Volunteer Voices: Observing Volunteer Appreciation Month 2024

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Month! Founded to celebrate current volunteers and encourage others to join volunteering efforts, this month of gratitude highlights the importance of giving back to the community.

At JoyRx, our work thrives thanks to dedicated volunteers. We simply could not do our work without our community members’ assistance, support, and dedication. We celebrate our volunteers who diligently serve as JoyRx Mentors for kids in need of companionship and JoyRx Music Volunteers, performing live music in hospital lobbies or recording content that kids can access through JoyRx On Demand.

We asked some of our volunteers about their experience volunteering with JoyRx: What motivated them to join our mission? What moments stand out to them? Why does volunteering matter to them?

Rusty, one of our longest-serving volunteers, shared this story:

“The moment I watched sick kiddos snag the mic and instruments and let it rip in the hospital… I realized JoyRx and the power of music was not only legit, but also where I wanted to spend my free time. Watching their temporary transformation not only opened my eyes to the impact on others, but also the impact it had on me as an individual. How can I help more and when can I come back?”

Our volunteers offer respite to parents, too. Larry, one of our music volunteers, recalled this defining memory:

“I was playing Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ while a young couple walked across the lobby. They stopped and listened. When I finished the song, they approached to tell me they were taking a quick break to get something to eat while their son was sleeping upstairs recovering from surgery. They looked tired and beat and went on to say this was ‘their song,’ and to hear it now, in this place, brought a bit of joy to their hearts just when they needed it. Every time I play ‘Harvest Moon’ now, I think of that couple and their son.”

Ed, one of our JoyRx Mentors who shared his experience as a volunteer for us last year during Volunteer Appreciation Month, shared this insight:

“I have so many great stories volunteering, so it’s hard to pick one. One of the best days I have had was when I got to play golf at Bandon Dunes with my mentee Seth. Seth, his grandfather, and I played on a gorgeous sunny day, and it was amazing to watch Seth and think about all he had gone through in the last few years. To see him 100% healthy and playing golf with his grandfather is something I will never forget.”

Roxanne, another JoyRx Mentor, had this to say:

“My mentee had been in the hospital for a few days, and when I got there, she was saying that her tummy hurt as she was crying. I brought out a Play-Doh cooking set, and for two hours, the two of us laughed and played. We read books and played a matching game after that. Her parents kept thanking me and saying she hadn’t been playing or having fun for months. She gave me a big hug before I left! It was a very good day! Thank you, JoyRx, for allowing me to do this; it is the best experience.”

That dedication to helping children feel a sense of peace, fun, and joy humbles us each day. Our volunteers graciously volunteer their time, attention, and care to help sick children like Roxanne’s mentee.

We are also grateful for our amazing JoyRx Music On Demand volunteers who dedicate their time and creativity to helping kids feel like kids again. Volunteers such as Elaina, who creates custom songs for kids, and Aaron, who recorded his piano playing for our JoyRx Kids channel, help us create a wide array of music for children to listen to.

If you’re interested in supporting our mission as a volunteer, you can learn more today.

Our volunteers are an incredible group of folks, all uniting under one guiding north star: to help sick kids feel like kids again through the power of joy.

Volunteer Today

Explore topics in this post