June 26, 2021 I Philanthropy
Guitar Center Donates $2K Gift Card to Nurse Who Sings, Plays for Patients
Shondra Diggett, a nurse at Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida, plays guitar and sings for her patients every night. When Ron Japinga, CEO of Guitar Center, saw this reported by First Coast News as part of its coverage of National Hospital Week in May, he wanted to take action.
“When I saw Shondra’s story on the news, I was really moved by her performance and felt compelled to do something to support her,” said Ron Japinga, CEO of Guitar Center. “I hope her story inspires more medical professionals to tap into the healing power of music.”
Devon Dame, Orange Park Guitar Center store manager, was eager to assist.
“As soon as I heard that this was something we were even thinking about doing, I just said, ‘Anything you need from me, I want to do this! Let’s make it happen,’” Dame explained. “I’m happy that Guitar Center was able to help her continue spreading joy to everyone at Orange Park Medical Center.”
Dame presented Diggett with the gift certificate as Japinga joined virtually, via tablet.
A spokesperson for Orange Park Medical Center described Diggett’s reaction to the news: “It was difficult to tell under her mask, but you could see a big smile in her eyes. She kept looking to Devon in shock and trying to control her excitement. Days later, she was still shocked by the generosity shown to her.”
The same spokesperson stated: “Shondra hasn’t bought her new guitar yet. The night of the gifting, she mentioned she had her eye on a particular Taylor guitar that was her dream guitar.”
According to Guitar Center, medical professionals turning to music over the last year and a half has been a trend.
“Guitar Center noticed during the pandemic an increased interest in music-making on social media by medical professionals and other first responders alike as a form of self-expression, healing and solace from fighting the global COVID-19 emergency,” said Jeannine D’Addario, Guitar Center senior vice president and chief customer officer. “As a result, Guitar Center offered an exclusive discount for all first responders, emergency and health workers and other critical personnel as a thank you and opportunity for these individuals to benefit from the enjoyment of making music.”