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We Care Wednesday: MusicWorks

In January 2017 we launched our We Care Wednesday initiative. By donating 5% of our sales each Wednesday, we were able to raise $9,000 for Greater Boston non-profits in 2017. This kind of targeted weekly giving is just another way we can focus our community-based business on doing good in all the ways we can. We are proud to continue this effort in 2018.

Supporting non-profits that continue doing the essential work needed in our communities is important to gather here and we think it's important to the people that shop, take classes, and spend time here. This May 2018 our We Care Wednesday recipient is: MusicWorks a program provided under the FriendshipWorks umbrella.

One of our full-time employees, Sue, is a MusicWorks volunteer. We asked Sue to write why she volunteers for this program and why she thought they should be this month's recipient of our We Care Wednesday initiative.

Sue: Two years ago, I had been searching for both new ways to share my love of music and meaningful volunteer opportunities. That’s when I gladly discovered MusicWorks, a non-profit program that brings music to isolated elders in Jamaica Plain. I felt aligned with their mission to "reduce social isolation, enhance quality of life, and preserve the dignity of older adults." MusicWorks takes care matching each elder with a volunteer, the two of whom may play instruments together or simply listen to favorite records and learn about each other through the process.

I'll never forget when I first met my match, Bernice. Her vibrancy, her character, her humor- I was taken by her. We began meeting at her apartment; I would play the guitar and Bernice would sing and dance along with focus and passion. Over the coming months I would learn about her childhood in Charleston, South Carolina, her fascinating career making cameras at Polaroid, her love of vintage game shows, and of course, music. We would do puzzles and listen to Sam Cooke. We would play percussion together at the monthly Musicworks performances in her building. We would belt along to Celine Dion- a memory I cherish almost most of all!

Bernice was a force of love, kindness, and light. She was a natural advocate and instrumental in getting other elders in her building to attend performances- she believed in helping others, and believed they deserved nothing but the best- and she was absolutely right. Thank you, Bernice, for the love you contributed to your community, and with such gratitude, the love and light you brought into my life.

On April 16, 2018, Bernice passed away. This month's We Care Wednesday is particularly close to our hearts and we hope making a donation in Bernice's memory will help her love of music and community live on.