Sharing the gift of compassion

Sharing the gift of compassion

During the holiday season, many of us feel the need to give back to the community as we celebrate good fortune with family and friends. Freshman Patrick Beatty wanted to engineer a project that would provide comfort and cheer to people who need it most while using his talent for performing.

“One of my biggest fears is being alone,” Beatty said. “When I thought of the residents at the Seville senior living center, I knew they would appreciate having someone be there for them. I wanted the residents to have the opportunity to celebrate the season with music, entertainment and company just like everyone else.”

Last week Beatty piloted his winter concert series for residents of the Seville senior living center in Orem. On December 3, Beatty entertained residents with a concert featuring a blend of Christmas music and audience-picked song recommendations. As he sang and played guitar on-stage, residents were asked to write down their opinions of the performance and how he could improve.

“I got a lot of constructive criticism, like ‘don’t make so many different faces.’ Everyone I spoke with enjoyed the performance but they said the music was too current for them. I’m appreciative of the critique, I’ll just play more Sinatra and Andy Williams next time,” Beatty said.

Beatty was inspired to do service by his grandparents, who asked not to have gifts of financial value for Christmas. Instead, they challenged their family members to do charitable acts whenever they could throughout the month of December. In return, Beatty and his family would return over the holidays and tell their grandparents stories of how their acts of service impacted their lives.

In his free time, aside from being a full-time behavioral science student, Beatty enjoys being a performer. Although his preferred genre of music is indie-pop, he challenged himself to convert to classics for his service project. His first set list included covers of songs by artists Frank Sinatra, She & Him, and the Jackson 5 among others.

In order to track his progress and document his “present” for his grandparents, Beatty created tistheseasonformusic.blogspot.com. He hopes the website will also inspire others to attend the performances and strive to find opportunities for service and good will.

“You could tell the residents at the facility were happy to be there and see someone perform for them,” said Natalie Thontrit, a UVU junior who assisted Beatty during the first performance. “It’s great to be a part of something like this, especially during the holiday season. Spending time with others is one of the most important aspects of the holidays.”

Beatty is hoping to expand his service project by gaining more help and planning more performances. Anyone interested in joining Beatty through performing, baking treats, or playing games with the residents is encouraged to email him at pwbeatty@gmail.com.

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