As one of their community awareness projects, a group of residents of The Glebe recently raised funds for the purchase of a guitar to be given to the local chapter of Guitars 4 Vets (G4V).
A Fender “Squire” acoustic guitar complete with strings, picks, strap, tuner and a carrying case with compartments were purchased from Tinker Mountain Music in Daleville.
The presentation of the guitar was made on Dec. 3 at The Glebe following a dinner with the resident donors and guests from the G4V program.
During the evening, Lt. Col. David R. Bowen, retired, local G4V chapter coordinator and Mrs. Lisbeth Woodward, music therapist at VAMC, performed on their guitars and sang Christmas songs along with approximately 40 resident voices. The G4V local Chapter was started by Bowen in collaboration with Woodard, MT-BC; Salem VAMC coordinator/instructor for the G4V program.
Participants in the G4V program are referred by their physicians. The Salem Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) provides space for G4V to meet for their classes. The volunteer instructors for G4V give their time for the benefit of the veterans in this meaningful program. There are three 10-week series (meeting once a week for 60 minutes per week for 10 weeks) with each session including 10-12 veterans. During the 10-week series, two different groups are facilitated; a beginner group and an advanced beginner/intermediate group. They also have a volunteer, Ms. Cindie Wolfe, MT-BC, who hosted monthly workshops over the summer and is currently volunteering to help several Veterans on an individual basis.
The program’s mission is to “enhance the lives of injured and ailing vets through the healing power of music.” The purpose is to promote positive social interaction, provide an avenue for self-expression, build focus and confidence, and create bonds of fellowship with other like-minded.
The local chapter is a member of the G4V National program and both are 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit tax exempt organizations. Currently, the VAMC has a referred wait list of 80 veterans. To date, more than 60 veterans have benefited from the local Chapter with a number of them becoming part of a “train the trainer” volunteers.
For those who are interested in volunteering as instructors and/or supporting Guitars for Veterans through donations, please contact Beth Woodward at 540-982-2463, Ext. 1730. This support will allow the 80 veterans on the wait list to be able to participate as soon sufficient guitars and instructors are available.
Submitted by Monica Hillery