PHI Spark (No. 11)


Find Entertainment for Your Support Group

Variety is truly the spice of life, and that certainly holds true for a successful support group meeting.

Experienced leaders understand that one way to sustain interest in attending the meetings, either on Zoom or in person, is by varying the types of programs offered. Planning an occasional meeting that includes some form of entertainment is one way to accomplish this goal - and it will "spark" joy for those who attend. 

The following are some ideas worth “noting.”

  • Schools
    • Many schools are requiring their students to do some community service for classes or even as a graduation requirement. So, if you are lucky enough to live near a college, start at the music department or performing arts department. 

    • Otherwise, call the local middle schools and high schools. The contact person would be the Student Activities Director. Inquire about the possibility of a group, an individual student or a service club that may be interested in bringing some entertainment to your meeting. If the school does not have a Student Activities Director, then contact the head of the department directly. 

    • You could also try calling local music schools or dance schools, especially seeking young people as they may be eager to have the opportunity to perform.

  • Nursing Homes
    • Another possibility are local nursing homes, residential assisted-living locations or senior centers. Sometimes they can direct you to free or low-cost entertainment that is suitable for support group seniors. Again, the Activities Director would be the best person to contact.

  • The local Rotary Club
    • This group sometimes sponsors foreign exchange students. They are usually high school age students who reside in the community for a year. A presentation or musical performance by a foreign exchange student can prove to be a fascinating and fun program, especially if they bring items or wear clothing from their native land.

    • You may get an extra bonus from this contact, as Rotary may be very interested in hearing from you. They are heavily involved in worldwide polio eradication.

  • Barbershop quartets and the Sweet Adelines
    • These singing groups are always a big hit but be aware that they may have a fee that is more than you want to pay, so always inquire about that early in your discussion with them.

    • You can identify a local group online by entering the words barbershop quartet or Sweet Adelines along with the zip code.

  • Support Group Talent
    • Poll your own group and immediate circle of friends. Some of them may play an instrument, such as a guitar, and be willing to perform for everyone. Perhaps you could plan a sing-along session at the same meeting.

    • Also, someone may have a talented grandchild who would love the opportunity to be "center stage."

Hope you find these suggestions helpful, both for yourself, as a facilitator, and for the good of the group.

Have you seen and shared this article on the value of music for polio survivors?
Therapeutic Use of Music (Post-Polio Health, Vol. 22, No. 1)

Encourage individuals in your support group to each become an official member of PHI this year! Lots of great connectivity and information.