Cheryl Walter was introduced to HEARTH in 1998 when she was looking for a service project for the Norwin High School Show Choir. She signed up the choir to deliver Christmas stockings for HEARTH’s holiday party, but when the party’s entertainment canceled, the choir stepped right in to fill the void. Students in the choir have been fundraising, supporting, and performing for HEARTH ever since, hosting two annual parties: the big Christmas party, providing new blankets, stockings, books, and $100 gift cards for each mom to shop for additional Christmas presents, and the Unbirthday party at Kennywood, which includes a big lunch, singing, dancing, and gift cards for HEARTH’s kids.
The majority of the choir’s fundraising occurs in December and is generously supported by the larger Irwin and North Huntington communities. In addition to donations, the community also provides other resources to support the Show Choir and their work at HEARTH; for example, the local bus company covers the students’ transportation to HEARTH events. In 2012, the Show Choir established the Expressions in Harmony Foundation, whose mission is to help children through the power of music. In addition, the family of a former Show Choir student founded “Grants for Grant,” which provides grants to HEARTH families to cover the cost of summer camp and other expenses. Individual Show Choir alumnae continue to volunteer at HEARTH and organize gifts and support through their places of work.
Bridget Faulk, the current Show Choir director, says there is something powerful about the joy that comes from music. After students and families “break bread” over pizza dinner at the holiday party, the choir performs, and all the HEARTH kids join in, even the teens.
Thank you, Norwin Show Choir, for your dedication and generosity!