Meet Alison Bonaguro, our featured volunteer from Chicago!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at Chicago Methodist Senior Services
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? Only a few months
Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Guide
What is your occupation outside of MOC? I’m a freelance music journalist
Do You Have Any Hidden Talents? Photography! I love taking pictures, and some day I’d love to devote more time to getting better at it.
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? For the past 15 years, I have been writing stories about country music and the people who make it. So when MOC launched in Nashville, I was tuned in to everything they were doing, and who was joining the cause: Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini, Charles Esten, Lady Antebellum, and one of my favorites, Terri Clark. And when they announced they were bringing the healing power of music to Chicago–where I am based–I signed up immediately. I can’t sing, but at the very least, I can the bring the people who can sing into patient’s rooms so they can get a dose of the healing power of music.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? I get joy from joy. So when I see how a bedside performance lets the patients escape whatever illness brought them to the hospital, and gives them joy a few minutes at a time, that joy is contagious.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? It’s made me more aware of how music is the one language everyone speaks. And I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want to hear it.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? There are almost too many to name. But I am a sucker for a good singalong. When I bring a musician into the room for a bedside performance, the older patients can be a little unsure at first. But they almost always end up singing along. Some have even cried a few tears of joy. And one woman told us, “I don’t feel so good, but that made me feel so good.” Knowing I was part of that feel-good moment does my own heart so much good.