If you have a car that is an old jalopy.. bald tires, and the alignment is out.. You don’t even know whether you’re going to get to your destination or not.. It’s kind of scary, right? It doesn’t make driving much fun. When kids are playing substandard instruments frustration is palpable. A teacher came up to me and she said, “Come here, come here.” She brings me to the back of her car, opens her trunk and says “Look at this..” And in it was a toolbox, broken pieces of instruments… She said, “I have zero budget so I’ve had to learn how to do what I can myself.” That was a real a-ha moment that this is a major problem and we need to do something about it. What if we could repair every instrument owned by every school district in Lancaster County, and we used our own money to do it? It’s going to be an outstanding program! The ability to play a quality musical instrument that is well maintained makes it more of a joyous experience! Kids will continue to stay involved. The instrument repair program is a good example of us really listening to try to determine what the needs are. We started out just giving grants! We started to realize.. If you’re going to invest all that money in instruments it would be really irresponsible if we didn’t figure out a way to keep them in good repair. A lot of organizations project a need onto these schools. but they don’t actually go in and say, “Hey, what are the needs really here?” We really don’t believe in drive-by philanthropy. We want to make lasting relationships with these teachers. Music is reading, music is math, music is logic.. Most important, music teaches creativity. A lot of the jobs that kids in school today are going to go into don’t even exist right now! That’s why the number one characteristic that business leaders are looking for in people that they hire is creativity! The most effective tool in our educational arsenal to teach creativity is music! Music is a gift that always keeps on giving in terms of how you can utilize it to transform lives, transform schools, and transform communities. At it’s core.. that’s why we do what we do!