“Every individual has something to contribute to the well-being of those around them” is a motto by which Diane Schmidt lives. When Schmidt was a child, her mother did not drive and it wasn’t unusual for their neighbor to take Schmidt and her mother where they needed to go. In fact, they all looked forward to their regular trips to the grocery store together each week.
Schmidt observed at a very young age that sometimes people need help and other people don’t mind helping. As she grew into a young adult and obtained her driver’s license, Schmidt decided to give back to others, just as her neighbor had done for her mother. She volunteered for an organization that arranged rides for individuals who could not drive or access public transportation, so they could live as independently as possible.
Growing up, Schmidt also developed a love for music. She was a member of the high school band and has taught piano lessons. Over the years, job opportunities have led to multiple long-distance moves for Schmidt and her family. Wherever they landed, finding a place to volunteer was just as important to Schmidt as unpacking the boxes. Her vast volunteer experience includes serving at food banks, senior centers and Meals on Wheels. She has also been a bingo caller at a nursing home.
After her most recent move to Indianapolis in 2014, Schmidt found Tangram, an organization that supports people with disabilities, where she shares her love of music by leading Music Club. Initially, her goal was simply to connect individuals with music while building friendships with each other. Thanks to Schmidt’s leadership, the group has become a close-knit family of 10-15 participants and seven volunteers. Schmidt plans activities for the sessions, highlights a “Singer of the Week,” invites family and friends for special open houses and always sends special cards when she knows that someone needs words of encouragement. And yes, when someone needs transportation, Schmidt is the first to offer a ride!
Schmidt’s patience and kindness are key to the success of Music Club. She values each member’s strengths and contributions and offers a positive environment where they can share their passion for music and singing. She is grateful for the enjoyment the club and its members have given to her.