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Changing the World, One Kid at a Time

Letters to Guitars Not Guns

A Student

When my parents devorced I was so mad. I mean really mad. My mom thought I was feeling it was my fault. My dad thought I was feeling it was my fault. I wasn't feeling guilty I was just feeling real mad. They said I didn't understand but they were the ones that didn't. I think listening to music saved us . It kept us from fighting. Now I want to take lessons with you so that I can do what you said. I want to put my being pissed i n music and I want to have my songs be my music like you said Bob Marley said. I did go listen to him. I want to let my songs be bullets, not real bullets like he did to. He was good. I am sorry that he dies. Thank you for saying I can be one of your students no matter what.

Office of the District Attorney


DA's Office Inquiry

I'm hoping you can help get a guitar for one of my court dependent kids (young man really) who is currently at the Children's Shelter. His name is Joey. He's a good kid he's just been though a lot.

He recently failed a placement with his father and he's struggling. During our interview he mentioned an interest in guitars.

Please let me know what else you need to know to help get him a guitar. Thanks so much.

Jennifer Finley
DA - Investigator Asst.
Juvenile Dependency, San Jose, CA


Inquiry From Texas

What a wonderful concept! I found out about your organization through a presentation in my child development course at Texas A&M University. I decided to research a little more on my own, and now realize this is only available in California.

I have a younger cousin of age 10 who is considered a "high risk" child. He has never had a solid or consistant home and has seen much more than anyone should ever see in one's lifetime.

I was wondering if this great idea might be floating toward Texas anytime soon? Thank you for implementing such a creative link to music..

Sincerely, Kristy Dempsy, Grateful Mother


My Son Daniel

This is my testimony regarding my son Daniel Thomas and Guitars not Guns.

I am one hundred percent grateful to this organization that amazingly was free to my son Daniel. I always wanted to get him into something that he was interested in so when I saw this opportunity I couldn't believe it was real or that it would finally happen for him.

Before my son entered into these guitar lessons he was not feeling so great about himself, this class opened a door that has been closed for so long. Now that he has something that belongs to him, that he can call his very own and has full control over it he is striving continously. He plays that guitar like there is no tomorrow, with pride, he really jams. The way Daniel feels now is the difference between success and failure, and programs like this offer success story's like my Daniel's.

Since he has been in the program Daniel has improved dramatically in his school work and he has hopes of becoming something great, and continues in being excited about it. I can't say enough about how proud I am of Daniel, but to you guys who put this together and made it possible you are my hero's. I personally thank you. Daniel looks up to you all at Guitars not Guns, so you see no matter how much I say its not enough.

Joanna Farrington

Keep on inspiring. It makes a difference.


Sarah in Lodi California

I would like to learn how to play the guytar im 13 and i have a brother going to graduate from you guys in a litle wail i would apresiate if you could get me in by januari i have a friend matt garsia thats going to start in january thanks alot!!!!!!! have a very very very happy cristmass!!!!!!!!!


Mom Needs Help

Megan is a very special little girl, who has survived domestic violence, (I brought her and her brother to CA five years ago to escape our abuser, and now we are part of a healthy family. Megan has donated her hair to Locks of Love, and also raised over $200.00 for Katrina relief. It would be nice to see her rewarded for all her hard work. She has a hard time at school, and I think this would be a nice self-esteem booster for her.


From a High School Junior

Hello there. I heard about this through Mary Destri. It seems very instresting. I started playing music in the school band in 5th grade. Now im a junior in High School. Over the years ive learned a lot about music and even more about its impact on my life. I can play 12 instruments. I play trombone for El Camino High School. I've been playing guitar for about 4 years now in some side bands. Can't wait to hear back from you. John - San Francisco


Act Of Kindness

Nate Plutzik works as a volunteer for Guitars Not Guns in Washington DC. A charitable non-profit music program that helps foster kids, underprivileged and at risk kids. Last night he was teaching the kids with his guitar that he LOVES more than anything and is probably worth $1,000 or more. Anyway, his guitar strap that holds the guitar over his shoulder came apart and his guitar fell to the floor and cracked. He said he was trying to stay calm and pretend that it was not a big deal. He told the kids that he had to step out of the classroom for a minute or so - he would be right outside the door. So after a few moments of cursing to himself, and in a state of guitar-cracking "that is the end of my guitar" shock, he went back into the class. There is a little 9 year old girl that really likes Nate. So, when he got back to the classroom she said "Mr. Nate, look in your guitar case." So, Nate went over and looked in his guitar case and inside was the girl's own guitar. She told Nate he could have her guitar. Anyway, we learn life lessons in many ways and this little act of kindness really touched Nate! - Carolyn Plutzik


The letters and e-mails above are just a small sampling of the many we receive.

Thank you for taking the time to write us. Share your story - e-mail us here