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January 2021 Newsletter

Michael Tacy

Inspiring Hope

January 2021

Welcome 2021!  A Year of Recovery, Rebuilding, Reassuring, Rewriting, Reassembling, Restitution, Revitalizing, Recalculating, and Reassessing.  And a year of Remembrance of all those heroes during COVID and those persons who succumbed to the disease.
Holiday Cards 
Rebecca Fan, High School Chief Intern in Frederick, Maryland.
Due to the COVID pandemic, The Tacy Foundation offered many projects for students to work on while they were at home. Rebecca, a sophomore at Urbana High School, Maryland, reflected on her experiences as a volunteer who helped bring students together and sent holiday wishes to persons in need:
The process of bringing together twenty students during a pandemic was difficult, but I couldn’t have done it without my parents. They were extremely supportive of the activity and helped deliver the cards to most of the students’ homes. It wasn’t an easy job, as some of the students lived very far apart, and getting the cards to some students was difficult, but with the help of another student, Alex Zheng, we got the job done. Alex, another sophomore at Urbana High School, stated that "it was heartwarming to see so many people come together virtually to spend so much time making these spectacular and amazing cards for others in need.” Most of the other students gave positive feedback as well, including Kim Anh, who said that the experience was “nice….I love writing cards to people in need because I'm able to bring joy to them." As a Chief Intern, I am glad that I was able to bring students together to help write cards for those in need. It was a real pleasure working with such an amazing group of students, who shared my enjoyment of the experience and were very supportive of the cause. 
Saharat Sreearayanpong EARNS the 
President’s Volunteer Service Gold Medal
Saharat writes:
 
My name is Saharat Phetchit Sreearayanpong,
 
I am 13 years old. I am a 7th grader at Julius West Middle School.
     
I chose to do the “Thank You” and “Get Well” cards project because I saw the news about how hard COVID-19 hit everyone. Overall, I made 960 cards. I wanted to help give some encouragement to first responders and hospitals as they’ve been working very hard during this difficult time. Also, I would like to send some support to those patients who have been a pandemic fighter as well. 
 
Best regards,
Saharat Phetchit Sreearayanpong
The President’s Volunteer Service Award - Gold Medal
Interviews with Seniors in Our Community
Andy Jiang
Andy Jiang, a high school senior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland met with and interviewed three seniors this past year.  He has written about these visits poignantly for us.  In his many music adventures with the seniors, he has developed an interest in studying music therapy in college.  Thank you to Andy for documenting the stories of three wonderful seniors.  Their lives have made a difference in our community!

Tacy Foundation Senior Interview #1- Sunrise Rockville:

Barbara
 
“Whatever you do, just put yourself last.” As a child raised in an overtly strict Christian household in a small, rural part of New York, Barbara heard this statement often. Perhaps much too often. In fact, it was her parents’ go-to phrase, and the reasoning behind many unusual aspects of Barbara’s childhood. It was why they said Barbara couldn’t hang out with friends. Or learn to play soccer. Or even listen to music. Her parents explained that focusing on personal concerns was a selfish way of thinking, so she should always prioritize others before herself. As a child, Barbara was taught constantly that helping and guiding others would lead to personal fulfillment.
 
However, Barbara didn’t feel fulfilled; on the contrary, she was severely depressed. Even worse, she wasn’t allowed to get treatment, so she had no other choice but to shrug off her emotions and continue working in the hope of finding her fulfillment. In high school, she started to work part-time to support her family through babysitting and cleaning. In addition, she spent countless hours outside of work and school with her family to assist in homeless shelters and spread the doctrine of Christianity. Although Barbara’s stringent religious upbringing taught her gratitude and altruism, she stayed depressed and grew increasingly confused over conflicting ideologies between her religion and her personal beliefs. Nonetheless, she continuously put others before herself for almost 20 years, although she never really understood why she had to, and she never really felt happy. Furthermore, she never truly seemed to find the spiritual feeling of personal fulfillment that her parents described. However, over time she began to mature and began to question both the principles of her religion and her own wellbeing under them.
 
One day, Barbara heard a song playing on a nearby radio. It was a new experience for her, as it was the only music she had ever heard other than the Christian hymns that were played at church. The song was by John Denver, and his twangy, unique country style immediately captivated Barbara. After listening to the soft, somber melody, Barbara had a transformative epiphany. She realized that she didn’t need to believe everything her religion or her parents said, and she was more than capable of thinking for herself. She realized that although her parents were deeply religious, she didn’t have to be. And most importantly, she realized that she needed to put herself first sometimes. Over the course of the next few years, Barbara turned her life around: she sought treatment for her manic depression, found a job as a nursery teacher at Yale, and started learning about other religions for the first time in her life. She was a newly emerged butterfly, soaring gracefully from the darkness of her cocoon into the gleaming sky, seeing the pristine, majestic beauty of our world for the very first time.
  
Through Barbara’s religious upbringing was restrictive, the experience allowed her to open her mind to a myriad of new cultures and things. She learned to never shy away from new opportunities for knowledge, and to make her own judgements instead of relying on others’ opinions. So instead of pursuing her parents’ religious expectations, Barbara was able to devise her own, unique path, allowing her to take full control of her life and finally to discover the meaning of true personal fulfillment: happiness.
 
