Harlan Jefferson serenades nursing homes to spread positivity

Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 7:08 PM CDT
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While many have to stay in and stay safe, one duo is taking the show to local nursing homes. Harlan Jefferson is bringing his music to those who need a little inspiration.

"We're making a difference in people's lives," said Jefferson. "So that's what it's all about. To continue to do that and not let this virus beat us, is the mission."

The legendary saxophone player teamed up with Transitions Hospice of Rockford to bring music and messages of hope to local nursing homes. Traci Honings is the regional coordinator at Transitions. She said she reached out to Jefferson to share positivity during a negative time.

"People smiling. The residents, their faces light up when they recognize a song that's being played. It's just something that's unexpected," said Honings.

Jefferson played outside of the nursing homes while residents and staff got to listen from open windows and side doors. But no matter how they heard him, he was there to entertain.

"This is what I do for a living. This what I was born to do and whether it's one person or 10,000."

Hand-written messages of encouragement now hang from several care centers in the area as a simple reminder of love and hope.

"It's been very heart-warming," said Honings.. "Seeing the people, the residents' faces, the staff. It's just a break in the monotony of what's going on."

"Not only is it positive for them, it's positive for me too," said Jefferson." I need some type of inspiration to keep me on top. So I guess it's kind of a collaborative effort and everybody's happy. It's a win-win situation."