LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – 14 students at Johnston McQueen Elementary School in Longview received guitars on Thursday at no cost through a local music foundation.
Ken Chinn donated the instruments to the fifth graders.
The foundation was started in 2014, and he first started giving them away to children’s medical centers with music therapy programs.
“My daughter was sick in the hospital at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas and through the musical therapist coming in to play, we found out that they had a need for guitars,” said Chinn. “We never thought it would turn into anything.”
Now, he has provided about 2,000 guitars in the past eight years.
On Thursday, a special ceremony was held for the students to receive their instruments.
“(The music teacher) has students that put forth the effort that excel in music, and she picked out 14 that she wanted us to give guitars to,” said Chinn.
The children’s friends and families were at the event, and the students were surprised with the gift.
“Thank you for giving us a chance to play guitar and get one,” said Jai’nya, a fifth grade student.
Another student said music makes him feel excited and he was also grateful to receive the guitar.
“Thank you especially to my music teachers for teaching me and the people for giving me the guitar,” said Quincy Lawson, a fifth grader.
Chinn enjoys providing instruments to students.
“It’s more of a blessing to give than to receive,” he said. “It’s such a blessing. When these single moms come up and say ‘this is such a luxury this is such a treat’, you know, what do you say?”