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Society Of Singers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Human Services

Mission: To improve the quality of life and maintain the personal dignity, health and welfare of professional singers in crisis.

Results: SOS has helped well over 3,000 singers to the tune of $3 million.

Target demographics: Professional singers of all genres who have earned their primary income from singing for five years or more. Circumstances must be of an emergency nature.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: Human services/emergency grants: provides free and confidential services including counseling, case manangement and financial aid to those who have earned their primary living as singers for 5 years and more. Provides a safety net and support system. Financial aid is given to those singers who qualify based on recommendations from the director of programs & development with approval from the trustee committee. Grants are given only for emergencies such as homelessness, foreclosure, utilities and medical care.

emergency financial aid: singers who are effected by disasters are provided emergency aid distributed from restricted funds (donner) and other general funds.

Community Stories

103 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A few years ago, I was in terrible financial straits. I was close to eviction, close to having my electricity interrupted, cell phone service was scheduled for shut down...things were a mess. A fellow singer referred me to Society of Singers and after speaking with Wendy Garfinkel, I was able to breathe easy. I felt as if she really cared about my dilemma and I left our conversation knowing everything would be all right. I was later in a position to contribute some money. My only regret was that I wasn't able to contribute more. I thank the Society of Singers for being there when I most needed assistance and I look forward to contributing again. Thanks to all of you and God bless!

Stormie G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a client, a donor, a client and... This is an extraordinary organization doing such important work. It boggles the mind with their limited staff and limited resources. I will be forever grateful and an infinite supporter. Stormie M.G.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Phenominal organisation that actually meets with its mission daily.

I found myself extremely troubled - mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Society of Singers came through not once, but twice.

Incredibly compassionate staff, especially Wendy Garfinkel.

It is rare that a non-profit inspires others to return and serve, yet SOS has compounded my destiny as a singer, musician and member of the human species.

Thank You, SOS -
Stormie M. Graham

1 Glitzy G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate and support the vital role SOCIETY of SINGERS (SOS) organization provides to not just the vocal/music industry, but as mentors to new upcoming artists, as supporters to the community and the Arts, and as supporters of continuing musical education to the community. Although headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, SOS provides supportive services nationwide. I have been to many SOS events, and I have witnessed the positive role this incredible organization gives to so many. I urge everyone to re-discover music and singing, how important the Arts are in their communities and to support the SOS organization. SOS is making a big impact on all our communities in the USA!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was so grateful to learn about this wonderful organization! I've been a singer/entertainer for almost 50 years- been working since the age of 4...and although it's been a great journey and I've always been able to make a living "doing what I love to do", it definitely has its downside! No pensions, no security, no insurance... Three years ago, I had lost my health insurance plan because I was late in making a payment. Well, as fate would have it, I had to be hospitalized, and the bills started to roll in! I'm still paying them off! Being the sole caretaker for a parent with Alzheimer's has also curtailed my ability to work full time. When I found out that I needed dental work I didn't know where to turn. Finding the Society of Singers has been a godsend! I had been putting off having the work done because I could not afford it, and my problems were getting worse. They helped me with some of the bills so that I was able to get started addressing some of the more serious of my problems. We singers need our smile so that we can keep spreading joy to the world! I don't know what I would have done without this organization coming to my rescue!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I called because I'm in the performing arts, and having terrible financial hardship because of prolonged acute medical problems, and being told I'm ineligible for every city agency and aid organization. Even though they weren't able to give me a grant either, they had really good, useful suggestions of who I could try to contact, and where else I might look. Wendy, with whom I spoke, was also just really understanding and respectful, which I've found is very rare when one is on this end of nonprofits! They were really helpful and really lovely.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have made a living in music full time since i was 16 yrs old. About 2 years ago I was on a job out of town recording and after leaving the studio I tripped and fell head first onto a concrete walkway, leaving me with severe injuries. I had broken out my front teeth, severely injured my left hand and arm with a lot of nerve damage, leaving me unable to work or play my instrument. Music is the only job I have ever had so this was devastating. The Society Of Singers was there for me and helped me greatly. Not only with financial support with basic needs but with advice leading me to legal and medical help as well. It's been 2 years of hospitals, therapy and rehabilitation since the accident. Wendy and the SOS is still there assisting me any way they can. I am very thankful for all their compassion, understanding and assistance during my time of recovery and healing. Please continue to support and raise awareness for this great organization. So they can continue helping those in need.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Society of Singers truly understands how challenging the life of an entertainer can be. I went through a period of unemployment. All of my resources were exhausted. SOS helped me with money for rent. This really gave me peace of mind that I wouldn't get further behind on my bills while looking for work. They expressed such kindness, compassion and understanding. I like to think of them as angels to the artist community. I am truly blessed to have been a recipient of their services.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Rebekah Del Rio. I am a professional singer/songwriter who has been in numerous films and TV and have had record deals as well as put out my own independent albums. Like many self employed creatives, I have always lived paycheck to paycheck. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to perform with major super stars and in major motion pictures, however, I have never realized my own dream of being on tour and making a 'real' living at my music. I have always had a survival job and last year I was injured from a show and was not recovering very well. My husband discovered he has thoracic disc disease and has been unable to help support us and our landlord was desperately trying to make us leave our rent controlled home of 11 years so he could up the rent. I had been trying to release a self funded (and kickstarter funded) album and tour but to no avail. We were in desperate need of assistance for our basic living expenses and medical premiums. I reached out to Wendy at S.O.S. and she was quick to assist us, not only in granting us some much needed funds to pay our basic living needs while we tried to catch up but she also worked with other organizations to help us recieve more funds to pay for our food, shelter, insurance and utilities. Wendy and The Society of Singers were wonderful to us and did not make me feel like a beggar but she made us realize that sometimes we ALL need a little help from our friends and being a professional singer doesn't mean you are always in the money. I have not been paid for so many of my vocals, from companies and directors who have the money to pay me but refuse to do so. If there were not foundations such as S.O.S. to help out, I don't know what would have become of us in that situation. We are still struggling to keep afloat but at least we are still in our home and the bills were paid. Please share this with everyone! S.O.S. is A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!'' love & light Rebekah Del Rio

