A dedicated Gift of Music volunteer – Leo Carey
January 2019…Leo Carey has been volunteering with Musicopia and the Gift of Music Instrument Donation program for approximately 4 years. An active volunteer and creative thinker, Leo has not just lent his time and vehicle but also his ideas and expertise on how to make things run better. Leo first learned about Musicopia and its need for volunteers at a Musicopia fundraising event. “I’m not musically inclined, but I was struck by the mission of supplying musical instruments,” Leo said. “I like supporting activities that allow more students to be involved who otherwise may not have the resources.” He also happened to have a red pick-up truck – perfect for loading instruments!
Over the years, Leo has logged many miles in that truck picking up and delivering instruments. One of his favorite things about the work is seeing how excited the students and teachers are upon receiving the instruments. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction when I see the students and teachers,” said Leo. “My best moments are when the kids and teachers see the instruments and are excited about them. It makes me feel really good to see their enthusiasm.” Leo also enjoys the logistical challenge of fitting everything into his truck and protecting the instruments as he navigates various pick-ups and drop-offs. One day last June, he picked up chimes in West Chester, delivered them to a school in North Philadelphia, delivered 4 more instruments to another school in West Philadelphia, and then brought 10 more instruments from that school to a music store in Springfield for repair!
Leo is also a “handy guy,” he explains, and is “always asking, how can we make something easier?” So in addition to picking up and delivering instruments, he has helped to improve the functionality of Musicopia’s instrument storage space. He installed rolling shelving and also suggested purchase of a commercial hamper on wheels to move instruments from his truck to storage.
Before retiring, Leo was a Vice President at Independence Blue Cross (IBX) and a founding member of IBX’s Corporate Volunteer program, the Blue Crew. “I like to say there is something for everyone. If you want to work with kids, we would have something for that. Or if you want to work with the elderly, we would find an opportunity for that. There was a whole spectrum. If you want to repair a house and gain some skills, we had something for that.”
Leo’s commitment to volunteerism stems from his parents. “They didn’t have a lot, but they were generous because they were thankful for what they had and realized that other people had less,” Leo said. “That always resonated with me. I am fortunate enough to have quite a bit and I want to give back.” In addition to volunteering for Musicopia, Leo also volunteers in the Patient Relations department at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, and continues to spend time with elderly friends he made through his volunteer work at Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. He also does handyman work at the student resident house for the ABC program (“A Better Chance”) at Strath Haven High School, and volunteers for various activities in and around his community of Wallingford, PA.
A big thank you to Leo for his many years of service to Musicopia! Leo is always looking for other people to help him, especially when he’s picking up multiple instruments. If you are interested in volunteering for the Musicopia Gift of Music Instrument Donation program, please email GOM@musicopia.net or call 215-829-9522 x 102.
By Talia Yellin Fisher
Leo Carey with our Gift of Music Instrument Donation Manger, Alecia Burke at our 2018 High Note High Step Breakfast.