Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Instruments needed for free at-risk kids music program

One of my readers needs your help to bring some hope and inspiration to at-risk kids. Please read on and see if you have anything gathering dust in your garage that you can donate. Thanks, M

Hi Mickie,
How are you? My name is George Tam. I run a free after school tutoring program for low-income families in Cypress Park in northeast Los Angeles. I stumbled on your blog while researching information on Guitar Center.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my former students was killed by a rival gang member while riding his bike home. A week later the father of another student of mine was gunned down after picking up his granddaughter from school. Seeing this kind of violence in your community could really get your down. However, instead of focusing on the negatives, I rather focus on what we can do to help the children.

Last week a couple of my students came to my program with guitars they borrowed from school. They became real excited when they learned that I play the guitar. Even though I'm just a beginner, they were anxious to learn from me. That got me thinking to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if each of them could have a guitar of their own?" What if we can mobilize volunteers who would like to teach lessons to the children once a week? Who knows....maybe some of the kids will grow up to become professional musicians someday. At the very least, it will give them something very positive and enjoyable to focus on and possibly prevent them from joining the gangs.

I am thinking of writing to Guitar Center to see if they might be willing to donate some guitars to my program. I might be taking a shot at the dark, but I thought perhaps you might be able to help in some way. Maybe you know of musicians who might be willing to donate their time to teach lessons to children. Perhaps you might have connections on getting used guitars donated.

Anyways, I want to thank you for your time. If you have any suggestions or could help in some way, I would appreciate it if you can email me at or reach me at my office at (323)225-5898 Here is the link to my blog:

Take care,


George Tam said...

Hi Mickie,

I just want to thank you for the post. That was very kind of you!

Have a great day!


Mickie said...

You're welcome, George. I hope this helps get you some support. Good luck with your project!