Atlanta-based music program helps young patients 'Shake It Off'

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We all know the power of music; it can soothe a broken heart and help celebrate our most joyful moments.  And for kids battling life’s toughest challenges, music can provide much-needed emotional relief, which is where the Songs for Kids Foundation comes in.

Josh Rifkind created the Songs For Kids Foundation in 2007 as a way to bring music to kids battling serious illness in children’s hospitals, citing his father (who is a doctor) and his own background in music as inspirations for the organization.  Since then, Songs for Kids has brought musicians into children’s hospitals across the country and runs regular programming in five states, including Georgia.  Volunteer musicians frequently visit patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, sharing songs with the kids and encouraging them to express themselves through music. 

"It's such a difficult day, a difficult stay, and a challenge for their family, and we wanna bring some light and do it in the way we know how, which is through music," Rifkind says.  “You watch how they go from being a little shy and suspect to, by the end, they're rocking out with you, shaking shakers, and singing, and it's amazing to watch caregivers, parents, and siblings also get involved."

If you're interested in supporting the organization, Songs for Kids is holding a fundraiser on Sunday, March 25 at Park Tavern in Atlanta.  The event is a Food + Music Festival, and will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Tickets are $45 for adults and $10 for kids.  

Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken spent time time at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta - Egleston, following Rifkind and volunteer musicians Kara Revnes and Pete Lim as they spread a little Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift-inspired happiness through the halls.