Just as her discovery of music freed her physically from the confinement of her religion, it also freed her mentally from the clutches of depression. But music didn’t just free Barbara; it reinvigorated her, giving her the power she needed to make her own decisions...the power she needed to take care of herself…and the power she needed to change her life. 

Tacy Foundation Senior Interview #2_Sunrise Rockville:

Joan Carr
 
“A family that has music is a happy family.” Born in 1922 in an urban part of Manhattan, New York, Joan Carr has always reminded herself of this quote. Whether it was her mother's singing, listening to the radio, watching TV, or playing an instrument, Joan has always found a passion for music.
 
Growing up, Joan had many siblings, and they all enjoyed listening to mostly soft, calm music. Every morning, her mother sang songs to wake everyone up and brighten up their day. At school, all of her friends loved listening and dancing to popular music. Whenever Joan walked home from school or went to the grocery store, she would sing big band music. She also enjoyed playing the piano after school or whenever she had time.
 
However, life was tough for Joan and her family. Unfortunately, Joan’s sister died at an early age, and for a year, her mother stopped singing around the house. Her whole family was heartbroken about the situation, and Joan felt alone and dreary. Following her sister’s death, Joan’s dog, Bonnie, got hit and killed by a car. Joan was devastated after losing two of her most important companions. Moreover, Joan grew up during the time of the Great Depression. Luckily, her father was an electrician, which helped with her family’s financial issues. Though Joan’s family was somewhat financially stable, emotionally, Joan felt hopeless like nothing was able to help her. Over time, to help combat her grief, Joan listened to mostly popular music, for it helped her reclaim her hope and happiness she once had. One of her favorite songs, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” by Mitch Miller, still hits her today with delightful memories of her dog. 
 
Years later, Joan was offered an adequate job at ADT Security Services, eventually being promoted to a manager in charge of her department. At the same time, she also found the love of her life, Frank, and he helped pacify her childhood sorrow. After dating for many years, they finally became husband and wife, and at their wedding, they played their favorite songs, including “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and Frank Sinatra’s albums. 
 
Joan and Frank lived happily together, for they both had the same music and movie taste. They watched “The Sound of Music” numerous times, and every time it evoked the same heart-wrenching emotions. To this day, Joan still loves listening to music, watching movies, and watching musicals. Joan realized that without music, she wouldn’t have been able to walk out of her childhood misery as successfully, and she is grateful for all of the supportive people that have helped her. All of the music she listens to brings back memories: her childhood, marriage, time spent with her family, etc. Now, Joan lives in the Sunrise Senior Living Center, where her nieces take care of her, and because most of her family members live close by, she can spend precious time with her family members, while also enjoying the music coming from the talented virtuosos of The Tacy Foundation

Tacy Foundation Senior Interview #3_Sunrise Rockville:

James Quinn           
 
James Quinn has always loved music. In fact, listening to music was a family tradition, which was enshrined in James from an extraordinarily young age. But for James, listening to music was much more than just maintaining a long-time family tradition. For him, music symbolized enjoyment, emotions, and “a genuinely great part of life.”
 
James’ earliest memories of music involved him and his siblings dancing and singing to the latest billboard hits on the radio. His mother, who was an actress, would perform an accompaniment on their piano while his father sang the emotional lyrics. In addition, James’ family participated in a church choir, which would gather together and sing harmonious hymns. James would also listen to music in his spare time; for example, he especially enjoyed classical and dance music, which he listened to while doing his homework. James’ musical upbringing would lead to a lifetime passion for the pastime, and he began listening to music whenever he had the opportunity.
 
James loved music because it made life more interesting and lively. For him, life without music would be absolutely inconceivable, with increased darkness, boredom, and fatigue. James found that listening to music brought him incredible amounts of energy, which surged through his body and brought him warmth and happiness. He also found that music could help alleviate anxiety, and act as a blissful break from the constant stress of the world. 
 
But most importantly, James found that music brought back beautiful emotions and raw memories from all areas of his life. Listening to “All the Things You Are,” which he used to sing to his wife, brought tears to James’ eyes, reminding him of their most treasured memories. Hearing “Ave Maria” on the radio brought James back to his time working as an assistant funeral director, allowing him to retrieve long-forgotten moments of beauty and sorrow. Hearing a singer who sounded like Frank Sinatra on America’s Got Talent pulled at James’ heartstrings, bringing back joyful times from his youth.
 
To this day, James still listens to music daily and watches musicals with his wife at least once a week. Even though tunes fade over time, the memories and emotions associated with them endure forever in James’ mind.
The Tacy Foundation
 
Educational Mission
Foster youth development through music, story and mentoring
Philanthropic Mission
Empower youth to discover and use their gifts in service to others
Social Mission
Build community partnerships and create intergenerational connections

 
Sending Wishes for a Wonderful 2021!
 
Please enjoy the holiday videos we have offered to hospital children and seniors!

Here are the links:

 Holiday Reading Express
Holiday Music Videos
Charlotte Holliday, Executive Director
Matthew D. Scott, Graphic Editor
Michael Favin, Chief Editor
Rebecca Fan, Chief Intern at Urbana High School
Andy Jiang, Chief Intern of Eden Homes and Rockville Sunrise Senior Living
 
Donations are appreciated.  Thank you!  
Donate online via Paypal at:  www.tacyfoundation.org.
Or send your donation to: 
The Tacy Foundation 
Box 2334
Germantown, Maryland 20875

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