Updated: Jul 31
This past Saturday, 12/14, I attended another delivery with the Welcome to America Project. We only visited two families, but HeartBEATS was able to share the gift of music with the second family that was from Afghanistan. The family had two young girls around eight or ten years old and a boy who was about four. In addition to the music kit, they received many new toys including toy cars, bikes, stuffed animals, and a dollhouse! I mostly expected the children to overlook the bag of instruments when I gave it to them (I mean, a dollhouse is pretty hard to resist), but they immediately went rifling through the bag the moment they heard the jingles coming from inside. They shook the jingle bells, delegated instruments to each other with some slight objections, hit rhythm sticks against the tambourine, and were delighted when they realized they still had egg shakers inside when they thought the bag was empty! Some of the other volunteers and I showed the oldest girl how to attach the jingle bracelets to her wrist, and we were laughing about the music it made when she shook her arms at the same time. I was delighted that their focus was largely on making music and figuring out new rhythms to tap out because it made me feel like I was able to establish a connection between myself, the other volunteers, and the children.
This week I was also able to attend a Welcome Wave that was held at Valencia Newcomer School for refugees. While HeartBEATS wasn't able to hold an outreach event there this time, I was still able to help give away clothes and talk to refugees. I was even able to meet up with a girl my age that I met a few deliveries ago and find out how she has been doing since I first met her!