2 Zeus M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern, There is a non-profit organization out in the world today that is literally saving people from the hardships that are thrown our way in these difficult times. My family and I have recently been the benefactors of their good will. I am proud to say that my family and I are in a much better position spiritually and economically because of them. This organization is SOS, The Society of Singers. I can not tell you enough how important they are, and the lives that have been touched by them. I am the father of three children and married to a wonderful wife, and we will forever feel indebted to SOS for coming to our aid when we most needed it. The people, especially Wendy Garfinkel, are caring individuals and are truly dedicated to helping others through difficult times. They are committed and I am so very thankful for them. Thank you for your time, and I hope that you recognize this important organization in our community known as SOS for the wonderful non-profit that it is. They have changed many lives, including my own. Respectfully yours, Zeus Mendoza - Los Angeles, CA

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Society of Singers helped me greatly in a time of need. I am a singer/songwriter from Hollywood and have been performing, creating and giving to my community since I was a kid. Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and SOS generously helped me with critical bills I couldn't pay. SOS saved my life!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I didn't know where to turn after being assaulted on a gig and losing a summer of income, my glasses, and accruing huge medical bills. SOS stepped in and gave me the assistance I needed and a much appreciated sympathetic ear.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a professional singer and songwriter for most of my adult life. I've been able to bring in money from my gigs and doing various part time jobs to cover my living expenses. For me, that has been a real problem because of the medical conditions I'm dealing with. As I've gotten older my physical health and disability has effected my ability to make a living. I can't do regular 9 to 5 jobs and I not able to do play my guitar or sit or stand for the 3-4 hours that are required for live performance gigs, which I used to do with out any problem. It has been a very stressful time in my life that I've had to lean on God and others to keep me going. I was recently referred to SOS from another non-profit that offers assistance to singers and musician in emergency or crisis. When I called and spoke to Wendy I could tell that she had a good heart and really cared about me and my situation and understand what I was going through, she also had a great sense of humor which I appreciate She was very professional and helped me through the application process and was quick to get back to me when I had a question. I got help to cover my past due rent and it really gave me hope to keep on going. I can't say enough good things about Wendy and SOS. They are a real blessing to the music community and singers when they need some one to help get through a difficult time in life. I hope one day to be able to help them financially and pay it forward so they can continue to help others music professionals in there time of need. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and heart concerning SOS. Gods blessing to you all :) Terry Bell

