For more than a decade, creative minds have come together through the Children’s Holiday Magic Project, spreading Christmas cheer through song. And for nearly as long, Del Mar native Ashley Fox Linton has contributed to the nonprofit’s annual compilation album of holiday songs and stories.
Every year, the album is given to children worldwide who are hospitalized during the holiday season.
“I enjoy singing, and working as a professional singer is a privilege,” Linton said. “To be able to use that to help these kids makes me feel really great. This is a really unique project.”
With the support of sponsors and nonprofit partners, the project is made possible every year because of the contributions from largely local actors and singers.
Linton, who toured the U.S. and Canada with the musicals “Les Miserables” and “Wicked,” first got involved with the project eight years ago. She submitted her version of a holiday song by musical composer Jason Robert Brown. Since then, she has contributed original pieces, often collaborating with other artists.
This year she collaborated with fellow actor-singer Will Collyer to co-write “I Think of You at Christmas” and “Snow Day” for the album. The pair recently played opposite each other in Musical Theatre Guild’s “The Sweet Smell of Success.”
“It’s been really fun for me because I’ve been able to collaborate with my creative friends and bring other friends into the group,” she said.
San Diego radio personality Jeff Gelder founded the Children’s Holiday Magic Project in 2003. Since then, the nonprofit has distributed thousands of albums to children around the world, including 7,000 to children in the United States, London and Singapore last year. The organization aims to produce and deliver 10,000 this year.
“My hope is that this project will continue to grow,” Linton said. “I’d love for more artists to contribute, and I’d also love to reach more children every year.”
Volunteers delivered copies of this year’s album Dec. 11 to children at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Linton and more than 30 of her friends dropped off copies and sang carols Dec. 17 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
For information, or to donate or contribute to the project, visit holidaymagiccd.com.