What is your project/chapter/club?
Our project is the organization, coordination and presentation of a Talent Show for elderly residents of the Miami Jewish Health Systems located at 5200 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida. This journey began approximately three to four years ago. We invite youth to perform for the elderly and to bring their friendly dogs to mingle with the elderly.
Why did you choose to do this project? What inspired you?
The Annual Talent Show at Miami Jewish Health Systems was started by Joshua’s Heart Foundation in 2009. We learned of the project in 2012 and volunteered to take over and lead the project in 2013. It was by coincidence that our grandmother had become a resident of the Miami Jewish Health Systems during that time. We quickly agreed to lead it and it has become very personal to us as our grandmother has Alzheimer’s. We had just entered Middle School when we would visit our grandmother almost on a daily basis and found that there were so many residents who never had anyone to visit with them. A large majority of the residents are snowbirds from states in the Northeast and their families are unfortunately still located there. As we got to know the residents, we enjoyed speaking with them and learning a bit about where they came from and their personal interests. We were inspired when we noticed that some of the residents began to know us by name and really enjoyed our visits. To date, a large number of residents know us and recognize the fact that we have given back to them in the form of the Talent Show.
Why do you care? Why is it important to help others?
Our family was hugely impacted by our grandmother’s Alzheimer’s. We felt we needed to do something to give back. Our grandmother instilled volunteering in us as she volunteered herself at numerous institutions up until age 78. Giving back and volunteering on her behalf is something we know she would appreciate and would bring a smile to her face.
What is your current impact, volunteer hours, new volunteers recruited, money raised for JHF, money raised for your project, items donated, etc.?
Our family spends approximately 25 to 30 hours coordinating the event each year. We use our savings pay for any expenses for example hiring an entertainer for the residents, buy materials to make personalized cards, purchasing flowers, flyers, reach out to youth members and the community to obtain talent for the show. In the past, we have provided gently used books and magazines to the residents, given out roses, created and decorated handmade cards, and prepared goodie bags. We also purchase drinks and a small snack for the performers. We estimate that we spend approximately $300 to $350 of our money towards the show each year. So far, we have spent between $1200-1400.
What do you need?
We would love to be able to have toiletry items donated to hand out to the residents in the future. Unfortunately, the nursing home provides limited toiletry items to the residents. We know that the residents would welcome the following donations: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash, socks, and a hair brush and/or comb. Other items they could use are greeting cards and pencils/pens.
Congressional Award for our Volunteer hours.
Social media pages links:
- Facebook: Joshua’s Heart Foundation