October 2021 Newsletter

Inspiring Hope

October 2021

Director’s Corner: Every day, I receive calls and emails from people who want to find a way to serve their community. Finding meaning and purpose in our lives brings us together as we pursue paths of hope. Always, inspiring hope is the purpose. Music, sharing stories, holding hope in our hearts, dreaming of a better world for those who suffer, and blessing them with our care and concern are our tools. 

On September 21st, 2021, I traveled to the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico Marine Base. Tacy Foundation Youth had made 400+ thank you cards for service members in three weeks.  They produced beautiful cards!  Always, I am intrigued by the response of those whom we ask permission to receive and distribute gifts. I am curious how the person who picks up the phone to answer my request for delivery of cards or any of our gifts responds. There are some people who have an extraordinary gift of “welcome!” No matter how busy they are, how challenged by stress, how hopeless they may feel in their service jobs, they respond with “We would love to receive your children’s music…..cards…..messages……..drawings…  Your volunteers’ support will mean so much to a soldier far away from home, a senior who cannot remember who she has been, a patient who is in great pain, a parent whose child is very sick, a family that has lost a loved one, or spouse who has lost a life partner from COVID.”  

There are very gifted people among us in our community who carry in their hearts the gift of “welcome” and “inclusion” no matter how small or large the gift. To welcome a child’s gift with open arms and say “thank you” is the act of planting a seed of hope.  Validating that child’s worth among us changes the trajectory of his/her life.  Appreciation and recognition nurture the seeds in the garden of hope. The harvest season is what we see now in the teens and young adults who bless us with their presence, their creativity, passion, and compassion for the world. 

For example, because the Foundation’s first experience of giving very humble music CDs to Johns Hopkins Cancer Center was so very much welcomed and appreciated, we grew the courage and stamina to continue. (See the Tacy Foundation Story)

A Master Sergeant at Joint Base Andrew Air Force enthusiastically offered to meet me “anywhere” (he said) to receive kids’ thank you cards to take back to his soldiers and their families. On September 20th, he met me at the Visitor Center with warmth and gratitude. He told me of the 1200 families on the base and how much he cared about them. He accepted the cards with joy and expressed hope for more. He also accepted recorded music for his families. Whatever we could offer, he gratefully and graciously accepted. For the holidays, he would welcome the music, cards, and anything that shows his troops and their families that we appreciate them for volunteering to serve this country.

The next day, a volunteer at Quantico Marine Base gingerly met with me to receive thank you cards from Tacy Foundation youth. She assured me that these were so very valuable. They would be given out the very next day at an honor ceremony for 1600 marines on the base. I was very touched by her welcome and warmth and so very honored to bring our kids’ beautiful messages of appreciation for service. I asked the volunteer (a retired Air Force officer) how we could help going forward. She said, “Just do this……bring cards, messages of hope and thanks. That will mean so much to the soldiers stationed far away from home to protect and defend us. They are helping 3500 refugees right now.”

Volunteers, don’t forget that you truly matter! Your voices are heard in your live music; your video music on the playlist; your virtual preparation for Piano Pals®, Guitar Pals®, Composer's® Circle (soon to have your own video playlist); Reading Express® videos and stories in Title 1 schools; and thousands of cards for people facing challenges. A Master Sergeant at Andrews and a Support Director for Marines have provided evidence that your thoughts, cards, and messages embolden even the strongest to be courageous, compassionate, and inspired by your hope.

The Cards Projects are now under the leadership of Karina Willis-Lara, Adult Supervisor, and Chief Interns Mario Lara and Riona Sheikh (in Maryland) and Matthew Kim (in Virginia). These Chief Interns or Team Leaders are organizing cards projects this year, carrying on the initial “cards” initiative of Amber Briscoe. They are super-organized and ready to lead by example, as you see in the photos below of cards for the military and their families. Autumn card projects for seniors and hospitals have begun. Contact them through email at cards.thetacyfoundation@gmail.com. They will be thrilled to hear from you and facilitate drop-offs of your cards.

The second USB insert also expresses hope for the world at home and abroad. The dove, infused with music, ascends to heights of light and peace.

Join us in our efforts.  In this and other newsletter issues, we share the work with you with renewed conviction and resolve. Our music and story, interwoven with hope for healing, will make a difference in our world. -- Charlotte Tacy Holliday


Live Music for Seniors

Message from the Site Supervisor of Fairfax Nursing Center:

We had one last-minute cancellation and one no show at the Fairfax Nursing Center, so the girls and I had the privilege of filling in with two hymn arrangements that we had prepared for our church's monthly service the next morning. The residents loved the hymns. One woman was crying and saying it was beautiful over and over: I think the old familiar songs really touched their hearts. We were also happy to see a 104-year-old resident that we have known since before she turned 100. We were so relieved to see that she had survived Covid. -- Yoo-Jung Kong

From left to right: Sophia Go, Yoo-Jung Kong, Jacqui Go,
Son Duong, Khoi Phuong, Eric Tang
Live Music for Hospitals
Holy Cross Hospitals in Silver Spring and Germantown have opened for Tacy Foundation youth for Saturday afternoon live music.
Holy Cross in Germantown: L to R: Jay Kannan, Ethan Yee,
Sean Wang, Katie Wang, Ben Ren, Adishree Strope
Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring:  L to R: Avi Gupta, Quoc-Huy Nicholas Nguyen, Thien-An Nathan Nguyen, DangKhoa Noah Nguyen, Max Belyantsev, Alisa Yonter
Live Youth Concerts return to National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health featured Tacy Foundation youth in July and in September.
The live music wafted through six floors of offices and the huge atrium.  It is called Hall of Hope.  The Patient Library has received each CD that the Foundation has made.  During COVID the Head Librarian chose selections from the Private Playlist for hospitals from our kids to prepare Sunday morning music at the hospital.
On July 22, July 29, and September 16, teens played in the huge atrium of the Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health, during the noon hour. The audience was comprised of passersby, staff, visitors, patients and their families.