1 Beth R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was close to losing my home, Society of Singers stepped in and gave me an emergency grant that saved me from homelessness. They gave it to me very quickly- it probably only took a few days following my application for aid. It made all of the difference during one of the worst periods in my life. Wendy Garfink was incredibly kind and went far out of her way to see that I got emergency funding as quickly as possible. She continues to lead this organization with an open heart for the many professional singers who live without benefits, as do most musicians. Words can't express what it means to have someone help you save your home, but that's what SOS did for me. I will never forget their kindness and generosity to me during an extremely stressful period in my life.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

SOS is an amazing organization who have offered financial assistance to thousands of singers who have found themselves in emergency situations. I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of a grant from them when I was in danger of losing my home. It saved me- and I know they've helped save many more like me.

Musicians are a terribly underserved part of our society. Most of them never get any form of health insurance, retirement fund, or any other kind of backup support should they find themselves in an emergency. SOS has stepped in and helped them when they had little or no support from any other source.

I was permanently disabled from regular employment in 2004. By the end of 2005, I had exhausted any emergency money I had on hand, and was facing homelessness. If not for the grant I received from SOS, I would have lost my home.

I can't say enough about SOS. In a matter of DAYS, I received a grant from them. Their empathy throughout the process was nothing less than amazing to me. They helped to give me hope and kept me going when I thought my life was in a permanent downard spiral.

They have my undying thanks for their help. Wendy Garfink is an angel to me, and if there is anything I can do to repay them in kind for what they did for me, I'm very happy to give it.

I hope that this letter of endorsement helps them in getting further support so that they can continue their incredibly valuable support of singers. Words cannot express my gratitude to them.

Gratefully-

Beth Reynolds

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to SOS by Ella Fitzgerald, who was Godmother to my son. I have been a donor/member of SOS for at least 20 years now. I have personally experienced the amazing dedication of Judy Varley, Director of Operations, and Wendy Garfinkel, Director of Human Services, remain true to the mission of SOS, helping singers in need. I have witnessed the sincere gratitude of many singers who have been helped by SOS. I believe in SOS, as Ella did, which is why I remain a member and will continue donate as much as possible to this important and much needed organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SOS is a truly great organization that has helped 1000's of singers and musicians over the years. I am aware of over 50 personal friends in need that have been assisted over a rough patch by SOS who remain eternally grateful for help, many of which have gone on for an extended career.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Society of Singers is extremely dedicated to its clients and continues to work through many hardships to provide for those who most need assistance.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a social work intern at SOS and have come to believe in the mission of this great organization. SOS helps an under-served population in some of their greatest times of need and is so valuable. I only wish more people knew about SOS and that more successful musicians supported it.

1 Lynn Drury

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am forever grateful to the Society of Singers. They were instrumental in helping me return to New Orleans after the storm. While rents were skyrocketing, they generously paid my initial deposit. With their help, I am now back home in the city that first inspired me to sing! Thank you SOS!

Comments ( 1 )

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Society of Singers 03/13/2011

OUr best to you Lynn! We are so glad you are home and wish you nothing but the best for now and always! -- Wendy

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been an active member and donor to the Society of Singers (SOS) Organization for over a decade. Introduced to SOS through my work at Warner Chappell Music, I found this valuable organization not only helps with networking, but more importantly, continues to support the fine arts, artists, singer-songwriters and other music-based professionals by providing valuable assistance and referral services. SOS is caring, professional and compassionate -- I've never seen such wonderful support! During this economic climate, it is especially important to continue our support of the arts. Music is vital to our lives, and I believe SOS is at the heart of that support. I encourage everyone to learn more about SOS and their supportive services ... then become a donor and member. You'll be a part of a great experience and a valuable supporter of the beautiful world of music! JEASongs (J Anderson, singer-songwriter)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I fell on hard times and as a musician in Los Angeles, that's not a long fall. Society of Singers came to my aid and literally saved my life.

