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!
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Society of Singers is extremely dedicated to its clients and continues to work through many hardships to provide for those who most need assistance.
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.
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!
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
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)
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!
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 :-)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I was told by a friend about SOS. It was a bad year and I was going through a hard time. I had been working temp while working at my craft which is Singing. In show business you are always learning. So you are and should be a life long student. The spring of 2008 I was Amsterdam. working and seeking work. I returned to the states work was slow and the bills were piling up. My rent and utilities were behind. I contacted SOS. i spoke with Wendy. She was great. She was very kind. She did'nt make me feel like I should leave the business. She treated me with respect and dignity. SOS came through. Thanks again SOS for your care and help.
I'm sure that SOS was ordained by the Spirit of God Himself. The spirit of giving and helping was made very clear to me in my time of need. I was reluctant about deal with anyone for a hand out, but SOS made me feel that they were there to give me a hand up. I could tell every time I would talk to someone at SOS that they had a real and honest concern for me and what I was going throught. I'm a singer and I had, keyword "HAD" cancer on my lift true vocal cord. I could hear the care and concern in there voices through the phone. They reashured me not to worry about the bills just focus on my treatment. From time to time someone would call just to ashure and comfort me. When I lost my voice in the middle of my treatments, they would email me. They let me know that I was being thought of. SOS outshined some of the spiritual organizations that knew about my situation. Let just say that there prayers helped SOS to help me, because I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe that God put us togather. I'm just about 100% back up and running, and I would like you to help me with one thing. That is to help me to organize a fund raiser or a series of fund raisers to help The Society of Singers. I would like to have your permission and your guidlines to do this. There is no words that can express my greatfulness and appreciation for what SOS has done for me, my family, my career and my life!
God Bless you,
Society of Singers 01/14/2011
Ronnie -- you are so thoughtful and so deserving of good health, happiness & fortune. Thank you for your wonderfully kind words and may you be blessed this year and from hereon in! Best to you, Wendy Garfinkel
I have a medical condition that has gotten much worse over the past couple years and Wendy Garfinkel and Tami Cassell and Society of Singers were incredibly gracious and gave me a grant to receive medical treatment that I could no longer afford. They were so kind and supportive and they helped me very quickly too. Many nonprofits take a long time to offer assistance. I'm truly grateful and hope someday in the near future I can give back to Society of Singers. Michele Jusko - Singer/Songwriter
The Society of Singers has been a foundation that has helped many singers in their time of need. I have different colleagues that have used the Society of Singers and it's always been a great experience. I found myself in a situation where I needed to use them as well and they made it a painless process. I would highly recommend anyone in the entertainment industry to utilize the services of the Society of Singers
Society of Singers 01/13/2011
Thank you for your review. We are so pleased to have been able to make a difference for you and your family last year. Our best wishes to all of you for a peaceful, happy & a healthy 2011! Wendy G
I was having severe financial problems trying to come back from some family tragedies. I applied for a grant at SOS, and they not only helped me with bills, they recommended other things i could apply for and do to get back on my feet. They helped me get ahead of my bills again. I don't think they know how much it helped, not only financially, but with peace of mind as well. Everyone there, especially Wendy, helped me get back on track.
There will never be enough thank you's for the Society of Singers. I had surgery that my doctors say will save my legs and possibly my life. I am an out of control diabetic. My insurance company refused to pay for the surgery. We appealed 3 times and got a fat "NO" 3 times. When I asked them how they had the right to decide whether I lived or died they said, "We have that authority." Because of my Diabetes, I have been unable to perform for the past 9 months.
I am a professional entertainer bringing my gift of music, storytelling, and poetry to people all over the country. I have been giving my gift for over 40 years.
The Society of Singers helped me with this adventure. Thanks to them and many other folks I am recovering at home and am looking forward to returning to the stage in 2011.
John and I can never thank you enough for your generosity. Unfortunately we never planned on a $30,000.00 bill but with the support from the Society of Singers and many others we will see this through.
I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Your work helps many people and touches their lives. God Bless you all.
Mountain John Hilligoss
Beyond anything, I'd expected. I came upon some pretty rough times, all of my essential bills (Rent, Utilities and Phone) didn't even come close to my bank balance. SOS was right there, thanks to a referral from my dear friend Cindy at Heavy Hitters Music.
I made one phone call we sorted what I needed. I fit their requirements and within 3 days of sorting out some essential paperwork, I was out of danger.
I wished there was something I could do to assist SOS. Thank you for the opportunity to do at least this much!
