Rena LeBlanc, who we feature in Good Virus, is the mastermind behind the volunteer troupe Cabaret, which is in its 27th year of performing at nursing homes all over the San Fernando Valley. Her mother lived her final years in a nursing home and Rena vowed never to set foot in one again:
LeBlanc thought that trauma would never leave her. But the moments of joy she sees on the faces of nursing home residents during Cabaret acts have transformed the old wounds, she said.
“When my mother died, I was relieved that I’d never have to step foot in another nursing home,” she said. “Now it’s an uplifting experience.”
This reminds me of a study by Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan which showed that people who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than people who do not.