As 2011 was drawing to a close and after a successful year raising money we were looking for ways the Foundation could carry out our mission and provide and opportunity to a deserving youth as it had been a couple of years since our last donation. It was then that we learned of the Next Step’s One Love Project. Next Step is a Cambridge based organization with many programs, one being The One Love Project. From their website, “One Love empowers, educates and encourages young people living with HIV to develop important life-skills, make healthy choices and let their voices be heard through year-round, youth-led, peer support and leadership programs.” One such program is the “No Longer Voiceless Conference”, where they engage in dynamic discussions and workshops about the issues that they face and leave armed with information, education, and a new network of peers who share their life experience. They also get an opportunity to learn and play musical instruments with their peers and under the direction of talented music therapists. “Music provides a culturally relevant, youth‐oriented, technique for young people to channel their emotions and cope with hardship.” Many of these young adults find their voice through music and would love to continue playing after the conference however are unable due to the cost of the instruments, lessons and equipment.
The staff at Next Step identified some deserving young adults and provided us with their needs. On Saturday February 18, 2012, members of The Recurring Dream Foundation Board went to The Next Step office in Cambridge and met with the some of the staff and youth of the One Love Project. It was then that Recurring Dream Foundation surprised 2 deserving young adults with the instruments. A bass guitar, case and amplifier, was presented to a young woman; and a keyboard, case and stand was presented to a young man. It was a great moment to be present for, hugs were given, tears were shed and music was played. After the donation the youths received some instruction from the talented staff of Next Step. Here are words of thanks from the youth passed on from the Next Step Staff.
“My first week with my guitar has been awesome! I started music lessons & am very adamant on learning this craft. I’ve been playing everydaynon-stop. This is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. I am so blessed to have people that really care about me as an individual. I want to thank all those people on the board of The Recurring Dream Foundation. They have definitely made one of my biggest dreams come true. When I am famous; I will make a mental note to shout out to them.”
“When I first saw my piano I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say. I was just happy and I’m happy. My first week with my piano has been amazing. I took the time and wrote a song called Dream. And within the week I learned some new songs to play. All of this has just made me one step closer to my own dream. I just want Erik and the rest of the Board to know how much they mean to me. This week was amazing thanks to them and I will keep them in my mind and heart. ♥”
This is the reason why we do what we do. To see the joy in their faces after receiving their instruments was priceless. It was even more so after we heard them play as you can tell that they have talent and the desire. Now they have the tools to continue with their new passion. This was such a great experience and we plan on making additional donations to this group and others.