Meet Karma for Cara microgrant recipient Joseph (16) from Nebraska. Joseph founded & directs the Joy of Music, a volunteer organization comprised of musicians who play violin, viola, cello, or/and piano ages 7 through high school. The musical group performs at various senior living communities across the Omaha metro area. Joseph’s grandmother raised him until the age of 5 so he has always felt indebted to the elderly in his community. He is aware of the depression rates amongst seniors and believes music has healing power. Additionally Joseph has observed how the older youth in the group informally mentor the younger youth, the result being that the seeds of community service are planted in their hearts. The Joy of Music also participates in small gift drives & cookie drop offs at senior living communities in their area.
- What inspired you to start this project? My grandmother raised me until I was five, and thus I have always felt indebted to the elderly community in my community.
- Other than you, how many student volunteers participated in your service project? 50
- Other than you, how many adult volunteers participated in your service project? 100
- How many hours did you spend on your project? 90
- How many hours did other volunteers spend on your project? 1200
- How many individuals were affected by your project? 400
- During the time period between when you applied for a K4C microgrant & when you completed the project, what surprised you? The lack of cultural awareness in my community. Joy of Music has added to our mission a statement promoting cultural diversity and cultural education to the community. We started this in our concert series starting in November, and so we have had two so far. Those two concert series have probably been the two best received so that surprised me as well.
- Overall what did you learn from this experience? A little support goes a long way since it has helped us provide better gifts for the elderly, and it has also helped in providing gifts that fit the theme a lot better since now we could get more of the right materials to make the gifts. Also I learned that people like learning about different cultures; however, oftentimes cultural education is lacking simply because in my community, there aren’t many cultural events from other cultures that are present.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future? We will continue our concert series and mentorship program. I have already begun to find replacement mentors for those that are graduating.
- How was the K4C microgrant helpful in the completion of your project? Very. The microgrant has helped us provide gifts that better fit the theme of our concert series. The microgrant helped us buy chocolate that we would wrap into roses and then we placed those roses inside gift boxes. These gift boxes would fit our winter concert series about how Christmas is celebrated differently around the world perfectly since some countries like the US celebrate Christmas with gifts while other simply just send flowers. Thus having the gift in that form we were able to fit the gifts to better fit the theme of the concert series.
Watch a YouTube video of Joseph explaining the Joy of Music here.