November 16, 2020

CIM Gives Back

Photo collage of envelopes addressed to "Love for our elders" project
A few of the letters addressed to “Love for Our Elders.”

Even though COVID-19 has affected families and homes across the world, it did not stop CIM’s commitment to serving our community. For several years, volunteers from CIM have paid our civic rent to Cleveland by giving back to other community organizations on a Day of Service. 

This year was slightly different, and arguably much more needed, considering all the recent events that have rocked Cleveland and the rest of the world. In a courageous effort to ease hearts and lift spirits, the CIM community banded together in early November to reach out to people from all walks of life in the Cleveland area.

Students, faculty, Trustees and donors showed their “Love for Our Elders” in bundles of colorful personal letters sent to senior homes.

Hearty, enthusiastic readings of The Giving Tree, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Cat in the Hat and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! lit up the faces of children at the Mary McLeod Bethune School, watching from their homes all around Cleveland.

Furthermore, music warmed up the rooms of the senior communities in Moreland Courts and Judson Manor, with touching virtual performances from CIM students and faculty and other talks with the elders.

Julia Kim, an undergraduate student studying flute at CIM, was grateful to participate in the performances: “As wind players, my chamber group and I have not had many chances to perform for people, especially for those outside of the CIM community. We were thrilled to have the chance to record and share the music we’ve prepared this semester through participating in CIM week of service!”

Finally, CIM musicians taught children from A Special Wish Cleveland about their instruments, explained their various features and enthralled them with their musical performances. “It felt great to be able to share my violin playing with a new audience,” said Jacob Buhler, a masters student at CIM. “Through my video recording, I was able to tailor a program with complementary music to the story I read to the children. Doing projects like these are important for us as flexible musicians and are definitely very rewarding.”

Though this year’s week of service was quite different due to COVID restrictions, many hearts were nevertheless touched and minds calmed by the words and musical sounds from the CIM community to homes throughout Cleveland.

Written by violinist Abigail Tsai, a first-year master’s student from Westgate Village, California, who studies with Ilya Kaler.

Special thanks to staff members Wendy Waldron, Cicely Schonberg and Matthew Arnold for coordinating this year’s Week of Service, and to everyone who gave back to our community.