Serving Our Community by Serving One Another
Local musician brings joy and hope to guests at SERVE Family Shelter through the power of music, fellowship and community.
Mike Henry, an avid supporter of NVFS’ SERVE Family Shelter and longtime community volunteer, has hosted evenings of music at the SERVE Family Shelter this year alongside fellow local musicians as part of a concert series, titled The Music Bridge DMV.
The series was created to bring the joy of music to people at every stage of life. When Mike connected with SERVE, he knew he needed to gather fellow musicians, such as Gracious Me, Michael R.J. Roth, Niambis and Gary Smallwood, to uplift our guests through the magic of song.
“Music is a powerful bridge that can put joy in a heart that is hurting, so I wanted to create something that might help bring a little enjoyment and fun into the hearts of the residents at SERVE,” Mike shared. “I have built relationships with musicians all over this area, and I have found that most have big and caring hearts and believed they, too, would see this vision.”
From a vision to reality, The Music Bridge DMV at SERVE shelter has been a roaring success. Not only do the guests enjoy an evening of music, but they are also provided with fun experiences as well. Volunteers from Apple Federal Credit Union (AFCU) provided a multitude of snacks and beverages for the series’ initial event and acted as servers throughout the concert to create a coffeehouse ambience, while Mike’s wife, Mimi, used plastic cups, beans and stickers to help children make their own maracas to shake along with the music at a subsequent event.
The coffeehouse idea generated because of Mike’s frequent open-mic performances at local coffeehouse Jirani Coffee House, where he performs monthly for coffeehouse customers and earns tips which he then donates straight to SERVE.
“If giving money can put a roof over someone’s head for a time, or warm their bodies, or stave off hunger, then that is money well spent,” said Mike. “If music can bring a smile to someone’s face and take their minds off their struggles for one night, then that is precious.”
It’s safe to say that everyone in attendance had a smile on their face. Thank you, Mike, for spearheading an incredible evening of music and community with our guests at SERVE shelter. Volunteers like you, Gracious Me, Michael R.J. Roth, Niambis, Gary Smallwood and AFCU are impacting our community one song at a time.
"I volunteer at SERVE because this is my community. If not me, then who. Our lives are too connected to not give back in whatever way we can."