Many, many thanks and Blessings upon them!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a professional singer for 30 years and currently live in New Orleans. I've been having a very hard time lately as my home has been foreclosed and I am under a great deal of stress, trying to find a place to live and trying to reach out for help.
Society of Singers has been a life line for me. I am grateful to them. They listened, that gave me valuable information and the emotional support I so needed.
Most people are unaware of the dedication and love of music that singers must have to continue their art. We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't love to sing! It brings people joy and we are often not thought of as musicians.
After spending much of her time with me on the phone, Wendy gave me contact information in New Orleans and went out of her way to get me in touch with a local New Orleans singer, who is also a client of hers.
I know now that in good times and tough times, I have support and a compasionate organization that really cares. I want to continue to bring my voice and my knowledge to the public, students of music and to the elderly.
Thank you so much, Society of Singers.
Maria Kramer, aka: Lady K
New Orleans

Board Member

Rating: 5

As one of the founders of SOS, I am extremely pleased to see its wonderful success acknowledged. When Gilda Maiken, Donna Manners, Randy Van Horn and I put the organization together and asked Ginny Mancini to be our the first president, we were filled with expectations of being able to benefit all singers. I had the great pleasure ,while serving as President of the Hollywood Media Association, to present the first donation of a measly $250 from that organization to Tony Martin as the prepresentative of the Society of Singers. That was the original seed money that helped defray the start up funds needed.

I am very proud of my association with SOS and can only give my best wishes for its continued success.

Anthony (Tony) Adams

Client Served

Rating: 4

Through web searching I found the Society of Singers when found out that I would need $20,000 to get my front teeth replaced with implants. Even though they had no funds available at this time they spent a lot of time helping me organize my presentation and finding other music and arts organizations to apply to for help. They were unfailingly kind and encouraging during a very difficult time. I was so glad to have found them when I was feeling alone and not quite knowing how or where to get any help at all. With their help I have managed to find other organizations that are helping me start a small dental fund for the work I so desperately need. I was so surprised to know that there was anyone out there at all and am so grateful for all their efforts

Client Served

Rating: 5

Society of Singers is a wonderful organization! I received my Bachelor's in Music with a concentration in voice in 2002. I had intended on continuing on to graduate study, but my sister was diagnosed with colon cancer at that time. In 2006 I decided to return to school. Society of Singers gave me the confidence I needed to take that step! They also encouraged me by offering me a Vocal Arts Scholarship! With the rising cost of education today, this scholarship was badly needed and greatly appreciated! Musicians perform because we have a love and a passion for our art-form. Society of Singers made it possible for me to return to school as pursue my love of singing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had moved back to Los Angeles to be with my new grandchildren, and hoped that I would make some old connections and continue on my path as a singer. It was beyond challenging as the business has changed so much .. I was met with so many obstacles, but I knew I had to continue.. After dealing with the inablility to pay my bills, I felt hopeless. A very close friend and ally in the jazz world told me to call SOS and tell them my story.. Without going into the details of my story, I will say that not only did they help me financially, but they gave me information on how to proceed and my life's situation a lot more tolerable.. I am not only a client. I've also volunteered. Because I realize that these are the things that are needed in order for this amazing support to continue. I feel that the Society of Singers is one of the most amazing not for profit organizations we have.. We must support and help in whatever ways we can!!! I plan to.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SOS is a GODSEND to performers like myself,who cannot manufacture required skills necessary to survive in today's increasingly competive job market. Not only did SOS help me with my rent and utilities when I REALLY needed it, but did so with COMPASSION,CONSIDERATION,KINDNESS and EXPEDIENCY,qualities seldom displayed in many comparable organizations.Clearly,SOS funding needs to be prioritized in the entertainment industry.God Bless you! Hal Beasley,Opera Singer in NYC

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOS are my Guardian Angels all I can say is being on the other side of the world from my family and being stuck in a time of need they were there for me. They were quick and met my needs asap. I love u guys :-)

Client Served

Rating: 5

though a long time and respected member of my profession, in our dreadful economy last year when everything crashed at once and government money due was tied up in someone's mistake (which took 4 months to unravel) Society of Singers came to my rescue, in concert with my union and saved me from ruin, and did so with grace and respect and so much kindness, I will never be able to thank them enough. And I now, whenever i can, try to pa them back by attending their fund raisers. They are worth so much more than words can ever say. Please support them, they save souls from ruin and help them to help themselves and get back in the game.

