Guitars for Vets is a non-profit organization that has a guitar instruction program aimed at providing veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD, and other emotional distress a unique therapeutic alternative. G4V pursues its mission to share the healing power of music by providing free guitar instruction, a new acoustic guitar and a guitar accessory kit in a structured program run by volunteers.
In other words, they give guitars to vets and teach them how to play. It’s pretty cool!
And it works — playing a musical instrument has been linked to the process of coping with PTSD, reducing anxiety, and improving quality of life.
WATCH: Guitars for Vets Feelin’ Good Tutorial
Most of the non-profit’s funding comes from a mix of individual donors and sponsors, from monetary donations to merchandise purchases to my favorite: the Operations Art Strings program.
Through the Operation Art Strings program, Guitars for Vets connects talented artists around the country with unplayable guitars in their inventory to create works of art that can be sold to help fund their program.
And they’re looking for artists!
Guitars for Vets — and its impact — has gained national attention. Vietnam War veteran James Robledo is a graduate of the program and the chapter coordinator at the Loma Linda chapter in California who, as a volunteer, has helped hundreds of veterans graduate from the program.
Robledo was named the 2015 National Humanitarian of the Year by the National Association of Letter Carriers, and he was invited to a music panel at the White House as well as to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
“There have been students that have come back and said because of the program they no longer have suicidal thoughts. And that’s what we’re about,” added Robledo.
If you’re a veteran interested in enrolling in the Guitars for Vets program, you can check out their website to find a local chapter.