Recordings For Recovery is a community service project that Amy Soloway, a junior at Harvard-Westlake School, started two years ago. This program provides age-appropriate stories and poems on taped cassettes to children recovering from surgeries in local hospitals. These children are often compelled to recover alone, without friends or parents to entertain them. So Amy’s project was created to fill the void left by the absence of these familiar voices.
Amy has been actively involved in volunteering since elementary school. She has participated in walk-a-thons for children’s charities and worked at food banks along with other service projects. A couple of years ago, she decided she wanted to start her own program and went to a local hospital. She spoke to the administrators there and inquired what was most needed for the young children recovering from surgeries. The staff advised her there was a need to comfort children in the recovery room. Shortly thereafter, Amy began recording her favorite bedtime stories on cassettes. She knew the children at the hospital deserved the opportunity to fall asleep with a comforting voice, and Recordings For Recovery was born.
She was excited and wanted to get the word out about her new program. Amy began recording stories and poems, created and distributed fliers to solicit donations from others and contacted local hospitals offering the services of Recordings For Recovery. She also delivered the cassettes to the recovering children.
Amy’s intent was to make less overwhelming the often-traumatic experiences of young children who were recovering from surgery. Recordings For Recover, however, did even more than that. One parent at Cedars Hospital reported that it made them feel good as a mother to know there their child could be entertained and comforted even when they were unable to be in the room.
Amy even took the time to assess her project to see what could be done differently or better. She realizes she needed a bilingual component and began to record in Spanish also. She then took another step and contacted elementary school and encouraged them to adopt her program as a pet project. Her previous elementary school did just that, and they have helped Amy by recording tapes of their favorite stories. This partnership makes it possible for children who request to keep a tape they are particularly fond of when they leave the hospital.