morning services!
So, my husband and I got to thinking, "What if we create a little bit of a Christmas choir for children?" Of course, we didn't limit it to just children. We opened it up to entire families in hopes of promoting family time together in the busyness of the world around us these days.
We began with five children and three adults, rehearsing on Saturday afternoons for about 2 1/2 hours each week. This was our time to teach children how to sing together and watch them grow while creating warm, wholesome and fond memories for them as they sang to people in the community! These were memories that they could keep in their hearts for the rest of their days.
Their first "performance" was right outside the church doors when a car pulled up and the passengers became their first audience. The people in the car got out and clapped and told the carolers that they could sing for them anytime, and the children wanted to do it again!
We decided to write out the names of people who had just gone through a hard time, lost a loved one or who were lonely to carol for them. We also began calling nursing homes, fire stations, other churches to see if they wanted some Christmas cheer. That year, we ended up with 20 places to go and sing. Our choir doubled the second year, and by the third year, we had a few more additions!
At the end of the Christmas holiday, I wrote a letter to one of the freshman carolers' schools and included a certificate of achievements, including 90 hours of completed community service with us. I also asked the school to grant her the credits in order to satisfy the school service graduation requirement. It was then I learned that the only way students can earn community service is by volunteering through an actual nonprofit organization recognized by the State of Connecticut. Our hearts sank, feeling like we had failed this delightful high school student and her mother.
After that Christmas season came to end, and feeling like we had failed this precious student along with the weighty financial costs for the past 3 years, we thought maybe we would take a year off to see if the Lord would give us any other direction.
In late July, early August 2019, some of the children ran into my husband at the local Walmart and greeted him with the question, "Mr. Justin, are we going to do CCMT again this year? We haven't heard from Ms. ToniAnn and we really want to do it again."
That was all we needed to hear. I began my research on how to become a nonprofit so high school students would have another place to complete their community service hours and raise funds to help with the costs. The children and students really enjoy what they do. They love watching the people's faces light up and jaws drop open in surprise when they start singing. It is a win-win on every side. We hope you and your students will join us! Visit our "Contact Us" page or call us at (860) 581 - 3867 to reserve your spot today! Spots fill up quickly every year, so don't wait or you'll be too late.
Join us in bringing Christmas Cheer into the community! The more, the merrier.
CCMT President / CEO
During the Covid 19 pandemic, there are still many ways for students to earn their community service hours with CCMT from the comfort of their own home day or night. For more information, click on the button below or give us a call and ask us how.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!