Ya you saved my ass!
Society of Singers 01/13/2011
Thanks so much for posting. We are so glad that we could help when you needed us. Wishing you the best for a peaceful and prosperous new year!
What a wonderful group of people. In helping me with my astronomical dental bills, Wendy and the SOS folks were amazingly kind and considerate of me and my predicament. I really cannot stress how important this is to musicians everywhere. People like me could not survive without people like Wendy. Trust me: all good.
I joined the Society Of Singers Board because I believe in the mission of the organization to help singers in need. Through financial assistance, scholarships and counseling, I believe that SOS enables life-long music fans like myself to give something back to singers who have or will touch so many people.
SOS really lives up to its name. They understand the role of singers in our society and how tough it can get. Kudos for their compassion and assistance in this troubling economy.!
I am a singer. I am a member of Society of Singers and a volunteer whenever they need me. Since I was a little girl I dreamed of being a singer. I support SOS in order to protect the dream of every singer. When a singer falls on hard times Society of Singers is their safety net. It is our obligation as singers to become donor members. May I never need their help. For those who do need their help -- especially in these recent difficult years -- we must support the mission of Society of Singers.
Society of Singers 10/25/2010
Thanks always for your support and dedication to our cause Christiann. SOS is lucky to have such a devoted volunteer and supporter as you!
SOS helped me pay my college tuition for my degree in voice. I am a young girl trying to support myself through college and achieve my dreams. I am so glad that there is such an organization such as the Society of Singers, that helps singers achieve their hopes and dreams for the future. Times are very tough and I feel so fortune to have received support form the Society of Singers.
Society of singers came to my rescue at a time when I had 2 children and no work. I had recently had surgery and could not work. I was without income, no food and had no idea how I was going to keep a roof over my family's head. Wendy was so wonderful, compassionate and helpful. Society of Singers helped with my rent, utilities and food! Had it not been for them I would have been on the street! I cannot say how grateful I am that they are in existence. God Bless Wendy who is such a lovely, caring and sweet person. There are not enough words to express my gratitude for all that they do to help fellow singers such as myself!
I have been an entertainer in radio, records, television, and live concerts and shows for over 50 yrs. But times got tough, and Society of Singers was there for me through health, financial , housing and career problems. I also lost my husband and the sisters I performed with. Society of Singers was considerate and prompt with their follow through and counseling and financial help. I could not have made it without their support. And thanks to them I still am healthy and performing. They are the most professional classy and fine organization I have ever been involved with. Thank you Society of Singers with all my heart. You are the best. I love ya.
Well - I didn't believe my singing colleague when she learned that I had been battling breast cancer while on a singing tour. She told me about SOS and I made a mental note, but thought it couldn't be that simple. You just apply and if qualified - receive money to help with rent and utilities and basic human needs one needs to survive....within weeks. How could it be that simple when I was already on my 5th surgery and UCLA was putting me into collections over $12.50 per month.....that's right; I could only scrape together a $50.00 payment per month towards all my outrageous medical bills instead of paying the $62.50 they insisted on. What people don't realize is paying for your disease just brings on more disease....more stress and anxiety you don't need which exasperates your condition. You're fighting for your life, really, your life and it's about the dollar - bottom line. Well - SOS didn't do what my colleague said they would. NO....in fact, they approved me in 1 week - not 2; and it was one of the highlights of my recovery. It helped me make a house payment when I had no idea where it was going to come from. I cried and cried with thank you tears which still feel as wet today. It meant soooo much. And it assured me that if the universe was taking care of me with this gift.....it wanted me to surmount this disease and stay here. Thank you SOS.....thank you. I am healthy and heading toward my 2nd year of remission after 5 cancer surgeries and 6 reconstruction surgeries. You're hug will always warm my heart and affirm hope within me. With sincere gratitude and thanks..... Anita De Simone
Society of Singers was a tremendous blessing to me at two different crucial times in my life. They encouraged me to sing again and pursue my craft. I have also had the pleasure of volunteering for them; in their local Sherman Office and at one of their largest fundraising events. They are a Godsend!
You have helped me twice over the pat 30 years and now that I have cancer again (after 7 years) and am trying to live on Social Security, I feel secure that If I asked you for more assistance to pay for things I simply cannot pay for that you would be there for me.. But I don't want to be piggy,,, in that I have never been able to pay back with money.But I do try to give healing service to whomsoever needs it. Such as doing Reiki at the GMHC or to anyone who feels they could benefit from it, and helping others find their way through the "system" for Social Security, Food Stamps, SCREE etc.
