Rascal Flatts have been supporting Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt since 2003, donating not only money, but their time to help sick children. And the trio, made up of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, insist they get way more than they give every time they support the worthwhile cause.
"It's such a magical place," DeMarcus told the TODAY show. "They've become really more like family now than anything else because we've been partnering with them for so many years. It's one of the things that we do that I'm most proud of."
"When God's blessed you with a platform to be able to make a living doing something that you love to do, not just the right thing, but the only thing to do is to give back and bless someone else," LeVox added.
The threesome, who recently took time out of their busy schedules to pass out Christmas presents and read The Night Before Christmas, credit their fans as much as themselves, and maybe more, with being able to support the hospital for so many years.
"Nashville, along with the rest of our fans across the country, have given us the privilege of having the most wonderful jobs in the world," DeMarcus boasted. "And this surgery center at the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, it's partly their doing, too, because every ticket bought, during the times that we did our concerts here, proceeds went back directly to the hospital."
The men, all fathers, are still blown away by how much strength the patients they encounter have, and their positive attitude in the face of sometimes unimaginable adversity.
"I've been more amazed to see how strong the kids are, that are put in those situations," DeMarcus acknowledged. "A lot of times, they're the ones that have to put the parents on their shoulders and carry them through it."
"It really just makes you look at the quality of life, and just what a blessing children are," continued LeVox. "We can get caught up in the rat race of, you've got school, and you've got dinner, and you've got homework. So it's a nice reminder of just how special and important life and health and family truly is. Giving money and all of that stuff is an amazing blessing, but there's nothing more important to those kids than your time."0comments
A free download of the Flatts' audio recording of reading The Night Before Christmas is available on their website.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Christopher Polk