Song-in-action Blog

Country Music

Musicians join Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Posted by Katina on December 7, 2009 at 2:24 am

Tonight’s episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition features Usher assisting the crew in building a home for the Scott family who lost their husband/father who was killed in an accident.

In past seasons, musicians just sang. But this season the show has asked celebrities of all sorts to roll up their sleeves and pick up hammers and paint brushes to help the families receive hope in the form of a new home.

Check out my Song-In-Action episode guide of the musicians on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Clicking on the picture will take you to ABC.com where you can watch the full episode. Clicking on the name of the artist will lead to articles/blogs about their experiences on the show. I hope you enjoy.

Katina

#1 Rapper Xzibit – Hill Family Episode

ABC/MARK BRENDEL
ABC/MARK BRENDEL

“I got to know the family, the mother, the father, the kids, and the situation they were in . . . To see them go through that, and see the transformation … it’s something to know anticipation for myself, but when you anticipate something for somebody else, it’s something exciting.” Xzibit

[The show liked Xzibit so much that he came back for the Mattingly home w/ Clint Black]

#2 Country Musician Trace Adkins – Marshall Family Episode

Trace-Adkins-Extreme-Makeover

““I’ve worked with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition three times now, and I personally feel that they’re doing God’s work. It’s such a noble thing that those folks do and anytime I get a chance to be a part of it and help out in some way, I’m always eager to do it.” Trace Adkins

#3 Singer/Actress Ashley Tisdale – Hampton Family Episode

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“When I saw the family and the reaction to the house I just, like, started tearing up . . .It’s like this really great deserving family and then also you see like all these volunteers and their family members and their friends just all getting together helping them. It’s just such a great feeling to be part of that.” Ashley Tisdale

#4 Country Musician Kellie Pickler (American Idol) – Terpenning Family Episode

kellie-extreme

“I mean, this family was so amazing, so beautiful and their story was completely heartbreaking.  So to finally be able to build a house that was functional for them, in their situation.  It’s so rewarding.  We were rewarded with so many smiles, so to see them smile when the buss moved and they saw the house, it was life-changing and such a blessing.” Kelli Pickler

#5 Country musician Clint Black (w/ Xzibit) – Mattingly Family Episode

Big-Rivers and Clint Black

“I feel it is essential to be trained in first aid and CPR, including how to use an AED. I was pleased to volunteer for the ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’ episode and proud to support an organization that teaches these lifesaving skills.”  Clint Black (a Red Cross volunteer)

#6 R&B Singer Usher – Scott Family Episode

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“I was motivated to help the family when I heard about their ability to continue to serve their community even after suffering a loss . . .Not only was it great to help a family that is from my home state, but this family exemplified giving back to the community.” Usher

[Watch Usher discuss the experience on YouTube until the full episode is live on ABC.Com.]

Montgomery Gentry gives thanks to our troops

Posted by Katina on November 24, 2009 at 1:49 am

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” –Maya Angelou

This year I had the opportunity to work with a team of five other women on a project to raise awareness for our Nation’s wounded warriors. As of Nov. 23, 2009 over 36,000 soldiers were injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Many organizations and government agencies have online resources for wounded warriors including the Wounded Warrior Resource Center (Department of Defense) and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Wounded Warrior Project

The last time I went to visit my family in South Carolina, I stopped en route at Cracker Barrel, my favorite roadside restaurant. I always like to shop there because I can find cool trinkets and they sell my favorite peanut brittle. What do you ask does Cracker Barrel have to do with wounded warriors? As I walked through the restaurant’s store they were playing a song by country music duo Montgomery Gentry. When the song ended, they made an announcement that Cracker Barrel had teamed with Montgomery Gentry to raise awareness and funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. It turned out that part of the proceeds from Montgomery Gentry’s album For Our Heroes sold in Cracker Barrel will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Click here to buy a copy online.

For Our Heroes

Montgomery Gentry consists of Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry. The duo is well known for their philanthropic efforts with the T. J. Martell Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Camp Horsin’ Around, and Farm Aid. Their efforts to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project are part of Montgomery Gentry’s commitment to telling the stories of America’s heroes.

