Sunshine Singers, the JLSA placement that provides singing and dancing entertainment to senior citizens kicked off with practice week in early August. There are 14 “Singers” this year that will perform all across San Antonio at retirement homes, assisted living centers, skilled nursing centers and memory care facilities.
During practice week, the Singers spent time learning how to talk to the seniors, as well as tips and tricks to get them talking to the league members, an initiative brought forth by Sunshine Singers Chair Lauren Hawa. Fifty percent of the placement includes singing and dancing and fifty percent of the placement is talking with and visiting the residents. “As much as the residents enjoy some entertainment, I think the conversation is even more important. It is something important for us to focus on and to make it known that it’s an important aspect of why we are there,” says Hawa.
The first Sunshine Singers performance for the league year was on Monday, August 28, 2017. They will perform a total of 27 times during the fall. This year’s facilities include:
- Golden Estates
- Incarnate Word
- The Laurels/The Haven
- The Forum at Lincoln Heights Memory Care
- The Forum at Lincoln Heights Independent Living
- Brookdale Alamo Heights
- Brookdale at Hollywood Park
- Villa de San Antonio
- Inn at Los Patios
- Blue Skies of Texas East
- Brookdale N. Fredericksburg/The Madison Estates
- Waterford on Thousand Oaks
- Extended Care Therapy Center at VA Hospital
- Heritage Creek
Sunshine Singers’ Christmas caroling shifts are always some of the most popular and beloved JLSA shifts of the year. All league members are able to experience the joy that Sunshine Singers bring to the area’s senior citizens. JLSA member Nicole Buechler shares her story below from a Christmas caroling shift in 2016.
“I signed up to do a Christmas mission credit shift with the Sunshine Singers. My grandfather had passed away a couple of years prior on Christmas morning, so Christmas is already a bitter sweet time of year for my family, and my grandma had just passed away in May, so this was to be our first Christmas without her. I was missing her quite a bit, and I know my mother was missing her as well. Well I went to the nursing home, and after our set, I walked up to a lady to collect her program and wish her a Merry Christmas. I knelt down to her wheelchair and we started talking a little bit. She told me how much she loved our singing and how much fun she had. She told me her name was Jeanne, and I told her that was my grandmother’s name. And after talking a little bit, I mentioned how I was named after her with my middle name, Frances. She then told me that her middle name was also Frances. It was just such a crazy coincidence that her name was also Jeanne Frances. We talked some more and I headed home. I was feeling like Jeanne Frances was an angel sent by my grandmother to reassure me. I called my mom and told her all about the Jeanne Frances I had met. We took it as a sign, and it definitely cheered us up to know that my grandma is still looking out for us in heaven.”