ST. LOUIS PARK, Minnesota — Rock stars aren't born, they're made, and Free Guitars 4 Kids wants to be the instrument for a child's success.
"We've got thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of guitars sitting in people's houses collecting dust, and we've got kids all over the country who can't afford a guitar. What if we put them together?" asked Terry Esau, the co-founder of the 501c3 nonprofit.
Just like the name suggests, the idea is to develop raw talent by delivering free guitars. "We might discover the next Prince or the Eric Clapton, or the Hendrix, or Grohl, or you know, Jack White, who knows," said Esau.
It all starts with partnering with community organizations. Once donations are collected, Free Guitars 4 Kids will send them to schools and groups working in music with low-income families.
The nonprofit also hopes the guitars will amplify a child's confidence and education. "It's proven that you do better in math and science tests and scores if you learn how to play a musical instrument. So we know that it makes a difference in brain development," said Esau.
Collaborations with celebrity guitarists are in the works, along with pro-bono concerts. "Now the public can't buy a ticket to the concert. The only way you can get into this concert is if you bring a guitar to donate. So we get thousands of guitars donated in one night, and what we want to do then is put old guitars in young hands."
Esau is excited about the first act to sign on. "Right here in Minneapolis, one of the greatest guitar players out there is a guy named Corey Wong, and he's going to be doing some fun promotional stuff for us."
Free Guitars 4 Kids recently donated its first guitar in Minnesota to an 8-year-old from Mountain Lake. "Christmas happened for him by a stranger knocking on his door. That's a pretty cool thing," said Esau.
If you'd like to be a sponsor or make a financial donation, you can visit Free Guitars 4 Kids' website.
Every dollar will go to putting a guitar in the hands of a kid.