If you go
What: Winter Jam 2013
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Civic Center
Tickets: $10, available only at the door
FYI: The lineup includes TobyMac, RED, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Taylor
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Singer-songwriter Matthew West didn't know it at the time, but he took on a huge responsibility when he invited people to share stories that might inspire songs for an upcoming album.
"I just sent out the invitation on Facebook and Twitter and my website and gave people an opportunity to respond — it was that simple," West said. "I created a link at my website where people could easily type their story and it would come to me.
"I had high hopes that maybe a few hundred people would share their story with me in response to my request three years ago."
To date, West has had more than 20,000 responses — and counting.
"The stories never stopped coming in," he said.
The Christian songwriter had promised to read and consider every story of faith and hope, forgiveness and prayer.