Community Hero: Craig Robinson Jams for a Cause

Editor’s Note: Broadcom Community Heroes  recognizes civic engagement and volunteerism by Broadcom employees around the globe, who may nominate themselves or their colleagues for recognition under guidelines set forth by Broadcom Foundation. The Community Engagement Committee honors these employees with a $500 gift in their honor from a list of qualifying charities. In this series on the blog, we’ll profile each Community Hero to share stories about their interests and work benefiting their communities around the world.

Craig Robinson, Senior Training and Development Partner at Broadcom, plays guitar in his band “Hunting Waldo,” which entertains crowds of thousands at charity events each year in Orange County, Calif. His music keeps runners and bicyclists moving each year at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life events in Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and Dana Point; the Tin Man Biathlon Bike/Run for Susan B. Komen, and the 50-Mile Bike Ride for Rwanda. “Hunting Waldo” has also provided volunteer entertainment for the Multiple Sclerosis 150-mile Bike Ride for the past 20 years.

Below is an edited interview.Community Hero Craig Robinson 2015  resized

How did you get started playing for charities?

I had the opportunity to play at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles which was an eye-opening and humbling experience. We were able to brighten the lives of many very sick kids, some who smiled for the first time in a long while. And their parents, doctors and nurses enjoyed it too. From there, I started donating my time to other worthy causes with my current band “Hunting Waldo.” Now, some racers (participating in organizations we play for) know us and look forward to hearing us play.

What motivates you?

I want to give back to my community and do something where my commitment and effort produces a positive result. A lot of the people we play for are sick or celebrating the life of a loved one. When I see these people light up and really enjoy our music, it makes our contribution worth the playing time we volunteer.

Have you been able to raise money while playing?

This past year at the American Cancer Society walk, we raised money by initiating a “Song Challenge” that was inspired by the ALS “Bucket Challenge” – participants were challenged to sing a song or donate $20 to cancer research. One man gave $200 because he really didn’t want to sing! We were all very happy!

Share with us a favorite story:

There are so many….

At the oncology ward of Children’s Hospital in L.A., there was a six-year old girl who wouldn’t eat. We started playing for her and she started to eat the pizza that was on her plate without even really noticing. Her nurse was very happy.

On an isolation ward, there was an 18-year old girl who wasn’t allowed to leave the room because she was recovering from a double lung transplant. We played for her while the nurse held the squawk box button. I could see the tears of emotion rolling down her face as we played.

Another four-year-old girl listened to a few songs and was enjoying them. Her mom said she had been to hospital 21 times for sickle cell anemia and had multiple blood transfusions, so it was rewarding to make this 22nd visit easier for her.

What would you say to inspire other Broadcom employees to volunteer?

Volunteering is its own reward. It’s a great feeling to know that I am contributing in some small way and giving the people who are really doing the good work some fun and music. I love it!