This is Linda Embardo, co-chair of Gracenotes, the volunteer committee at Berklee. Usually, I like to wait until the last possible moment to write my post…kind of like the cleanup batter. But I was really impressed with something today and didn’t want to wait to share it. It happened when I was talking to a few of the other volunteers on our site today. Two women from Westport MA drove down (a two day trip) to help rebuild homes in the city. On their dime. Four college kids from Queens NY and Long Island made the trip to help the rebuilding effort. On their dime. Stuart, an older gentleman from NY also made the trip to help out. On his dime. All of us are enduring the same unbearable heat, the rain, the dirt but their level of sacrifice seems so different. Ten of us traveled to NOLA to help – all on the college’s dime. I love Berklee for that. It highlights a new era at the college that most of us have not seen before. In tough economic times, the administration could have said the money was not there but they didn’t. They are providing for our airfare, our hotel and our food. I wonder though, how many of us would have made this trip if the money had not been there – if the college had said no, not this year.
One person who did make that sacrifice is Berklee staffer Juliana Horton. She is not a part of this year’s official Berklee team. She was a member of last year’s team though. The experience so changed her that she bought a plane ticket, reserved a hotel room, purchased her food (pbj mostly) – all on HER dime. All because of her overwhelming desire to help, to serve, and to make a difference. This is what Gracenotes is all about. Making a difference in the lives of those we serve and those who serve. Thanks Juliana.