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Review for Sing For Hope, New York, NY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

As a Licensed Social Worker and Recreational Therapist working on a major New York hospital's orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation unit, I am continually seeking alternative and creative modalities that promote healing. Lacking any musical abilities myself I contacted Sing for Hope several months ago to explore the potential of collaborating with them. In August 2010 I met with Christopher Herbert, who was the Director of Advancement at that time, and by the next month we were scheduled for our first performance. Little did I know how positively significant that day would be for patients and staff members alike.

On the day of the inaugural performance, Christopher and the scheduled volunteer singer, Julianne Park, went room-to-room and simply astounded everybody. Their caliber of talent and diverse repertoire was amazing and became the high standard future performers followed. Christopher, Julianne and the volunteers who have since visited our hospital, have brought smiles and even tears of joy to the faces of our patients. One memorable moment was when volunteer singer Monique McDonald sang a beautiful Italian aria to a patient who was a frequent visitor to the Metropolitan Opera. She cried because it brought back pleasant childhood memories and was appreciative not only for Monique’s gift of music but also for her generosity of spirit.

Bringing entertainment, providing distraction from physical pain, and creating an atmosphere of conviviality all contributed to our patients’ and families’ sense of wellbeing. I have witnessed moments where minimally responsive patients with brain injuries smiled in reaction to hearing the singers’ wonderful voices. I have seen overwhelmed family members transported, even if only for a brief moment, from the stress that sometimes coincides with a loved one’s hospitalization. “You just made my night” has been uttered from more mouths than I can count. In short, the healing Sing for Hope volunteers promote through their music transcends words and is immeasurable. I am truly grateful that a program such as Sing for Hope exists.

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

See review above.

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

It would be helpful if volunteers contacted the facility point person the day of the performance. There was a couple of times where one of the volunteers was unaccounted for or late.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I coordinated the Sing for Hope program.