My Beloved Causes

Songs By Heart ~~ connecting people with memory loss to the joy of music

Singer Nancy Gustafson and I co-founded this organization with the goal of bringing singers and song into as many nursing homes and memory-challenged residences across the country as we can.  'Songs By Heart' began in Chicago, then spread to Los Angeles and Phoenix.  We have watched music make a lasting difference in the lives of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  People who cannot remember very much at all can remember their favorite songs … and sing them with us!

Christel House International ~~ changing the world 4,000 children at a time
Christel DeHaan has a mission!  She knows every child deserves a seat at the table of life and she believes you "lift from the bottom".  Only the most impoverished children are admitted to Christel House learning centers around the world.  The students at Christel Houses are excelling academically and are learning important life skills as they go.  CHI success rates are stunning and I am thrilled to be part of the CHI Family of supporters.  Truth is, I’d love to live in Cape Town, SA, someday and be involved at Christel House there.

Ampath logo
AMPATH ~~ the Indiana University Kenya Partnership
Perhaps the greatest work IU is doing is also its best-kept secret and I hope to help change that.  AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) was founded by three IU docs 25 years ago and has changed the lives of over 4 million people in western Kenya.  Comprehensive medical care is available for everyone there now and I am proud, proud, proud to be attached to a university that sees beyond its borders to reach out and help a population in need.
Shalom community center logo
Shalom Community Center ~~ a safe, daytime resource center for people experiencing homelessness and poverty
The Shalom Center and A Friend’s Place have been deep in my heart since I moved to Bloomington in 2006.  Founded by the amazing Rev. Dr. Joe Emerson and now under the guidance and care of Rev. Forrest Gilmore, this organization has grown by leaps and bounds in the Bloomington community.  Every year, I spend Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Center helping serve food and lead the singing of carols.  Once a year, I produce a concert called ‘Sylvia & Friends Sing For Shalom’ which raises money for Shalom’s outreach.