Day 1: We will Rock You!

Rock for Love to Benefit the Church Health Center  was my introduction to Volunteer Odyssey.  I wondered what to expect as I prepped for my day of supervising the children’s play area; then I thought of my countless previous volunteer experiences.  I knew that going in prepared to experience, learn and share was the best preparation for my day.  Upon my arrival set-up and sound check was taking place.   The day would be full of performances by Memphis musicians, including Idle&Wild, Knowledge Nick with Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and River City Tanlines.  Some of the artists utilize the services of Church Health Center.

I got photo bombed!

I got photo bombed by Kid President!!

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Founded in 2007, Rock for Love has grown from one concert to become the must-see concert weekend of the late summer with several concerts at multiple well-known venues. To date, Rock for Love has raised more than $200,000 for the Center.

Hey now, it’s the Memphis train!

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The Stax Music Academy takes the stage!

Gravity defying moments on the Grizzlies' moon bounce!

Gravity defying moments on the Grizzlies’ moon bounce!

I found Jerica Sandifer, CHC Development Scholar; she had been my point of contact for my Odyssey with her non-profit.  I then changed into my volunteer t-shirt to get my day started.  With that change, I instantly felt a part of the team.  Upon seeing “volunteer” on the back of my shirt, I was greeted by CHC staff.  The each thanked me for being a helping hand for the day.

I was stationed at the inflatable bounce sponsored by the Grizzlies; I ensured the safety of children.  In addition to some great laughs while watching the kids bounce in defiance of gravity, I also met and exchanged business cards with more CHC staff.  Richard Kohrs, Development Specialist, told me more about the CHC and answered questions about their services.

I knew beforehand that the CHC offered affordable health care to the Memphis and Shelby County residents.  However, Richard told me more about their plans and how they individualize these affordable plans to meet the needs of each person.  I learned that the CHC is a health resource for people such as entrepreneurs, musicians and people whose employers don’t offer medical insurance.  The CHC is on a mission to ensure “healthy bodies and spirits for all.”

My day at Rock for Love wrapped-up with experiencing the Stax Music Academy take the stage and move the crowd to a soulful beat!  With the heart, love and spirit that the put into their performance it didn’t even cross my mind that they were singing chart topping hits that were a few generations older than them such as, “Memphis Train,” “Love and Happiness” and “Hold On.”  The students engaged the crowd from the stage and on the floor as they danced with the audience and willingly taught eager fans the moves that they were willing to try with them.

It started with a little sprinkle while the Stax Music Academy was on stage; before they closed the sky opened with a heavy rain.  But the songs and the dances continued through storm.  I thought of some visual art that I created and printed with the quote, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Dancing in the rain with the Stax Music Academy also reminded me of the support system of the CHC for people that have a determination to live out their dreams of being an entrepreneur or possibly a musician.  Something like that comes with the realness of not having health care options, which could be a storm.  However, they have partners like the Church Health Center to dance with them in the rain.

I’m Cristalynne Dupree; feel free to call me Crista. I’m a Memphis “re-transplant” by choice.

Come back and check out my blog, keep me company along my Volunteer Odyssey Forward journey. Leave a comment; tell me what you think about my journey, it will be inspiring. Peace.

Thank you for reading! Like what you read? With more than 10 years experience, Cristalynne Dupree is searching for a job where she will use her marketing, public relations and communications skill to coordinate strategies and tactics that will reach and engage the organization’s target.  Contact her at 1225Cristalynne@gmail.com or jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com.

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