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Make a child smile, one musical instrument at a time

By David Jaffin

MY GOAL : Yes, one person can make a difference! My project is called “The Gift of Music” and I have been collecting working musical instruments for the past seven years and then donating them to Elementary, Middle and High Schools in New Orleans. I felt a need to give back to the children who lost their musical instruments due to Hurricane Katrina. I started simply by handing out fliers throughout the local communities in Westchester NY to get donations of musical instruments, and made up wrist bands in black and gold, the colors of the New Orleans Saints Football team, with the logo “The Gift of Music, Make a Child Smile” to help raise money to help pay for cleaning, repair and shipping of the instruments. Some people donated money to the project which also helped to pay for these costs. A project that began in New Orleans has spread to surrounding areas that also were affected by Hurricane Katrina and schools in need as well. Instruments that were too large to be shipped to New Orleans were donated to two schools in the NYC area. As a trumpet player since age 8, I wanted to help rebuild the musical community of New Orleans by giving back musical instruments to the children in this area. Since Hurricane Sandy in 2013, I have helped two schools in Long Beach, New York that were greatly affected by the devastation of this hurricane. Most recently, in August 2015, I have donated to Girls Prep in the Bronx, New York who made a request of musical instruments as they were in need. Here is a list of schools I have donated to – Girls Prep Middle School in Bronx, New York, West Elementary School in Long Beach, New York, Long Beach High School in Long Beach, New York, KIPP Believe College Prep in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lee High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Crocker Arts & Technology in New Orleans, Louisiana, Gretna Arts & Technology in Gretna, Louisiana, Urban Assembly High School of Performing Arts in New York, New York, Hancock Middle School in Kiln, Mississippi, Park East Elementary School in New York, New York, New Orleans String Project in New Orleans, Louisiana and Woodmere Elementary School in Harvey, Louisiana. Some of these schools have received multiple donations. Please see the history of project for more information and click on donated instruments for lists of instruments donated to each school. What started as a simple idea has fortunately become a reality. Your support would be appreciated.


The music is being performed by the KIPP Believe Symphonic Band at the donation ceremony in New Orleans on 4/30/09
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