The main objective of the Wounded Warrior Project is to “provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally.” One of their signature projects is the WWP Packs program that delivers backpacks containing care items (clothing, toiletries, calling card, CD player, etc.) to severely wounded warriors arriving at military trauma centers.  For more information on the Wounded Warrior project follow them on Twitter or check out their website.

backpack

Montgomery Gentry’s commitment to supporting the troops also includes a collaboration with the USO and the Vault for the “The Uniform of Heroes: The Taste of Support” campaign. Since the DOD suspended the “Any Servicemember” mail program, the Vault & USO have come up with a campaign that allows people to send pre-addressed postcards to soldiers. These postcards are available at Vault displays across the nation, Vault fridge packs and MyCokeRewards.com.  The campaign provides the postcards and consumers (like you) provide the postage, the messages, and the manpower to drop the cards in the mail.

“These messages will go a long way in bringing comfort and lifting the spirits of our troops, especially those who are a world away from home.” Neil Golson, VAULT Brand Manager, Coca-Cola North America.

On the Montgomery Gentry website, Troy is quoted, “We’re proud to continue the effort to support our U.S. troops, and it’s exciting to partner with VAULT on this important campaign once again. . .VAULT and the USO have created a great way to spread goodwill and offer our thanks to the brave men and women serving our country. We hope thousands of people will get involved again this year.”

vault

As we approach Thanksgiving, supporting the Wounded Warriors Project and the Uniform of Heroes campaign provide us with the two ways to let the our troops know how much we appreciate them.

Katina

P.S. Remember “Freedom is Never Free” – Unknown

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library promotes love of reading

Posted by Katina on October 20, 2009 at 2:11 am

“My daddy was more proud of the kids calling me the book lady than them calling me a star.” Dolly Parton

Everybody that knows me well  knows that I adore Dolly Parton. Always have since I was a little girl and my mom would let me listen to her country music collection. It throws people off when I tell them that Dolly’s my role model. HHHM they say. Don’t you write about hip hop? Aren’t you well . … Black? Why yes I am, have been for a very long time. But good music and good examples know no racial or cultural boundaries. Growing up I loved Dolly because she appeared fearless. She spoke how she liked, wore what she liked and she had great big hair. Over the years I have grown to appreciate Dolly’s sense of community and commitment to improving the lives of children.

One of my favorite Dollyisms is:  “It makes you feel better about your success if you don’t just hoard all that money. I always pray to God, ‘well, give me enough to share and enough to spare.’”

Dollywood

Dollywood

And that’s what she’s done. Dolly is a well known philanthropist dedicated to improving the quality of life “back home”. Providing jobs is one of the reasons why she placed her Dollywood theme park in the Smokey Mountains. “I knew Dollywood would be a great business for me, but I also knew it would generate a lot of money in that area and provide jobs. That’s true success-when everybody’s making money.”

Even though Dolly and her husband Carl Dean don’t have any children of their own, her dedication and love of children is clear. Perhaps one of Dolly’s most lasting contributions to the world is the founding of the Imagination Library in 1996 to encourage preschool children to love reading. Each month, the Imagination Library mails a brand new age appropriate book to every child under 5 in her home county – starting with The Little Engine that Could until the child receives Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come at age 5.

What I love about the Imagination Library is that Dolly took on providing books to children in one county and then the idea spread around the country and now is being replicated around the world. Now that’s Song-in-Action. Over 6 million books are expected to be distributed to children through the Imagination Library and its local affiliates in 2009. Communities that wish to provide books through the Imagination library first determine their geographic area (town, district, even a whole state) in which they wish to distribute the books. Then they establish their local affiliate, raise funds, and start helping kids love to read for a lifetime.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

To Learn more about the Imagination Library, see http:/home/katinara/public_html/katinaraestapleton.com/www.dollysimaginationlibrary.com/. Follow @Dolly_Parton on Twitter.

This blog post was inspired by my mother who turned me on to Dolly when I was little and gave me the great article “How Dolly Does it” by Meg Grant in AARP The Magazine from which I located the quotes above.