This passionate young man is taking those words to heart. You may know Danny's face and "blue-eyed soul" voice from his days as an "American Idol" finalist, and you may even remember that his audition took place only weeks after the death of his beloved wife Sophia, who passed away in July 2008 as a result of complications from heart surgery. To honor her memory, Danny started the Sophia's Heart Foundation, an organization that takes a multi-pronged approach to helping children and families in need.
One arm of the organization is Compassion Nashville, housed in a 77,000-square-foot former hospital building in East Nashville which was donated to Sophia's Heart. Danny and dozens of volunteers have put countless hours of labor into this facility--scraping, painting, lifting, moving, sweating...and at the same time, dreaming and planning. Compassion Nashville provides temporary housing for homeless families, so that they can stay together as a family until they can locate affordable housing. An individualized comprehensive treatment program includes educational classes, career assistance, spiritual development and family enrichment (anger management, marriage counseling, etc.)
Compassion Nashville is truly a remarkable and life-changing labor of love, and Danny presents a video tour of it here:
As Danny works hard to help others experience restoration, he has also been blessed with some exciting new beginnings. In January 2012, he wed Leyicet Peralta, and they welcomed their adorable son, Daniel Emanuel, in January 2013. And Danny can now add author to his list of accomplishments, as he has collaborated with Ben Stroup to write Hope in Front of Me: Find Purpose in Your Darkest Moments (released October 2013 through NavPress), an honest memoir of Danny's childhood, the turmoil of losing his wife, his experience on the "American Idol" stage and the hope he has found in his new life. Through Danny's down-to-earth encouragement and faith, readers are sure to be encouraged that God meets us where we are and we can move toward hope, no matter what the circumstance.
To learn more about the amazing work of Sophia's Heart and Compassion Nashville, click here.