TFISH Everyday Heroes features people in the community trying to make a difference. We showcase inspiring individuals and non-profits around the world. The following article is an update on the volunteer work of the Kam family.
To say that the Kam family has been involved with TFISH this summer would be an understatement. Lauren is one of our high school interns and in the past couple months, Lauren's parents and sisters have joined her in supporting a number of different TFISH projects. In June, the Kam family put on a wonderful benefit concert for Little Red Scarf (Lauren is an excellent violinist) and last month in July, Lauren coordinated a week long music camp for Sahaya International (putting her skills to work). And if they weren't busy enough, in just a couple days, Lauren and her mother, Grace Kam, will be traveling to China to volunteer at Little Red Scarf hospital.
TFISH staff visited Grace and Lauren Kam at their home last month during this "Young Musicians Workshop" music camp. When we arrived, Lauren and her friends, all older high school students, were giving music lessons to about 10 elementary school kids. These aren't typical music lessons. It wasn't located in a school or a professional studio. Music was taught in various rooms in the Kam family's home - each room named after a different musical term. Lauren was giving violin lessons in her bedroom, which she named the "Candenza Room". Piano was downstairs. Arts and crafts was located in the living room. Music theory, outside in the backyard. Brightly colored construction paper decorated the walls. Everyone running around in green shirts - custom made for the camp. At the end of the day, the young musicians brought out prepared snacks and played a couple rounds of musical chairs.
Lauren's music camp breaks down our preconceived ideas of both what it takes to teach music and what is needed to make a difference. You don't need to be a professional musician in a classroom to host a music camp. Just use the skills you have so far and find ways to engage your students. You also don't need to host a gala to fundraise for a great cause. Best part of this camp? Proceeds of this week long event go towards Sahaya International, a TFISH partner working to build homes for impoverished people living in rural Vietnam. There are many creative ways you can get your community involved with philanthropy.
Lauren and her mother, Grace Kam, is also busy preparing for their trip to Gansu province to visit TFISH partner Little Red Scarf, and support its mission in caring for children with congenital heart disease. The money collected from the New Hearts Benefit Concert in June will be able to save 3 lives. Lauren and Grace will also be coordinating a summer camp for children recovering in the hospital. Various teaching material, gifts, and arts and crafts supplies were crammed into their suitcases. Lauren is excited about the prospects of bringing joy to these kids, but wary of the language barrier. Because of this, Lauren and Grace prepared fun games and activities that children of all ages can pick up and enjoy. This is Lauren's first trip to China and she is eager to meet the recipients of the three surgeries, as well as interact with the other children from the hospital. She looks forward to sharing her experience with other people and will be keeping a blog during her stay, "By going to Gansu, LRS and its children will no longer be merely stories, rather, they will be real people that I can connect with face-to-face. I can’t wait to share her love of music with them, but even more importantly, I look forward to what I will learn from these families".
Read more about Lauren's trip: http://www.eastvillagers.org/laurenkam/blog/
To find out ways YOU can get more involved with TFISH: http://www.tfishfund.org/volunteer-program.html
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