About Us

Overview
Countless numbers of the elderly, who have contributed to our society, are now just waiting for their final hours without much attention and visitation from their families and friends. These are dear and lovable individuals who still have the capacity and desire to enjoy many of life’s wonderful activities, such as playing and listening to music, reading, exercising, and conversing with others. Participants in the Feel Alive Project dedicate themselves to ensuring that every nursing home resident receives the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual attention that he or she deserves.
 
We would like to reach philanthropically minded individuals and organizations that believe in our mission, and will assist us in reaching our full potential—making a difference in each nursing home resident’s life.
 
History
I had been playing piano at a nursing home on Saturday mornings. Now, if you haven't been in a nursing home, you'll find that it isn't the most pleasant place to live. Some of the residents are angry for being there, and there's a general depressing feeling of "waiting around to die." At least, that's what one resident told me one day when she and I started talking after I had played some piano. She always ate dinner by herself in her room because it bothered her to see the condition of most of the residents around her. Some of them are just not there, mentally. At first, I was sad and drained after hearing her story, but I quickly became determined to help her lose that perspective on her life. How did I do that? Well, I wanted to help her get excitement back into her life! I became committed to help her reach for, and accomplish, one of her dreams that she never realized. We talked some more and I found out that she'd always wanted to learn to play the piano.
 
And so lessons began the next weekend. Every time she'd see me, her face would light up and she'd give me a big smile. By the third lesson, she was so touched that we were REALLY doing it, that she said she loved me. I knew what she meant. It was her way of thanking me. I'll never forget how happy she was to see me every weekend. I taught her piano for about 2 months. Another of her unrealized dreams was to move out of the nursing home, and live with one of her daughters in San Antonio, and that actually happened about 3 weeks ago. It wasn't until she was gone that I realized how much giving to her had changed me...
 
I missed her. I was sad. I played the piano softly and without inspiration. I didn't even care to be there. I became aware of my gloom. I told myself that it's just not the same without her here, and these other folks could never appreciate the music like she had. And then...guess what happened? I heard a resident in a wheelchair mutter that he wanted to learn piano.  And then I heard someone else agree, and she wanted to learn, too. And then a third voice chimed in. I was in awe. I suddenly realized that while I had been focusing on my one friend, I had been neglecting the others in the nursing home! Their needs were just as important as hers!
 
And so, it was in August 2002 that I came up with the idea for the Feel Alive Project—the possibility of a community spending time with, and participating in activities with, nursing home residents, just for the sake of feeling "aliveness!" I inspired a core team (board of directors) to help me create the Feel Alive Project, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing it evolve to become a fun and successful, volunteer organization that is fully supported & recognized by local businesses and media.
 
The benefits of the Feel Alive Project are amazing, and I would like to see every nursing home in Houston eventually implement their own Feel Alive project. Why not, right? We are only limited by ourselves. Let's see what we can accomplish in this world; it'll be fun and rewarding for all those who participate! “To accomplish great things, one must not only plan, but also act—not only dream, but also BELIEVE.”
Diego Arias
Feel Alive” project Founder
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