Band Together to Help Others
About Band Together
In November 2009 an extraordinary thing happened. Within the space of a week three young members of our School of Rock – Greater Washington DC family were diagnosed with life threatening illnesses – two with cancer and one with a heart problem. Immediately we knew that our “family” needed our support on many levels and we set about creating a structure for our students, parents and the community at large to reach out to them and Band Together was born. Students share their music and friendship while learning to reach out to those in need. Band Together uses a variety of support methods designed to assist the entire family including fundraising, electronic communications, sending a card, sharing a laugh or a meal, hospital visits, arranging housekeeping and carpools, driving to doctors appointment and much more.
In the School of Rock we strive to teach our students to rock not only on stage, but in life. By giving their time and talent to support others, in both big and small ways, our students (and their families) are gaining invaluable skills that will carry them through some of life’s more difficult challenges. We invite you to join us as we Band Together!
How to Help
So, you’ve just found out that a friend or schoolmate (close or otherwise) is really ill, what do you do? Word travels fast and everyone knows. Or maybe they don’t. Whatever you do don’t say to yourself “I don’t want to bother him/her.” When someone is facing a serious illness they are feeling lots of things – scared, tired, nauseous, hopeful, anxious, alone, grouchy and sometimes all at once. A serious illness is like riding a roller coaster – it’s a lot better when you share the ups and downs with a friend. The last thing they need is to be left alone and “unbothered”. You don’t need to make grand gestures, just be a friend. Band together. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Send a text, make a phone call, or an email daily/weekly to check in
- Visit the hospital, or offer to go with them to chemo or the doctor
- Hang out and watch a movie together
- Offer to help work on homework together
- Do what you would normally do with a friend at their house – play a game, play music etc.
- Invite them to your house to hang out
- Design a “Support My Friend” with a text campaign and get your friend to send their good wishes
- Get your friend’s school to do something supportive – be an organizer
- Volunteer your time to help on a fundraising project if they are having one
So you’ve just found out that a friend of your son or daughter is really ill. Maybe you don’t know the family very well – what do you do? This is a perfect opportunity to teach your child how to respond – after all they learn by watching us. It only takes a moment of imagining yourself in their situation to understand that both the ill child and their family need support on many levels. You don’t need to make grand gestures, just offer what you can truly and authentically offer. Push off those “I don’t want to bother these people” feelings. People who are ill need to know they are cared about first and foremost – it helps their healing! If they are not able to answer the phone, they won’t so just leave a message. Don’t be shy! Band together. The fact that you care enough to call is really important. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Remind your child to make contact with his friend regularly via text, email or phone and do the same yourself
- Help your child keep track of hospital dates and surgeries, find out about visiting guidelines and bring your child (if allowed) for visits or call/text
- Offer to be a liaison with the school, church or other community you share to coordinate things like carpooling for the family’s other children, meals, housekeeping or other day-to-day needs or find out who is and see what you can do
- Send a weekly card or thought to the parents/family who need your support as well