A choir from Atlanta’s Central Night Shelter are on their way to the White House—an unlikely destination for a group of homeless men. The group will perform this month at the White House Open House Holiday Celebration
The Atlanta Homeward Choir was founded three years ago as “a group of men who get together to sing, make music and come in out of the cold,” founder Donal Noonan told the Huffington Post.
After completing their season last year, Noonan’s friend asked what was next. Noonan replied “the White House.” Those words turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Noonan made some calls to a friend who had worked in the government, but didn’t hear back for a while. Then, a few weeks ago, the director and his chorus got a call asking if Homeward Choir was available to perform at the White House in December.
“It was a mixed reaction,” Noonan said of the news. “All positive but one of the questions was, ‘why us?’ To which my response was, ‘why not us?’”
Noonan, who told the news site that the choir is “delighted and honored,” also said that the plan to travel from Atlanta to Washington D.C. is a bit overwhelming. The members, who are now seeking donations to help with their travel costs, have set up a page on its website for anyone who wants to assist in their journey.
The $25,000 the team will need will go towards clothing, shelter, transportation and an orchestra, the Post reports. So far, the members have raised a little over $5,000 and Southwest Airlines announced they will provide complimentary round trip tickets for the choir.
“We still have a ways to go, but we are very confident,” Noonan said. “To be welcomed in the front door as opposed to the back door is a huge deal. It’s an affirmation of worth. You might be in this position right now, but you are still someone and being invited to the White House in an immense honor. Plus, it’s going to be a ton of fun!”
You can donate a gift to the Atlanta’s Homeward Choir or find more on the members website: http://www.atlantahomewardchoir.org.