Left to Right: C. Holliday, Jessica Zhu, Sujit Hegde, Nathan Shan, Harrison Benford, Allison Oh, Alisa Yonter, Sean Wang    


A Unique Experience in the NIH concert

Hello, I am Sean Wang, and I am an 8th grader. September 16th was a big day for me because I was invited by Mrs. Holliday to play piano in the Young Artist Noon Concert in the Clinical Research Center Atrium in NIH (National Institutes of Health). I felt so honored to have this opportunity and this performance was also a very special experience for me.
The concert was held at noon. I was so excited on this very day. When I entered this 6-story high atrium, a 9 feet long Steinway & Sons piano first came into view. I could imagine how beautiful the sound this piano would have. When it was my turn to perform, I felt a little nervous. I tried to be calmer after I introduced my two pieces, Ballade No.1 in G Minor and Nocturne No. 20 in C# Minor both by F. Chopin, to the audience. When my fingers pressed the black and white keys on the keyboard, the sweet, round, and rich tone eased my mind. The melody made me comfortable. In this moment, all I wanted was to convey my passion for music to my audience.


The audience gave me a big round of applause. Some people including a patient told me that they felt touched by my performing. It is meaningful to me. Their compliments were a recognition for my hard work.
A big thanks to the Tacy Foundation. I sincerely hope I will have another chance to perform in the NIH soon.       Sean Wang

Piano Pals® Preparation
The following schools have asked for the Piano Pals® Preparation Program this year: Gaithersburg ES, Fox Chapel, Great Seneca Creek ES, Brown Station ES in Maryland.
A video (link below) was made to train applicants for Piano Pals@ programs. Over 100 students participated in the training to be ready during the past year. Veteran Piano Pals® mentor at Brown Station ES Lilian Wang prepared this visual for newcomers to the mentoring program:


Donations for keyboards and USBs are greatly appreciated! Piano Pals® will be starting in four Title 1 schools as soon as the quarantines in classrooms subside. There will be much work in retrieving the keyboards, replacing broken ones, purchasing hundreds of batteries, providing Piano Pals® T-Shirts, and building mentoring teams for each school’s afterschool program. Please support the mentoring programs -- teens mentoring young children who cannot afford music lessons.

During the holidays we will send USBs of our kids’ music to those whom we cannot reach in person: children of the first responders and military families, hopefully at Andrews AFB, Quantico, and Fisher Houses (families of military awaiting recovery of injured service members, hospitals, seniors). We send a limited number of UBSs due to the costs of recording, printing of inserts, and bulk production. For 14 years we have reached out during the magical holiday season, a time when many feel the need for warmth and support during the cold, dark winter months. A donation for USBs is a gift that keeps on bringing beautiful music to cheer the listener of every age. 

USBs for shipment to Fisher Houses last summer: 

Composer’s Circle


Composer’s Circle welcomes the return of George Benskin. He joins Michael Tacy this fall in providing guidance to youth on their creative interest in composing music. George is an alumnus of the Foundation. A charter youth volunteer, he was 8 years old when the Foundation began. He performed throughout his childhood in senior homes, hospitals, and VA hospitals in Baltimore. When he was 16 years old, George prepared a solo Benefit Concert to raise funds for Foundation projects such as CDs for hospital patients and Piano Pals®. George initialized the Composers Circle Program at United Church of Christ Seneca Valley when he was a junior in high school. He is back for a time to lend his talents to the growing interest in composition.

COVID Video Playlists

The master YouTube playlist, initialized by Keerthana Srinivasan in April 2020, continues to grow! The Live Music Video Private Playlist now contains 497 songs of all genres and instruments!
The Reading Express® video playlist, designed by Pratyusha Mandal, now contains 122 stories of all kinds. 
Thanks to the teens who upload music and stories, those who collect and send cards, and who lead and attend Virtual Piano & Guitar Pals! Thanks to volunteer staff who host Virtual Opportunities.
Thank you to all Activity Directors of the many facilities where we continue to share music and stories.   Thank you to Ms. Boynton for sending emails and pictures to seniors every month and organizing the return to Live Music for Seniors. Thanks to Jenny Utz for logging everyone's SSL credits for the many projects. Thanks to Mr. Michael Favin for Editing the Newsletter each month.  Thanks to Matthew Scott for designing and finalizing the Newsletters. Thanks to Mr. Pedersen for leading the Board, to Board Members, to Michael Tacy for website management and the Composers’ Circle, and to all donors who continue to send support and funds for the ongoing projects. AND thanks to EVERY SINGLE Child and Teen VOLUNTEER and to parents who reach out to the community.


We are truly blessed with vibrant, generous, compassionate youth! Join us this fall season as the
days grow shorter and the nights longer. We will work together to bring our message of boundless hope.                                                      

Thank you for your continued support!

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 through video, email, cards, puzzles for outreach to the community 

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:  www.tacyfoundation.org.

Or send your donation to: 

The Tacy Foundation 

Box 2334

Germantown, Maryland 20875

Select The Tacy Foundation as your charity when shopping on Amazon!  Amazonsmile.org will donate a small percentage of your order to The Tacy Foundation upon request.  A very easy way to donate at no additional cost to you!

Charlotte Holliday, Founder and Executive Director

Matthew D. Scott, Graphic Editor

Michael Favin, Chief Editor

Siddharth Kondam, Teen Editor

Ethan Schenker, Teen Editor

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