Throughout the summer, I and a collection of volunteers from local high schools have been working to bring free art and music instruction to retirement homes in the area. The program has drawn over 30 volunteers thus far, of which 4-7 come to work with 10-15 elderly residents, with more soon to come when the local school year begins in early August.
One particular success has been with a gentleman named Carey. Though some of the other residents of the retirement homes had showed some trepidation in the early weeks of the program, Carey jumped right in with gusto and immediately told us that he wanted to learn to play the guitar. Carey, a military veteran who relies on an oxygen tank hung on his wheelchair and has limited use of his fingers, showed passion for trying something way out of his comfort zone and was a real catalyst in drawing some of the more standoffish residents in to participate.
As I write this, many of our volunteers are beginning a new school year, and this project is entering a new phase. We plan on branching out and bringing our arts/music to childrens’ hospitals, and are in talks right now to make it happen.
I hope to share more stories like Carey’s as the summer progresses!