In the fall, Sophia Donnelly ’20 began a new program at St. John’s. She teams up once a month with other members from Music Ministry, the SJC choir group that sings at Masses, and they volunteer at Malta House, an assisted living home in Hyattsville, MD, where they sing for the residents. This allows the residents to participate in the joy of music, while also enjoying the students’ company. Since most teenagers do not take time out of their day to visit assisted living homes, the seniors really appreciate what this group does.
Donnelly developed the idea while performing her Christian service hours during the summer prior to her sophomore year. For her service, she sang by herself for residents at hospitals like Bridgepoint and George Washington, and she saw how much it meant to the residents. “It was really nice to do; you could tell everyone really appreciated it and that it made their day. I thought it would be a good idea to start a program like this at St. John’s.” As a result, she got to work instituting the program and succeeded in just a year.
Even in its short existence, the program has already evolved. While the students began singing at Bridgepoint Hospital on Capitol Hill this fall, they have since moved to Malta House in Hyattsville to be closer to St. John’s, hoping more students would be able to volunteer as a result. Donnelly is currently looking for more student volunteers. It is not a big commitment, as they go just one Saturday each month from 2-2:30 pm. While it is preferred that the volunteers are a part of Music Ministry, so they will know the songs, she is open to having any St. John’s student come out and serve. If you are interested in participating, you can email her at email@example.com.