Meet Trish Houck, Our Featured Volunteer from Philadelphia!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? It will be 9 years this fall.
Are you a volunteer guide or musician? Guide
What is your occupation outside of MOC? I am a programmer for the Dept of Behavior Health an Intellectual Disabilities in the City of Philadelphia.
Do you have any hidden talents? My interests are wide. Despite the fact that I hate running, I recently ran my first (and last) ultra-marathon, 27+ miles, on the wild azalea trail in Louisiana. I knit, I crochet, and this year I have an intention to reduce the amount of UFO’s (unfinished objects) I have in my possession. That 3 yr old lacy scarf will be completed! I love snail mail and make cards to send to friends and family. Burning Man is a temporary city that has its own post office and my gift to my fellow burners the past 2 years was a handcrafted postcard that was mailed before we left. I also like to draw and paint and like most crafts. Wheel throwing pottery is the only art form that made me cry in frustration. I’m not giving up! I’m always looking for new things to try.
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? I love listening to live music which led me to XPN, Philly’s best radio station, and MOC. I volunteer for XPN and I’m on the production crew for their summer festival. I often draw musicians while they’re performing and once drew Adele at an XPN Free at Noon concert and got her to sign the sketch.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? Musicians on Call is immediately rewarding. You can see in the faces of the patients and their visitors and the staff that a bit of the load was lifted. I volunteer at St Christopher’s Hospital for Children and I am often surprised when the teenagers agree to hear a song. Not only is it entertaining for them but I think that it also gives them something non-medical they can share about their hospital experience.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? I definitely appreciate my health and the health of my loved ones more. I recognize more that giving just a little bit of yourself can help someone else to feel a little lighter and make their day better.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? I’ll never forget the room we entered with a worn-out looking mom and her resting child on one side and a child who barely nodded yes to music on the other side of the room. I was guiding Marvin who plays the violin and does not sing. I was worried that this combination would not go over well. He started to play “I can show you the world” from Aladdin. By the end of the song, the little girl was mouthing the lyrics and the tired mom who had brightened considerably stopped me to ask me what that beautiful song was. Their reactions almost brought me to tears and shows that music doesn’t always need words to transport the listener.