High School Senior Gives Back During COVID-19 Crisis
By Michelle Talsma Everson -
Thursday Jun 18, 2020
When COVID-19 cancelled Duet: Partners in Health & Aging’s annual Partners In Compassion luncheon, the staff got creative, reimagining the event as a virtual fundraising video instead. High schooler Kendra Richards had been slated to perform at the lunch and was quickly asked to provide the soundtrack for the new video.
Because the timeline changed, Kendra had to learn the vocals and piano chords for Dolly Parton’s Light of a Clear Blue Morning fast. For Kendra the challenge was a perfect diversion from the stress she was under with COVID-19 changing her school schedule, college visits and college exams. In a time of uncertainty and anxiety she was able to have a meaningful cause to focus on, which proved to be a blessing.
“When we asked her to consider singing this song to introduce our video during this time of crisis, she didn’t hesitate to volunteer,” says Ann Wheat, executive director of Duet. “The timeframe to prepare for the song went from weeks to days and yet she handled it gracefully and truly made it her own. Kendra’s voice shines a light on the vulnerabilities of aging affecting families across generations. We hope that Kendra’s song of hope amidst tremendous hardship will move people to give, and remind us that we’re all in this together.”
Kendra’s mother, Janet Richards, works in Duet’s caregiver services and Kendra has seen firsthand the stress caregivers are under watching her grandfather care for her grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease.
“Duet does so much to help my grandpa so I thought it was the least I could do to show my gratitude for all they do for my family,” says Kendra.
Duet’s Partners In Compassion Virtual Fundraiser is live through June 26 and the nonprofit is hoping to raise $16,000 to support its mission to provide vitally needed, free-of-charge services to homebound adults, family caregivers, faith communities, and grandfamilies.