In 2004, teacher Ron Wakefield brought his middle school orchestra to perform at a homeless shelter. A skinny nine-year-old homeless girl named Tiffany was enthralled by the performance and said to him, “I’d give anything to do that.”
Ron was so moved by Tiffany that he spent his own money on instruments and sent a group of volunteers to the shelter to start a music program. Soon the kids were learning to read music and to play various instruments, discovering the joy that only music can offer.
His school students began to bond with the homeless kids; together, they often made dinner, ate, and cleaned for the homeless residents.
When Ron took his school students to New York to play at the National Band and Orchestra Festival at Carnegie Hall, he invited six of their homeless friends to join them. His students, their parents, and community members raised the money for the trip. They performed for nearly an hour together for an amazed audience, and their joy was palpable. It was then that Ron began to dream about starting a program through which kids could empower other kids.
Ron has now retired and is living in Mexico, where he teaches music to kids from the poorest communities and is starting his third orchestra. And he is finally realizing his dream, which he calls Kids Empowering Kids.
We heartily invite you to be part of this amazing project. And we do need your help, including: funds to buy more instruments and chairs and to offer an incentive of $5 a week to the children who are working hard to teach other kids. We plan to take these kids to play at orphanages, old age homes, and shelters.
We’ll be honored if you make a monthly donation and that you stay in the program for at least a year. We will inform you of the program’s progress.