Johnson Co. organization gives gift of music to students in need

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Giving the gift of music this holiday season is what one local organization is trying to do. The Franklin Symphonic Council is asking you to clean out your attics, and dig into your closets. They want your old instruments.

The donations will go to kids, specifically those in the band program at Franklin Community Middle School and Franklin Community High School. It’s a district where many of the kids come from homes that cannot afford instruments.

Spread across Karen Sanders’ living room is an array of instruments; everything from drums to a saxophone still in its case. Sanders has been instrumental in collecting the equipment.

“I’ve been going and picking them up. They’ll give me a call. They tell me what they have. I get an address. We arrange a time and date to take off. I fill up my car and I bring them home,” Sanders said.

Sanders is a board member for the Franklin Symphonic Council.

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“We want to promote music and the arts in the Johnson County area for adults, students, children. For everyone,” she added.

One way they’re doing that is by taking in donations; specifically instruments. After receiving the instruments, the organization pays to have them refurbished. The instruments go to seventh through twelfth graders in the Franklin Community School District.

Franklin Community Middle School principal, Rita Holman estimates that nearly 50% of her students cannot afford an instrument.

“If they can’t do that because of finances, that really limits their opportunities. Any way we can allow kids, all kids to have access to our program is greatly appreciated,” Holman said.

It’s a sentiment that strikes a chord with Sanders.

“Music is so important to individuals and to their lifestyle that it is so important that we make sure that we can get an instrument in every child’s hand,” Sanders said.

Franklin Symphonic Council has been doing an instrument drive for three years. The drive is year-round, however there is a special emphasis for donations through the month of December. If you’d like to help out, you can do so by either donating an instrument or money. More information about the program can be found on the website of the Franklin Symphonic Council.