Where are you on Monday nights at 8 pm ET? Most of us are glued to the television, stuck on NBC, watching season 2 of The Voice. Why are we so excited? Our very own volunteer, Jamar Rogers, is singing his heart out and wowing the crowd, the judges and the nation week in and week out!
Jamar’s story has been told far and wide since he exploded on to the scene in Round 2 of blind auditions on The Voice. Jamar is an inspiration to and role model for many as an HIV positive man stopping at nothing to pursue his dream of singing. Jamar’s genuine kindness, good nature and honesty are a delight to fans and judges and to everyone here at God’s Love We Deliver.
Jamar first volunteered with us in June of 2011. Stephen, in our Volunteer Department, assigned him to our most-needed position, that of van assistant. Van assisting is a physically-demanding, all-day affair. Assistants accompany our van drivers for a full day of delivery, helping pack up our clients’ meals and delivering them right to our clients’ doors (even the 15-story walk-ups!). Since he began volunteering, Jamar has also organized a group of volunteers to make walking deliveries from one of our Neighborhood Meal Distribution Centers.
Jamar has always shown enthusiasm for everything he does at God’s Love, arriving early for his van assistant shifts (no easy feat… they’re at 7:45 a.m.!) and energetically performing the demanding tasks, jumping in and out of the vans with a spring in his step. Jamar always shows us how to serve with joy.
Shortly after he began at God’s Love, Jamar sent us an email describing what volunteering with us has meant to him, saying, “I’ve had the pleasure of serving food to people on the East and West sides of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Harlem and Washington Heights. I say pleasure because in serving others, it helps me prioritize my own problems and issues. There is nothing more rewarding than delivering a meal and a smile to someone that desperately needs it.”
We know we are so fortunate to have such a special person and volunteer in our God’s Love family. We appreciate his call to action in his email when he said, “I urge anyone that’s ever considered volunteering on the van routes to just take a few hours out of one day of the week to be the hands that deliver a little love to our love-starved city.”
This past Monday night Jamar confidently walked out onto the stage with his friend and opponent, Jamie Lono, and sang harmony above and below Jamie’s leading melodies to the pop/rock anthem, “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. Jamar’s husky voice quickly enraptured the audience and judges who cheered, applauded and enthusiastically gave their reviews. Adam Levine praised, “Jamar, you owned it!” while Cee Lo Green, Jamar’s own coach, told him that he admires his power and perseverance. Clearly, Jamar’s performance was a blowout, as he advanced to the next round of live performances having showed both masterful control and soulful flourishes.
If there’s anyone in the world who can respond to the beautifully-crooned message “I Want to Know What Love Is” that Jamar sang on Monday night, it is our friend and volunteer… he knows what love is: it’s singing, it’s volunteering, it’s delivering and it’s giving. Thank you, Jamar, for showing us what love is!
We had a visit today with Jamar before he heads back to L.A. to once again pick up the mic and sing on. Check out our Flickr album!