July 2020 Newsletter

July 2020

From Amy Tsou, Rising Senior, and Catalyst for Inspiring Hope:

I can still distinctly remember the fifty minute long car ride to the Morningside House of Leesburg filled with nervousness and excitement. It was my first time volunteering at a live music event, and one that left me eager to share music even more. I was inspired by the Tacy Foundation’s philosophy so much so that I wanted to see more youth in my community share music with those who cannot go to live music performances themselves. After a few weeks of calling and visiting various facilities, we met Ms. Edmund, the Activities Director at Heritage Village Assisted Living and Memory Care, who was elated at the idea of youth coming to perform for the seniors. The very next day we contacted Mrs. Holliday about the idea of starting a new volunteer site, and with her approval on May 20, 2017 I hosted my first live music event... 

Timid and wrought with stage fright, I hardly felt that I was suited for the role of introducing the Tacy Foundation. I anxiously smiled as Ms. Edmund, the Activities Director, invited us in to greet the seniors. My eyes were fixed on a chair in the middle of the room. My peripheral vision told me there were twenty people at least, and I was anything but at ease. But maybe if I had just calmed down a bit, I would’ve seen their warm smiles and heard their welcoming hellos that we are eagerly greeted with every month.  
Since then I have gained some of my closest friends and made unforgettable memories with the Tacy Foundation. I can still vividly recall…

Sewing heart shaped beanies for the seniors as a special holiday present 

Planning our Special Christmas Live Music Events at Heritage Village and Arbor Terrace 

Performing our Special Sound of Music Live Music Event at Brightview Great Falls

Interviewing Seniors about how music has impacted their lives at Heritage Village

...and countless more memories. Becoming Chief Intern at Heritage Village and Arbor Terrace has helped me grow as a leader and a musician. I’ve not only gained leadership, communication, and organizational skills but also have become more patient and empathetic. One of the most rewarding parts, though, was watching the breadth of Tacy Foundation grow. Many of my friends, who I started volunteering with and have helped me gain confidence in being Chief Intern, have started their own sites. I’m honored to know that more and more youth are taking the initiative to reach out to their communities and bring them joy through music. 

One of the most distinctive things I’ve learned from these live music events, however, is the value of sharing music. Many of the seniors we perform for suffer from dementia or other illnesses. Yet despite their condition, I’ve witnessed music work its magic. I’ve seen the seniors want to dance and tap their feet to catchy tunes. Other times I can hear them softly sing the lyrics to pieces they know or join in in our christmas carols. One particular moment that truly made an impression on me was when our live music event ended and one senior got up. She walked towards one of the volunteers who played the gu zheng and asked if she could touch it. Her caregiver explained that she had played the gu zheng when she was young. As she performed a short cheerful melody a smile formed upon her face and I found myself smiling from ear to ear too. Their love and appreciation for music clearly echoes in the words they always say at the end of each live music performance: “When will you all be back?” It is because of moments like these that I truly believe in the words that Debasish Mridha once said: “Music can heal the wounds that medicine cannot touch.”

I’d like to thank Mrs. Holliday for her dedication and for inspiring so many youth including me to empower people with music. I also want to thank the Activities Director at Heritage Village Assisted Living and Memory Care Ms. Edmund, the former Engagement Director Mr. Robbins and the current Engagement Director of the Arbor Terrace Senior Living facility for all their encouragement and enthusiasm. 

Reading Express has launched!
You can find it on this link:
The First Student to donate her video is Jessica Hoang, assisted by her sister, Jennifer Hoang.  Jessica produced the story “There Is a Hero in Everyone.”  Caroline Brown joined the Playlist with a classic tale.
Meet Pratyusha Mandal, Chief Intern of Reading Express YouTube Library:
Hi my name is Pratyusha and I am the Reading Express Chief Intern. I have been volunteering with the TACY Foundation for 4 years. I decided to help start the Reading Express program because I personally love reading stories and books. I know that many children have childhood memories of their parents reading a book to them right before they fell asleep. Now due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not possible for family members to see their children as often in the hospitals. That’s why I think that the Reading Express presents itself well in these situations. The Reading Express will be opening the door for imagination and endless possibilities. Please join us by reading stories that aren’t copyrighted, or by writing and illustrating one of your own picture books. Once you are done send those recordings to reading.thetacyfoundation@gmail.com. Thank you and stay safe! 
Pratyusha Mandal

Next week, you will meet the following Rising Seniors, all of whom have taken leadership roles in the Foundation’s ongoing programs in Live Music and in Mentorship:


Amber Briscoe

Ethan Fang

Alena Lu

Tsach Mackey

Abrar Sheikh

Julia Ting

Emily Wu

Ian Yu



There will be more Rising High School Seniors bringing their stories in the next issues.  Look upon them with respect, gratitude, and love.  They are with us yet awhile.  Then they go to pursue their hearts’ desires, sending their hope into the world every day.  


Charlotte Holliday

Assisted by Matthew Scott

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