Guitars for Vets’ (G4V) mission is to share the healing power of music with Veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other invisible wounds of war. By creating a communal atmosphere where Veterans can learn to play guitar and interact with peers, our program encourages self-expression and helps restore feelings of joy and purpose that can be lost after suffering trauma. Every week for the last 13 years G4V has worked face-to-face with thousands of Veterans around the country. However, in mid-March 2020, we halted all of our national in-person programming due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines.
Over the past month, G4V leaders around the country have grown increasingly concerned that isolation, caused by social distancing guidelines, threatens the mental wellness of the Veterans we serve who already struggle with the invisible wounds of war. Feedback we receive daily from our Chapter Coordinators indicates that Veterans are increasingly asking VA employees and G4V personal to resume lessons. Interestingly, G4V volunteers are also contacting our national staff more frequently to inquire about the possibility of resuming service, which suggests to us that isolation is also having an effect on our personnel. Because we are concerned about the risk isolation poses to our students and our volunteers, we have re-engineered our program to safely continue serving those who served. We are now returning to work using commercially available video conferencing technology to deliver guitar lessons until it is safe for our Veterans and volunteers to return to face-to-face interaction.
Unfortunately, social distancing restrictions required us to cancel many important fundraising events over the last few months which, combined with the economic uncertainty facing many of our donors, has led to a sharp downturn in donations to G4V this year. At this time, we expect our funding in 2020 will fall short of the goal we set in January to raise $200,000 to send 1,000 Veterans through our program this year. However, instead of lowering our expectations for this year’s throughput, we’ve decided to press forward to achieve our initial 2020 goal. In our opinion, the Veterans we serve need us now more than ever. As a result, we need your help. To donate to Guitars for Vets or purchase merchandise that supports our mission please visit shop.guitars4vets.org
If you are looking to enroll in the Guitars for Vets program, please contact your local Chapter Coordinator. You can find your nearest location HERE