2020 Shine Your Light Recap


Cory Mullen on December 10

Josh Corcoran on December 16

Shelleen Weaver on December 22

Dan Burkholder on December 1

PUBLISHED 12/27/20


We’re in the middle of a holiday season that just feels “different.” This is often just another word for bad. Lonely. Isolating. And though we can’t change everything around us, we can change the way we look at this season and what we will do with it. We can decide to look for light, and when we inevitably find it, to shine. 

Horizon’s expression of this hope came out in Shine Your Light: the seven-part concert series featuring local artists, and is completely virtual and free — you can tune in on Facebook, where you’ll also find past concerts! Shine Your Light was born out of a collaboration with Mackenzie Paige, a local artist who wrote and produced a song inspired by a child’s experience of adoption. (Listen to Paige’s track, Pretty Girl, below:) 

The series has featured a couple members of the Horizon family: Heller Capital Group president Dan Burkholder and Pro Sportsman president Matt Smith, whose talents extend to the guitar and vocals! Local artist Matt Wheeler sang one of our first concerts, where he performed some original Christmas-inspired music. Cory Mullen streamed in from Ontario, and Josh Corcoran followed. Shelleen Weaver and Melina Hanke will close out the series as we close out 2020. Each concert is about an hour long, mixed with some live conversation and storytelling. 

This virtual series has been a way for these artists to shine their lights by sharing their musical talents with us, but also is a source of inspiration as we look for the light in our own lives, and seek to shine it as a source of encouragement for someone else.

“It only takes one to tip the scales,” Cory Mullen said during his concert on Dec. 10. “We feel like changing the world and taking on these big missions is too big for one person — it’s not. Just do what’s in your heart to do.” Mullen, an Ontario native, describes his music as making beauty from ashes. “They’re my worst days, made beautiful.”

Mullen’s sentiment is certainly something we could use more of; it’s an encouragement to pursue joy and spread light in our relationships. It’s also a pretty powerful embodiment of Horizon’s mission: rescuing, restoring and empowering orphaned children. 

COVID has impacted all our lives in different ways, and the children we serve are no different. Children who would otherwise be living at school have been home in their Horizon communities for much of 2020. This has added a lot of love, but also increased our food costs, health and wellness costs, education and other operating needs. You can donate knowing all of your gift will go directly to meeting the needs of our kids. Private donors cover Horizon’s administrative costs, allowing us to fulfill our 100% promise – meaning 100% of your gift will go to this fund to lighten the burden on these communities.

As the concert season wraps up, we hope this message of light will follow you into the new year. Mullen said it best when he described the ‘why’ behind his music: 

“Be love to people who don’t know love. That’s really what it’s about.” 

Sarah Pryor, Creative Content Coordinator

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