Meet Alejandra Czarny and Susana Behar, our featured volunteers from South Florida!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at Joe Di Maggio Children’s Hospital
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? 8 Months
Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Musician
What is your favorite song to play for patients?
Alejandra Czarny: “Puff the Magic Dragon”
Susana Behar: I love to do “Puff the Magic Dragon” for the little ones. It gives me a chance to act a little and they love it! For the older ones, I like doing Count On Me by Bruno Mars.
Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or family in a hospital room?
AC: Not exactly that, but sometime they sing along with us.
SB: Not long ago we were ready to start playing in one of the rooms at Joe Di Maggio and we realized that the family was from Venezuela so we started playing a very well known Venezuelan folk song. The family was so happy to hear it that immediately joined in, and we all sang it together. It was a very warm and beautiful moment.
Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? Yes, over the years I have perform in many venues around South Florida but I have also taken my music to other cities in the United States (Charleston, SC; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL amongst others) as well as Montreal, Canada; Mexico DF; Lima, Peru; Caracas, Venezuela and Tokyo, Japan.
What is your occupation outside of MOC?
AC: Musical Director at Temple Sinai of Hollywood.
SB: I’m a professional singer
Do you have any hidden talents?
AC: I compose my own songs.
SB: Well.. don’t we all?! I don’t know if they’re talents and they’re definitely not hidden but other that singing, I think I’m a very good cook, not a bad dancer, an enthusiastic conversationalist, a people’s gatherer and a great confidant…and I think that since I started performing for the children at the Joe Di Maggio, I’ve discovered that I love to act the songs while singing and the children seem to enjoy it too…they bring out the best in me!
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC?
AC: I am a singer and a music therapist, and I have always felt this strong connection that music creates between persons, and within ourselves.
SB: Music has always been a part of my life and I have been a professional singer for many years. At the same time, volunteering has always been
very important to me. It was my mother, who taught me by example, the importance and value of volunteer work. I started volunteering at a children’s hospital, when I was 15 and although it was difficult sometimes, it was the most rewarding thing I did in those years. When I heard about MOC’s work I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be involved with. It was only natural, combining three of my passions, music, children and volunteering. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences?
AC: Musicians On Call is a very organized and caring volunteering platform. MOC is equally respectful of every part involved in the process: patients, family, hospital workers and the volunteers.
SB: First of all, MOC gives me the opportunity of a hands-on volunteering experience. Being able to see first hand, the positive effect that our music has on the children and their families, to be able to bring some solace to the worried parents, is very special for us. Also, I think MOC is unique in the way they care for the patients, the families and the volunteers, making sure the experience is always a positive and rewarding one, for all involved. And last but not least, volunteering with MOC has given me the chance to work with my friend and colleague, Alejandra Czarny, sharing with her this most rewarding experience!
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC?
AC: Yes, in a very profound way.
SB: Of course my life has changed since I started volunteering with MOC, it does every time we see a smile on the faces of the children and their families! When you give of yourself, your life always changes for the better, it makes us more human, more aware of our blessings and more thankful.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment?
AC: We once performed for a teen who was a fellow musician. He was such a sensitive and a respectful listener! At the end of it he said: Wow, I loved those harmonies!
SB: I definitely have more than one favorite MOC moment. In one of our sessions a sweet and eloquent teenager, who is a musician himself, had the nicest comments when we finished, congratulating us on our singing and our harmonies!