March 2023 Newsletter

Inspiring Hope!
March 2023

♩ Director’s Corner

The great nations of Turkey and Syria rest heavily on our hearts and minds. Some of our Tacy Foundation families originated from these countries. We bear their sadness and loss as our own.

We are swinging into action to send funds to these nations. With the generosity, resourcefulness, and knowledge of our community, we are organizing a benefit concert. United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley has offered its entire church for a Tacy Youth Benefit Concert on March 5th at 4 pm. In addition, arrangements are almost finalized for another concert on the 12th in Maryland, and we are hoping to hold another one on the 19th in Virginia. Please check our website for updates. The youth will organize, lead, and perform their music to inspire all who hear. Come in person as you are able. For those who cannot, one of our adult volunteers has volunteered to donate her expertise to LiveStream the concert to the many who live a distance away. You can find the live stream link here: LIVESTREAM

The Foundation is asking our community to send their donations to support families in the earthquake zone. We will forward our contributions to reputable organizations on the ground in the earthquake zone. Michael Tacy has designed a QR code with contact information for the most efficient, reliable charities for our donations. Scan and share the QR code below to donate or simply follow this link: DONATE

We intend to send out our music and hope to the people of these distant lands. Join us in our music messages of love to help restore hope in the world. Help us help Turkey and Syria heal and rebuild.

Two Brothers Describe their Experiences with the Tacy Foundation
Shaun Wang:

Music is a magical thing. To the musician, it is a way to express oneself and let out emotions or escape into a world of fantasy. To the listener, it can bring joy, take us to fond memories in our lives, and combat depression … in other words help both our mental and physical health. I myself had struggles, especially during the quarantine. It was through musical performance and service that I regained my strength. As an added advantage, through my community service with music, I gained the Presidential Gold Award, which I am very proud of.

Over the past year, I have been going to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center every month to perform background music for the patients and nurses. When I walk in, I see patients in military uniforms sitting in wheelchairs or walking around with prosthetic limbs. While playing for them, I feel proud and grateful to be able to show my appreciation for them and their service to the country. 

I have also been hosting and performing music at a local senior center. Mr. Coates, who works there, always has the performance area set up, inviting us in and greeting us one by one. Our live performances takes place in a cozy dining room, where the seniors can sit and relax while we perform our pieces. After our performance, some of them come up to me and tell me things about themselves. Over time, I’ve gotten to know some seniors a little. This summer, my brother and I volunteered there as summer interns, and we got time to chat more with Mr. Coates and the residents. It was amazing to see them being so cheerful and generous with compliments. 

Throughout the time that I’ve been a part of the Tacy Foundation, it has been a privilege not only to share, but also to appreciate, the joy of sharing my music with others. Through the Tacy Foundation, I have been able to touch and to connect with many people in my community. I am glad to have this opportunity to show my appreciation to those who have built up our community. I strive to continue “Inspiring hope, note by note.”
Samuel Wang:

Dr. Seuss once said that “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” The same, generally, is true with acts of kindness, which is what I learned from working with the Tacy Foundation.

I am proud to have received the Presidential Service Award for my work for my community through the Tacy Foundation. Last year, I started volunteering as a summer intern at Brookdale Senior Center. I played board games with the seniors, played music for them, and was able to interview Mr. Coates, who helps with activity programs for the residents. Though at first, I was somewhat nervous in a new setting, I started establishing connections with some of the residents. Rather than simply playing music, I was now playing music for others, a wonderful feeling. I took great joy hearing them humming along with the tunes that they knew and seeing their smiling faces after our performance, thanking us for coming, and asking when we could come again.

I owe much of my accomplishments to Mrs. Holliday, the director of the Tacy Foundation. She not only helped me get the award, but also connected all of us volunteers with those in need, which has resulted in more happiness for both. 

Volunteering at the Tacy Foundation has given me so many opportunities for growth. Only by serving others can we see our worth and become part of the community, and that is exactly what the Tacy Foundation helped me do. It has been several years since I joined, and I can’t wait to continue these activities. 
Performance for the Traditional Chinese Holiday 
Sophia Lin

February 5, 2023, was an important traditional holiday in Chinese culture, the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. On that occasion, four Tacy volunteers gave a musical performance for senior citizens of the Hope Chinese School. The musicians included veteran Tacy volunteers Sophia Lin and Gloria Bao, as well as two new volunteers, Claire Ash and Ellen Zhang. The four Tacy volunteers proudly displayed the Tacy Foundation poster before and after the performance. The performance was very welcomed and appreciated by the seniors, as well as a very good experience for the volunteer musicians. The leader of the seniors expressed that they would like to have more performances in the future. During the performance, the leader of the class told me that the class seniors belonged to the Silver-Light Senior Association, a U.S. government-supported organization.

