For Debrina Moore, Sunday was a day full of emotion.
There were some tears -- mostly for joy -- plenty of smiling and an overarching feeling of extreme thanks.
Moore, her 5-year-old son Christian and her 11-year-old daughter Cabri are the recipients of Lutheran Church of The Master's 19th Summer Sunshine concert fundraiser. The performances started after a brunch when Moore and some of her friends and family got to mingle with church members.
"We have felt extremely welcome," Moore said.
The single mom raising her two kids in Glendale Heights is considering joining the church. It's closer to home than her old church and the service is shorter, which makes it manageable for her son. Christian has a host of health problems, including cerebral palsy. He can't walk or talk, and he needs constant care.
The concert Sunday was the first time the whole family left the house together in more than a year. Moore said this is also the first summer her son has not been in the hospital.
Carol Connor is a member of the church committee that helped choose the Moores as fundraiser recipients. The Carol Stream woman said deciding from a list of candidates is always very hard, but when a congregation member brought in a Daily Herald article describing the Moores' hardships, the vote was unanimous.
"We thought, 'No brainer. We have to help this family,'" Connor said.
Connor and a group of other women from the church performed "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" during the concert Sunday, giving Christian and his sister Cabri teddy bears to keep.
The fundraiser was as much a gift for Cabri as her mom and brother. Moore said she hopes she can use some of the money to get home care for Christian and spend quality time with her daughter, who she sometimes feels she neglects because of Christian's needs. Mostly, though, Moore will use what she can to catch up on bills.
Michael Benshish, director of worship and music at the church, said the total amount raised could fall anywhere between $3,500 and $10,000. Community members who did not make the concert can still send cash or checks to the church until Sept. 5. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will match donations up to $3,500, and the Moores will have their check by the end of September.
"I'm overwhelmed today," Moore said. "I feel like my prayers have been answered."