Connecting Through the Power of Music
I started a volunteer program with BC's Music Guild students. On Friday afternoons, eight to 12 BC students hang out and play music in a low-key environment with pediatric psychiatric patients at the Franciscan Hospital for Children.
Supported by the Legacy Grant, we donated a guitar, two keyboards, and some instructional books to the unit. The instruments have become a hugely appreciated diversion for the patients of the unit, and several have picked up music as a new hobby during their time there. Legacy Grant funds also paid for transportation to and from the hospital.
The impact this program has on the kids is highlighted in an email from Brian Duffy, RN, head of the mental health unit: "While I was bicycling home last night I thought of the girl who sang "Collide" by Howie Day, last night—what a sweet, incredible version of that song. Earlier in the day she had told me with tears in her eyes that she just wanted to die. What a difference it made that you all came and gave her a chance to feel safe and better and able to sing."
That moment seemed to be a turning point in the patient's recovery from suicidal thoughts and self-harm, and shortly thereafter, she was released from the unit. We do not know if our visit can be linked to her recovery, but those moments where we can turn somebody's day around with just a little bit of our time and compassion are the fuel to keep the volunteer program successful.
Because of the Legacy Grant Program, I've had the opportunity to chase down what was initially just a dream, but has become a reality. The Legacy Grant program has made it possible for the volunteer program to thrive and has allowed our student volunteers to explore a unique avenue of service that had previously been impossible.
—John Guzzi '15