Volunteer Spotlight: Roy Hamada
Posted on November 11, 2020
Music can provide sweet reprise and escape during an otherwise hectic year. It seems like we need music more than ever during the pandemic, and for hospice patients, it can make a world of difference. As services and care have changed to ensure our patients' health and safety, Islands Hospice volunteer musicians have also had to pivot their performances to digital platforms.
"I do what I like to call 'FaceTime entertainment,'" explained Roy Hamada, a regular volunteer of Islands Hospice. "I found my gift of music and realized the style of music I like to play fits the kupuna or an older crowd the best."
Roy has been bringing smooth tunes to our patients for the past three years. Our volunteer coordinator, Lurline, arranges calls to patients in need of music and coordinates the virtual sessions with Roy. He also places the FaceTime entertainment calls to care homes that he used to visit before the pandemic. His virtual performances usually last anywhere from a half-hour to 90 minutes, and during the time, he tries to pull off some of our patient's most favorite songs.
Some of Roy's unforgettable volunteer memories include helping in the office, folding letters, and assisting with our annual Remembrance Day. He also shared his talents during touching and intimate moments, like performing for a patient's funeral and playing at the park for a patient that requested a day at the beach as her last wish. "I will never forget those times."
Roy is currently retired, but music keeps him busy. When he is not serenading our patients, he shares his music with the world, recording songs and performing on Facebook Live two to three times a week.
"I'm a musician first, and a good listener second. I enjoy meeting the patients and watching their faces light up when I visit."