Cynthia M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to SOS for years and very recently I needed their help and was amazed at how quickly, kindly and effortlessly they made the whole process. This organization is all about helping singers , sipported mostly by other singers. I am proud to be a part of this circle of love and support ! Cynthia Manley

Client Served

Rating: 5

They understood my time of need, and provided financial support to pay my rent during a harsh period of unemployment. They were extremely courteous and efficient. They were great to deal with and guided me through every step of the way for their application process. I am highly grateful to them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last year with the bad economy and going through a divorce, I found myself under great financial and emotional strain for the first time in years. A friend recommended SOS to me. I met with Wendy at their office, where I was treated with the utmost of kindness, respect, understanding and empathy. They helped me financially with money towards my rent and phone bill. They also helped point me towards other resources that could be of help to me at this stressful time. It was not easy to ask for help, I had never had to do this sort of thing before. They understand all of this. Wendy and Judy are amazing at their jobs and dedicated to making a difference in people's lives who are struggling. They were the first light that gave me hope and was the beginning of me coming out of a very dark time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2003, I was struck with an undiagnosed illness that caused me to shrink to 80 pounds. As a very active musical theatre performer who was currently employed as a performer when this occured, I was at a loss as to where to go for help. Society of Singers saved me. I was able to take residency in an apartment building they owned and while I was struggling to survive, they were always there with financial help and spiritual fortitude. I have since regained my health and have been blessed with a solid career that has enabled me to start to repay some of what SOS provided to me during that daunting period. I will be forever grateful to Wendy Garfinkel and The Society of Singers for the work they do and I look forward to helping to support such a worthy organization in every way that I can.

Donor

Rating: 5

Society of Singers is an organization that helps thousands of professional singers get through downturns in their careers. I have been not only a donor, but a volunteer and a client served as well. SOS helped me through a very short but rough period, literally covering my house payment and utilities. SOS also creates a greater sense of community amongst singers by connecting younger singers with more established, experienced singers, who may not otherwise be as accessible. As a volunteer, I have prepped for fundraisers and special benefit concerts. And as a singer volunteer I participated in performances at several gala fundraisers. I am happy to have been able to give to SOS as well as to benefit from their gifts. I am proud of my affiliation with SOS as a served client, a volunteer and a donor/member through the years. Society of Singers is a winning non-profit group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

During a time of great need Society of Singers stepped in and helped me get back on my feet again. The economic recession had hit, i had just moved here from New York City and my health was in a very poor state, jobs were hard to come by and I was at a loss as to where to turn. The actors fund directed me to the Society of Singer who treated me with great respect and at the end of the day not only helped me financially but managed lift my spirits and help give the strength to lift my spirits and get back on my feet again. All is well now and i give part of the credit to the Society Of Singers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Society of Singers is a fantastic organization. Their staff (and Wendy Garfinkle primarily) were responsive, timely and thorough. They helped me when I needed it most and I literally don't know what I would have done without them. Because of my medical conditions and the help they provided me in retaining my health insurance It's not unreasonable to say they may well have saved my life. I don't know how I would have gotten back on my feet without them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Brenda Lee Eager, singer/songwriter/actress/ vocal coach. I am happy to write and tell you how SOS and Wendy have helped me in the past years. It has not been an easy road being in the music business these past 43 years and there were times that I needed help and had no place to go. I was led to S.O.S and they saved my butt! Twice! I pray that in the near future that I will be able to start contributing back to the fund because it is where I want to give back and help someone else who is pursuing their dreams.Peace and blessings to all , we truly are ONE!