The Society of Singers is a wonderful organization who has helped me with completing my studies for a MA in music and then invited me to LA to perform at the 17th Ella Awards alongside Andy Williams, Petula Clark, Barry Mailow and many others. They inspire and support so many young singers and they are a great contribution to the singer/musician community of the USA. Beat Kaestli
I am deeply grateful and humbled by the S.O.S.'s generousity in lending a hand when I was down with a broken leg, bone infection, and on heavy duty Vanco antibiotics introvenously administerd by a nurse on a daily basis, while fighting for my life for a year and a half. Thank you so much for easing my stress by contributing one month's mortgage payment for me while everything was going out in bills and nothing coming in when I couldn't do my concerts during this period of time. S.O.S. was a blessing to me. I am very grateful for your help in my time of need. Thank you for honoring the musicians and artists who paid dues entertaining the public for all their life. Thank you for supporting all the Artists & Music Pioneers. Wendy, bless your heart for the good work you do! Sincerely, Jimmy Scott ***********
SOS helped me when I was sick and having a very hard time paying my bills by giving me a grant. I will never forget their incredible generosity and kindness during this very difficult time for me. Annie Minogue
My entire family and I are deeply grateful for all the kindness, generosity and support you expressed to us over the recent weeks. Thank you for approving our request for financial assistance to cover Samuel’s medical bills following his horrendous bicycle accident this past summer. The $1,000.00 contribution from Society of Singers has enabled us greatly to manage a debt, which totaled over $20,000. Without your assistance, we would be prolonging our debt by several months. Thank you Wendy! On a more personal level, the evening when I discovered Sam’s bloody face and body on the asphalt of a hill at Chautauqua Institution, I really thought my life and the lives of my entire family had been changed dramatically in an instant. It is a sight and a feeling I will never forget. The bystanders, the first responders, the medics, the fire department were wonderful. While he was responsive, his shaky, terrified voice and inability to understand what we were telling him terrified me more than any experience in my life. “God, please don’t take him” were my thoughts. While we drove an hour to Buffalo to meet the emergency transport helicopter, we called family and clergy friends to ask for fervent prayers. Upon our arrival at the hospital we were still uncertain of his condition. However, within several long hours the attending physicians gave us assurance that Sam would be fine. Other than major facial scrapes and bruises and chipped knee-cap, and a chipped tooth this was a very lucky little boy. As any parent, I would have done anything to save my child. Within a few days the bills began to arrive. The company where I was working, Chautauqua Opera, was wonderfully supportive and understanding. It soon became clear that we were looking at a very expensive Medivac and EMT bill. Your assistance has helped close this nightmare much earlier than originally thought. Sam is having a great year as a fifth grader in Philadelphia. He recently was awarded full- jacket status as a member of the Keystone State Boychoir. He reminds himself and others to always wear a helmet when biking and skateboarding and tells his friends of what happened to him on that summer evening when he chose not to wear a helmet. We hope that someday we can also be of assistance to other families in similar ways as you have helped us. Please call on us soon and frequently to invite us to help support your causes through Society of Singers. It is our hope that in the months and years ahead we will be able to help the Society of Singers continue the wonderful and caring work and care you provide. Sincerely yours, Todd and Lisa Thomas
When I originally became a member of Society of Singers as a supporter, it never occurred to me that one day I would need to turn to them for help. I was a healthy, fulltime performer. Then, several years later, in 1994, I found out that I needed immediate open-heart surgery for aortic valve replacement. I was 39 years old, and it turned my world upside down…physically, psychologically and financially. Besides medical bills, I had to miss two months of work, unpaid, and then be restricted to part-time work for another two months. But, Society of Singers came to my aid with both financial assistance and emotional support. And, they referred me to other organizations for additional financial assistance. In November, 2009, it happened again. I was unexpectedly put in the hospital for aortic root and aortic valve replacement, as well as receiving a pacemaker. This time, my insurance policy denied over $50,000 in doctor and surgeon bills, leaving me to foot those costs. And, again, my world was turned upside down…with 30 days in the hospital and another six weeks of recovery time. As a performer working fulltime with a cruise line, I had to cancel an extended contract…unpaid…losing almost $20,000 in income. However, as before, Society of Singers came to my aid, especially from its Director of Human Services, Wendy Garfinkel. And, as before, SOS not only helped me financially, but also with referrals to other financial aid organizations. In addition, they have stayed in contact with me over the last three months to monitor my situation, both medically and financially. The support that Society of Singers gives is unmatched. Besides helping singers in need, they also support programs for young singers and other outreach programs. And, here is a final thought. Singers, unlike musicians and actors, have no performing union and no organization to turn to in a time of need. Society of Singers provides that and, most importantly...a home.
