By Team Abbey
How do Cook Children’s and the Pickin’ for Preemies Event relate to Abbey’s family?
You already know about Abbey’s sister Darby being a preemie, and that’s really the beginning of their involvement. Even though Darby was born before Abbey, she has heard the stories her whole life about how her parents spent every day visiting baby Darby at the NICU at Cook Children’s until she was well enough to come home, so Abbey kind of feels like she was there – even if it was just as a glimmer in her parents’ eyes.
Being at the hospital that much, and being able to take Darby home and raise her to be the healthy young woman that she is today gave the family a special feeling about Cook Children’s.
Last year, Abbey’s mom, Melissa found out about the Pickin’ For Preemies event, the annual fundraiser that supports the work of the NICU, and wanted to help out. So she bought a table to the event and got to enjoy all the great music, and support the fantastic cause.
If you know Melissa, you know that everything she does, she does in a big way. So this year, instead of just attending the event, she got involved to help the organizers as her way of giving back to the hospital that gave her a healthy Darby.
Back up a little bit to 2011. Like Abbey says, her mom does everything in a big way, so when she started getting interested in songwriting and performing, Melissa became her “momager” and started taking her to Nashville to see what it was like. On one of those trips, she met songwriter/artist Amanda Williams who became a mentor, and allowed Abbey to record a song she wrote called “Nobody’s Child.”
“Nobody’s Child” is all about orphaned kids who never get adopted, and end up spending their childhood in state homes and foster care until they age out. Melissa and Abbey fell in love with the song, and the message behind it, and when Abbey recorded it, they donated all the money from sales of the download to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates.) They made Abbey one of the 35 faces of CASA, and she got to sing at their national convention in California last year.
In 2013, Justin Frazell invited Abbey to be on his morning show on 95.5 The Ranch to tell the story about “Nobody’s Child” and CASA. That was the day Melissa found out about the Pickin’ for Preemies event that Justin and his wife Casey host every year to benefit Cook Children’s.
This year, Abbey is honored to have been invited to perform a few songs at the Pickin For Preemies event to help raise money for the NICU at Cook Children’s. Without them, she might not have her big sister Darby.
She wrote a whole post about the Pickin For Preemies event itself, and wrote a little bit about some of the awesome Texas Red Dirt artists who are playing this year.
It’s so funny how life has a way of taking you to where you want to be in the strangest ways. Not only is Abbey playing at the Pickin For Preemies event, she’s also volunteering at the Cook Children’s hospital in their Child Life Zone, playing music and writing songs with the kids who are patients there.
And on top of that, Cook Children’s is also really involved with helping homeless kids get access to health care and stay away from abusive situations, bringing everything full circle back to the message of “Nobody’s Child.”
So, now Abbey’s love for music, family and volunteering has come together with the Pickin’ for Preemies event. Abbey hopes everyone reading this will spread the word, and maybe even donate some money to this great cause.