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April 15, 2011

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April 15, 2011

I retired in 1997 and for 3 years I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my spare time. The first year of my retirement my husband took ill and passed away. Therefore I had even more time on my hands.

I met up with my cousin's coworker at a family function, and knowing that I
used to arrange theater groups, he told me that he volunteered for an organization called Hospital Audiences (HAI). He told me the functions of a volunteer and how they help distribute tickets for events to groups that come from hospital facilities for the physical and mentally disabled, and it was like I had an ephiphany. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with my spare time.

I went for the interview and got the job as a volunteer. I have been volunteering with HAI for over a year and it has been a wonderful experience. I couldn't have worked for a nicer group of people.

The joy on the faces of the people we serve is a reward in itself as they enjoy the different events that are scheduled.

I try to volunteer on a average of 4 times a month because I know that many of these residents look forward to these outings.

I am also pleased that I also enriched my own cultural experience as a volunteer and I get to take my granddaughter with me as my guest to share in the cultural experiences.

I love volunteering for this agency. After 40 years of working at a job because I had to, I am finally doing something that I love to do and helping others enjoy this experience as well.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way the residents of the different facilities are eager to attend the events that tickets are provided for (sporting events, theater, etc,) and the pleasure they derive from it.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to obtain tickets to even more events around the city. Even though they are doing are great job, I really have no complaints.

February 7, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 7, 2011

THANKS SO MUCH FOR A WONDERFUL EVENT MY GRANDKIDS FLEW IN FROM COLORADO , SO IT WAS A FIRST EVENT FOR THEM. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS COLD THE BEAUTIFUL THANKSGIVING BALOONS , CERTAINLY MUST HAVE HYPNOTIZED THEM BECAUSE THEY NEVER COMPLAIN THEIR MOTHER WAS JST AS EXCITED. AGAIN THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND HEART FOR ALLOWING US TO ATTEND.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NO CHANGES KEEP DO,ING A WONDERFUL JOB AND REMEMBERING THE SOLDIERS

December 29, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 29, 2010

I have a 2 year old little boy with Down's syndrome. He does not walk and as it is difficult to attend a busy parade with a child, this orgnaization provided us with a pass for a specific area so that he could enjoy the parade.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Thanksgiving Parade

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None. They were extremely helpful.

December 14, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 14, 2010

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. The contact people were very helpful and informative. The set up was excellent, police were very accomodating when we arrived. We enjoyed experiencing the parade with the other families of disabled children and the military personnel. Perhaps others who use the area could be better educated as to the various needs and limitation of those in wheelchairs and with autism. (see below)

Unfortunately, a family arrived late after the parade had begun and were ushered in at our spot. I tried to explain to the mother that her kids could not stand in front of my grandson because he sits so low in his wheelchair that he could not see over them. I also explained that he flapps his arms whem excited so to be careful putting ehr children up next to his wheelchair. She continued to motion for her children to get in front of him throughout the parade (foreign language spoken) I tried to get her to lean down and put her head at his level so she could see that he was already havent to look throughnt he barricade, but she refused. I asked a police officer to help me explain to her and he said she has the same pass you do so he couldn't do anything. There was another older child in a wheelchair next to my grandson. This child had MD and was nonverbal with aspergers. This woman kept leaning over in front of him to take pictures. Blocking his face with her arm. I told her that was a human being even though he could not speak and she needed to keep her arm out of his face. She also complained to another family becasue the parent was having to hold her autistic child at times throughout the parade especially when she urged her children to crowd infront of them. She stood behind me and continually held her camera next to my face to take pictures. Other parents tried to explain to her that this area was for special needs children and she should give them the space they needed. One parent even told her that we had all arrived the hour early to ensure a pleasant experience for our children. I was glad when the parade was over because of having my hair pulled but her camera hand and being pushed from behind by her.

All this said I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity this special viewing area afforded us and would endure all the negativity experienced again for my grandson to get a front row seat to the parade as he had a blast!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

parade

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

December 13, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 13, 2010

I have been a volunteer for over 20 years now and the reason I keep volunteering is that everytime I help Hai I get immediate gratification from seeing the joy on the faces of the charity participants.
Unfortunately although New York has so many wonderful live events the cost of attending is
way beyond the means of the people being serviced by HAI. It is wonderful to see cheildren experience a live event for the first time and just as wonderful when a senior that thought it wouldn't happen again experience it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my 20 years of service, they consistently bring joy to underprivelged New Yorkers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them more buses so they can bring more groups that can't take public transportation.

December 13, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 13, 2010

I have been using HAI for 16+years. The Omnibus service is wonderful. The staff is knowledgable and curtious with the residents. They are patient and kind. They get our residents on and off the bus quickly and safely. I have used other bus services in the past that have always ended in disaster. My residents only want HAI!

I also use the entertainment serves through HAI and am always pleased. I would recommend them to everyone!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

HAI is wonderful I have taken my residents to concerts and plays they have run. The volunteers are always happy and willing to help.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more buses! If I won the lottery I would donate money to help them out...it is truly a wonderful organization!

December 12, 2010

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December 12, 2010

I love what we do at HAI.
It's well run and our participants are happy with what we give them access to.
I'm looking forward to seeing HAI become a public service.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my interactions with our participants, and their feedback. Many of them said they were looking forward to every opportunities to come w/ us and that it was their breath of fresh air with "normal" life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it into a government public service.

December 11, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 11, 2010

This is a fantastic organization. They bring so much to the people they help and it's great to be a part of that.
You walk away with a great feeling that you helped to bring a small bit of joy to these people's lives and at the same time, you get to enjoy a fun event with them.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the joy I see on the groups faces that I work with.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing I can think of

December 11, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 11, 2010

I have been involved with HAI for several years now and their wonderful work never ceases to amaze me. My own experience helping to entertain Vets coming to N.Y from Walter Read Hospital, in Washington, is truly life changing. These young people have had unspeakable physical and mental trauma, and their lives have been changed forever. For some, it's their first time coming to the "Big Apple" and I hope that for a few days we can help put a smile on their faces, as well as their families. I believe that by getting out of their daily envionment and routine has to make even a small difference. HAI has been very professional, sensitive, & supportative to these groups on all of their visits. I hope we can continue to play a small part in the lives of these very special people.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When you see a person smiling or get a "thank you" at any event, you know it's been a successful experience. Many of our groups would not be able to have this experience if it wasn't for the work of HAI. In the end, whatever they take away, I believe is important to their well being.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing specific really comes to mind at this time.

December 9, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
December 9, 2010

it is incredible volunteering for HAI. Seeing what experiencing the arts can do for the population they serve, discussing events and engaging with the HAI groups after, you can see how it changes lives! They also have fabulous programs with seniors getting Valentines, Homeless gifts for the Holidays, and creating amazing experiences with Vets & Soldiers.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how it impacts lives

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

they would get more funds!!!

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