A few years back I was having a hard time making ends meet,and had received a 3 day pay or quit notice.Work was so slow at that time and i could not catch up! I had never been in this situation before and had no Idea what I was going to do. The next day I received a call from Wendy Garfinkel from SOS. I had given her a gift of a "little lamb" for her new baby girl when I had worked at the office of Society Of Singers about six months earler. She was calling to let me know that her baby girl was now old enough to play with her lamb, and she just wanted to thank me again for the gift. She asked how was I doing, She had no idea that I was about to be put out of my apartment. I shared my situation with her and in a few days everything had turned around. SOS gave me a new apartment in their "Singers Apartment Building",and helped me in so many other ways to get back on my feet again. This is an organization that really takes care of their people! I will always be grateful for how they opened their hearts and doors to me. I pray that one day in the very near future I can give back.
I've been a professional Musician for over 20 years and a few years ago I was struggling with health issues and took a chance and contacted SOS,I have to say the quality of their attention and quick response helped get me back on my feet and I can't Thank them enough. since my recovery, things have been truly wonderful. Thank you Society Of Singers!!!! Troy Campbell Austin TX
Dear one(s), The Society of Singers was an organization I didn't know anything about until disaster struck my life back in 1991 or 2. I had sold my home but the guy who had purchased it had lied on his loan application and it looked like the deal was going to fall through. When the house "sold" my long time renter moved out to find another place to live so NOW I was losing about $500.00 a month in rent which was sustaining part of my mortgage payment. Bottom line here is, I COULDN'T make my mortgage payments all by myself after my renter left and it took MONTHS for the deal to FINALLY close! Anyway, one of SOS's members, the sweetest dearest woman on earth, Sue Raney, came to my aid telling me about this group! Well, SOS had someone call me and they paid one months mortgage for me and literally saved the day right when I could go no further and thought forclosure was imminent! (There is more to tell but not enough room)! Suffice to say, this is a beautiful organization. So many of us literally gave our lives to music, legitimately, with all our hearts, and many have little to help when hard times hit. God bless The Society of Singers. I applaud them to this very day! Former Harry James Vocalist, Cheryl Morris
BLESS SOS, SOCIETY OF SINGERS!! When we were forced to move, because our landlords flipped our rented homes three times in four years 2002 2004 & 2005, Society of singers came to our rescue with moving expenses, financial counseling and tender loving care! They provide a critical assistance to singers, who have very few places to turn. Songbirds need a place to roost, and S.O.S.is there for us!
I was helped more than once by the Society of Singers - when I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997, and then several more times up to 2005, after I had moved to Las Vegas. I can't overstate the difference their help made to my and my husband while we were both disabled - he with knee surgery, shoulder surgery and back surgery after working as a chef for a few years.If there was ever an organization which deserves to survive, it is without a doubt the Society of Singers....they have taken care of so many people who otherwise would be forgotten, ignored, and underserved by other help groups - both public and private. If there is any way that I can help or repay these wonderful people, I will be more than willing to do it. Unfortunately, I don't have monetary help, but I do have lots of time and I hope that someone asks me to sing on their behalf someday. My everlasting gratitude, Stephanie Haynes
When there was no where else for me to go, the Society of Singers was there for me. In the midst of a successful career as an opera singer, my clinical depression and alcoholism brought me to a place of despair; after literally trying to drink myself to death, my few remaining friends staged a psychiatric and medical intervention. After stabilisation, I eventually began the long path to recovery. After leaving inpatient rehab, I was faced with the daunting task of rebuilding my life; I was being evicted from my apartment, my utilities had been cut off, my agent had dropped me, and my upcoming contracts had been withrawn. The Society of Singers (in coordination with The HIV Initiative of The Actors' Fund) paid my rent for two months which allowed me to continue to attend AA meetings and gave me a place to stay as I accessed social services in order to deal with the rest of the problems my irresponsibility had caused. Almost as important, this aid gave me the will to live and the hope to carry on after all that I had was gone. After five years of sobriety, I can now say that I would not have been able to make it through without the the compassionate care and financial aid provided by the Society of Singers.
my name is ralph and sos helped me when i needed it they were so warm and friendly and treated me as if they knew me all my life it was very helpful to my family and me i thank them so much for everything they did.