Palmer Home’s Inaugural Sounds of Hope
Friday night, September 15, 2017, a hundred concert-goers gathered in Hope Chapel on Palmer Home for Children’s Hernando campus to hear singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb perform songs from her latest album, Red Sea Road (Full Heart Music). The night, however, held more than music. For many guests, it offered a first glimpse at the ministry of an organization in their own community.
The idea of the concert formed months ago, when Sarah Hollis, Palmer Home’s VP of Engagement, stopped by the dental office of Cindy Parolli’s husband to collect funds from their annual Smiles for Kids fundraiser. Hollis asked Parolli to meet with her and Amy Brown (Parolli’s friend and a sponsor for a Palmer Home child), to discuss ways to involve the people of Desoto County in the work of Palmer Home.
Parolli and Brown quickly invited their friend Memory Craig, who organizes the If:Gathering Hernando event. Because of her involvement with If:Gathering, Craig had recently received an e-mail from Ellie Holcomb’s publicist. Holcomb regularly performs during the If:Gathering live event in Austin, which is simulcast around the world. As part of the release of her new album, she wanted to schedule events in smaller venues throughout the area. Everything seemed to fall into place.
With support from Hollis and Palmer Home, the three women along with a group of their friends organized the concert to increase awareness in Desoto County about Palmer Home. After speaking to Holcomb, they realized her in-laws lived in the Memphis area and were already active supporters of Palmer Home.
“It’s a long story that was woven together the way God works,” said Parolli.
The event began with a reception in one of the cottages on the Hernando campus. Terri Igleheart, a Palmer Home houseparent, led tours of the home and shared stories about her family’s experience caring for children at Palmer Home. Guests had an opportunity to mingle with each other before walking across to the chapel.
“The night of the concert what struck me was when Ellie said, ‘These kids don’t need us to fix them, they just need us to love them. And as a sponsor, I couldn’t agree more, “ said Brown. “We don’t always feel ‘qualified’ to help at Palmer but really, all we need is the ability to love these kids.”
Brown, Parolli and Craig all agreed that the intimate concert setting and cottage tours created a sweet way to draw more attention to Palmer Home and the children they serve.