Two-time reigning GMA “Female Vocalist of the Year” Natalie Grant claims she’s no hero. Others would disagree. And arguably so. While Grant’s music career sky-rocketed with 2005’s release of Awaken (Curb), featuring her smash hit “Held,” the Dove Award winner’s passion for helping others expanded in ways that even surprised Natalie herself. And it all started with an episode of Law & Order.
After learning about the horrors of modern-day slavery, Natalie decided to take action; and in 2005 she founded The Home Foundation, an organization that seeks to educate others and help abolish human trafficking.
“Starting The Home Foundation has been one of the more significant things of my life,” says Natalie. “It influences every aspect of my life… The awareness of these precious victims of trafficking has inspired me to be all the more real and raw and honest. I am so sick of this candy-coated ‘Jesus message’ that the American church has been selling for so long. Jesus didn’t call us to live comfortable, suburban lives. He was radical … I pray that I will follow His example and do whatever I can for the least of these.”
Nowhere is the fruit of her obedience more evident than through her work with The Home Foundation. Not only has the organization helped to build orphanages for rescued victims, but it has also partnered with multiple organizations such as World Vision and the International Justice Mission to educate communities, build shelters and provide medical assistance. The Home Foundation is also working with the Department of Health and Human Services to set up local coalitions across the country. In addition, this year three college students will be the first to participate in an internship program sponsored by Grant’s foundation. The students will travel to India for 10 weeks to work directly with trafficking victims. “I am only one,” says Natalie, “and while I do believe one can change the world, if I can get college students to devote their lives to this fight, we’ll change the world that much faster.”
Her passion to change the world can’t help but spill over into her music. Her new album, Relentless (releasing Feb. 12 on Curb Records), is filled with honest lyrics and raw, edgy hooks, evidenced by the first single, “In Better Hands.” A portion of the proceeds from all pre-orders of Relentless through Family Christian Stores will go to The Home Foundation. Furthermore, Natalie intends to continue to use her platform to encourage others to do something about human trafficking.
Grant will share stories from the stage this spring when she headlines a tour with Monk & Neagle and Jimmy Needham. She’ll also continue speaking to scores of countless women and teenage girls at Women of Faith and Revolve events across the country throughout 2008. She speaks candidly when asked about her involvement with teenagers at the Revolve conferences: “Honestly, I never felt specifically ‘called’ to work with teenagers. In fact, teens scare me! But once I took on the challenge of speaking and singing at the ‘Revolve Tour,’ God put a passion in me to minister to teen girls. I am humbled by the fact that they view me as a role model, and I take that responsibility very seriously.”
And why shouldn’t she? After all, she has two good reasons to not regard her platform lightly-her twin baby girls, Grace and Isabella. “Having daughters makes me more determined to impact this culture of girls for Christ,” says Natalie. “I need some of these teen girls to grow up and be role models for my girls to look to.”
A successful music career, a new record, twins…one might wonder how Natalie finds time to do work on behalf of The Home Foundation. Simply put, it’s an innate part of who she is now, and her passion is fueled by educating others about something that has so profoundly changed her own life. “Knowledge is power. Research the subject of human trafficking. I am not the hero, but those who are on the front lines of this fight are; and there are many worthy organizations that can use volunteers. You can also sign up to become an abolitionist. Above all, pray. Pray for the victims and pray for their freedom.”
Log on to thehomefoundation.net for more information.