Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - Updated: 2:44 PM
By Rachel Keller
The first thing that catches the eye upon opening the homepage of the Take the Chains website is a Bible verse from 1 John 3:17, which reads, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Scott Gibbs and Shannon Cathey, of Benton First United Methodist Church, said they “answered the call” of this verse by creating the Take the Chains ministry. Also inspired by Matthew West’s song, “Do Something,” a ‘call-to-action song,’ the two used their musical talents to create an album of Christian music intended to provide assistance for the global outreach program, Kids Against Hunger.
The album, titled “Take the Chains,” is available by download online at http://takethechains.com or by ordering a CD if a hard copy is preferred. The online version is free of charge, with the artists asking that those who download make a donation to Kids Against Hunger (which is easily done through a link that’s also on the website). The CD may be obtained by donating at least $20 of which only the cost of shipping (if necessary) would be withdrawn, the rest going directly to Kids Against Hunger.
As of yesterday morning, they had raised $1,700, which equates to 6,800 meals for impoverished and malnourished children.
“The music is really just kind of a way to generate conversation about the real need, which is feeding hungry children,” Gibbs said. “We did talk about making it to where you have to purchase the album but then at the same time we wanted to get the music out there and get the message out there so that’s why we ended up just making it free to really promote the cause that the money is going toward. Then if people feel led to contribute to Kids Against Hunger, that’s awesome.”
Gibbs said this is the first album he and Cathey have created. They used their own equipment, instruments and resources to create not only the music and album but the website, right down to the graphics. He said initially, they planned to write and produce a song, the song for which the album is titled, but they were inspired to do more.
“The first song we did was ‘Take the Chains’ and then we got to thinking about what a powerful metaphor that is because everybody out there has something holding them back,” Gibbs said. “It started out as a song but grew into so much more, just the idea of helping people break whatever chains are holding them back whether it be hunger, abuse or poverty, or something else. For us, obviously it’s a Christian album and we’ve had many of our own personal chains broken through Christ. Whether the album speaks to people or whether we’re helping people through the money we’re raising, we hope that’s the outcome, whichever side it falls on.”
Gibbs said the proceeds this album generates will benefit Kids Against Hunger but future albums or feature songs may benefit other organizations. He said Kids Against Hunger, which provides nutritious and well-balanced meals for impoverished children worldwide, struck a chord with he and Cathey who are both fathers.
“We had heard about it quite a bit through the community because they really do reach out a lot in local communities and worldwide. I think it’s so tough sometimes to choose one or the other because the need is so severe globally but at the same time it’s so hard to think about kids in your own neighborhood. They encompass so much and so much can be given out through donations; $1 can provide four meals, which is just hard to believe compared to what we pay for food around here, that they can provide that kind of resource,” he said. “We were blessed with the talents that we have and we were going to do this anyway so we might as well help someone out there that needs it.”