While the stress of Sing Song may have many participants wishing for their mothers, a group of female students have decided to be the next best thing.
Led by Callie Kerbo, the Care and Service Initiative has called these women to encourage weary students and producers. The Sing Song Moms, as they are affectionately known, have spent countless hours bringing comfort to performers and producers alike during the month leading up to Sing Song.
They were responsible for bringing students cookies, writing letters and sending weekly inspirational emails to production staff.
Kerbo, Jaci Browning, Leslie Lewis, Megan Thurman and Melissa Kichura make up the initiative.
This is not the first year of the program. Kerbo, sophomore marketing major from Murfreesboro, Tenn., helped on last year’s CSI.
“This is not about me, none of this that I’m doing, even though I’m very heavily involved. This isn’t even about my team,” she said. “We’re about making it a good experience, from the performers to production to the guests.”
The Moms aimed to keep up everyone’s spirits, especially when the novelty of the event wore off.
“The end goal is to have a smile on our faces, to be someone people can look to and know it is, in fact, going to be all right,” Kerbo said.
The program is unique to every manager. Kerbo said she personalized the program by infusing her own interests with the Moms’ actions and reached out on a closer level to everyone involved.
One of her projects was writing letters to the many people involved in the event. She said her inspiration came from “More Love Letters” an initiative to break away from websites, apps and emails to spread love the old-fashioned way, through hand-written letters longer than any 140-character tweet.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel on love here. We’re not reinventing the wheel on gratitude, or on kindness,” Kerbo said. “We are simply doing what we and what our hearts were built to do.”
Two of the women, Browing and Thurman, balanced their participation in the initiative with their performance in the sophomore class act.
Thurman, sophomore Bible, missions and ministry major from Austin, said the dedication to both was as rewarding as it was stressful.
“Some people would take pictures of their letters we gave them and put it on Facebook, everyone would come up and say thank you,” Thurman said. “It really helped them and encouraged them, because it can get really stressful.”
Browning, sophomore business marketing major from Midlothian, said she did not regret her participation, despite how busy it made her.
“This was my first year to do production staff and an act, and I would do it all over again,” she said. “I love it and I love the people that I’ve worked with, on both aspects. They’re awesome and it’s just been great.”
The women worked diligently throughout the duration of Sing Song to make the event the best it could be, bringing many cookies and smiles to those involved in the process.
Kerbo said every minute was worth it, even if she had to drag herself out to serve the people.
“It’s times like these that I know I’m absolutely lost in the right direction. That is what keeps me doing this,” Kerbo said. “That is what is giving me energy at this point, because caffeine can only do so much. But seeing the looks on people’s faces, hearing them call me a Sing Song Mom, that is my favorite part of all of this.”