Play It Forward is an organization that puts musical instruments in the hands of children. The St. Louis-based program makes sure children have the opportunity to discover their musical talents. The organization gathers unused instruments, cleans and fixes them, and distributes them to children in lower income school music programs. The program brings instruments to children whose parents can’t afford the equipment or the fees, encouraging students to join their peers in their school music programs.

Up until now, the program has mainly remained in Missouri. But local musician Jamie Vermillion is starting a chapter in Lawrence. The solo musician is partnering with instrument repair professionals and organizing local music communities to rally for the cause. He’s encouraging folks to dig into their basements, attics, and spare rooms to find previously played instruments. “I can’t think of a single reason why we wouldn’t be able to make this a huge success,” he says. “My hope is that we are able to give the beautiful gift of music to tens, then hundreds, and growing to thousands of children.”

The Lawrence chapter of Play It Forward is hosting their first fundraiser this Sunday, from 5:00 to 10:00 (early show!) at Lucia. The event features performances by an all-star lineup of musicians, including Half Tiger, Half Bear, Jazz Cigarettes, and DemFellers. You can RSVP to the event here.

Anyone wanting to donate can contact Play It Forward at: 785-608-2971 or [email protected].



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 15 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Leave a Reply