From left to right: Ellen Zhang, Gloria Bao, Sophia Lin, Claire Ash
Looking Back on a Volunteer Experience
Raelyn Hoang

As I think about my last few months of high school, I look back to how I have contributed and made a difference through the Tacy Foundation. In 2017, I began volunteering for the Tacy Foundation in multiple senior living facilities, performing pieces on the piano for the residents. Although I was young, the residents’ joy after each recital made me realize the great impact that I could have on others. After two years of volunteering, I began the role of Chief Intern at Harmony at Chantilly. 
After serving as Chief Intern for approximately a year, I had to take a break because volunteer projects were put on hold due to COVID-19. Eventually, when recitals resumed, I realized that, due to the social distancing and isolation caused by the pandemic, loneliness and boredom had grown among our audiences. This prompted me to think of more ways to help beyond the monthly recitals I had been organizing. I reached out to the director of Harmony at Chantilly, and we came up some ideas. 

At first, I volunteered at the memory care wing of the retirement center, whose residents could clearly benefit from additional support. I created arts and craft ideas, which, after testing them myself, I shared in classes with the residents. The residents found so much joy and excitement in making small pieces of artwork, which the director displayed around the facility. It not only brightened the rooms, but also people’s spirits. I was told that the residents enjoyed playing games, so I organized bingo games, which they loved. The director also set up a bus ride activity in which I accompanied everyone while boarding and kept them company as they enjoyed the ride. 

I then began volunteering on the main side of Harmony. It was a different experience but just as enjoyable and impactful. I helped with sing-alongs by mouthing lyrics to help residents follow along. I also created different groups to sing different parts of the songs. In addition, I played bingo, password, and other board games with the residents. I would say they were quite competitive. By far, my favorite part of this whole experience was simply talking to the residents. They love talking about their lives, especially their kids. I enjoyed listening, and they appreciated the company. 

My hopes are to encourage new and current high schoolers to give back with their talents, free time, and desire to volunteer. Volunteering has given me a sense of fulfillment. I learned to be selfless and use my privileges and talents to better my community, which I intend to continue as I begin college this upcoming fall. 

Sunrise: An Enthusiastic New Venue for Music
Sophia Lin

After years of playing the piano for different community homes and participating in different projects, I wanted a place where I could perform weekly. I chose Sunrise of McLean, which was fitting for many reasons. It shares a name with the first community home I performed in for the Tacy Foundation, always reminding me of that nostalgic recital in a charming venue. It also lacked as many live-music performances as other facilities, which was surprising given the residents’ enthusiasm whenever I played: the audience responded after each piece with loud hoots and gracious applause. Finally, the facility was also located far away from other community homes, despite being close to multiple schools, including my middle school.

I started performing there in August of 2022 as a volunteer, dedicating an hour of my time each week to bring the joy of music to the elderly residents. I always looked forward to playing for my audience and was eager to bring joy to those who work and reside at Sunrise. As I played, I found myself wanting to share this experience with more people. After a spirited New Year’s program that ended in hoots and hugs, I was inspired to bring more people to the site.

Under Ms. Holliday’s support, I contacted Ms. Bell, the new activity coordinator at Sunrise, to initiate Tacy’s program on this new site starting in January 2023. It took a while to coordinate with Sunrise and Tacy, but I remained determined to make it happen. In the meantime, I invited middle school students to join Tacy, capitalizing on the site’s proximity to my middle school. Ms. Holliday also recommended the site to new volunteers in the area, such as my friend Gloria Bao.

While waiting for a response from Ms. Bell, I organized a performance with four volunteers for the Silver-Light Organization at Hope Chinese School for the Lantern Festival (the fifteenth and last day of the Lunar New Year) celebration on February 5th. This was a great success, and we received a warm welcome from the audience. This gave us the motivation to continue with our efforts and inspired us to do even more.

Finally, on Sunday, February 19th, I organized our first official performance at Sunrise at McLean. The seniors were excited to hear the diverse range of music, with Claire Ash and I playing the piano and Gloria Bao playing the violin. They filled up the space in wheelchairs and with applause, and they eagerly asked when the next performance would be. We are excited to welcome more volunteers to join us and be a part of this amazing community service opportunity.

Sophia Lin, Gloria Bao, Claire Ash

Through this experience, I learned the importance of music as a tool for bringing people together, especially during difficult times. Regardless of our backgrounds, cultures, or ages, music has the power to connect us on a deeper level. It was truly rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of the seniors and the joy that our music brought them. I am also proud to introduce a new generation of young volunteers to Tacy, maintaining the virtuous cycle of giving back. This experience has taught me the value of serving our community, and I hope to inspire others to find their unique way of doing the same.

Sophia Lin
Sophia Lin, Gloria Bao, Claire Ash
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
      Whom We Serve
          Service members
          Economically disadvantaged
          Individuals who want to serve
     How We Serve (Programs)
          Live music concerts
          Reading Express®
          Piano Pals®
          Guitar Pals®
          Composers’ Circle
          Music USBs
          Musical equipment
          COVID projects: video, email, cards, puzzles for outreach to the community
Charlotte Holliday, Founder and Executive Director
Matthew D. Scott and Michael Tacy, Graphic Editors
Michael Favin, Chief Editor
Evan Yee, Teen Editor
Ethan Schenker, Teen Editor
Donations are appreciated.  All adult and teen staff are volunteers.  No salaries or benefits. Every dollar you donate goes to supplies for all projects offered to the community. 
Thank you!  
Donate online via PayPal at:
Or send your donation to: 
The Tacy Foundation 
Box 2334
Copyright © 2023 The Tacy Foundation, All rights reserved.

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