American folk singer/songwriter Michael Johnathon, host of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour, has launched the WoodSongs Tornado Relief Effort to replace damaged or lost musical instruments for free for any person or organization affected by the recent tornados that devastated communities throughout Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee.
“I believe that love is the greatest transaction of the arts, it drives everything we do, everything we create and everything we feel,” Johnathon said in a recent video on his YouTube channel.
“This is a time to put our politics, opinions and divisions aside and be loving neighbours to those in real, actual need. Let’s not underestimate the comfort music and art can bring to families and neighbours in a time of great loss.”
WoodSongs Tornado Relief Effort is a non-profit association based in Lexington, Ky.
"Most musicians in the affected region have lost everything, including their guitars, banjos, mandolins and fiddles. Many schools lost all of their band instruments," it reads on the website. "WoodSongs (501-c-3) is working to send replacement instruments FREE. Let’s not underestimate the comfort music and art can bring to families and neighbors in a time of great loss."
Those impacted by the tornadoes and need an instrument replaced can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. People making a request are asked to put TORNADO in the subject heading and include the instrument they’re looking for, an address it can be sent to, a name, a phone number and other contact information.
Those who have an instrument to donate can email that same email@example.com address and use the same TORNADO subject heading. The message should include details about the instrument and contact information.
Currier’s Music World in Richmond, Ky. is the main redistribution point for the program and is assisting in the shipping coordination of donated instruments to musicians who resided in the tornados’ paths.
People wishing to make a tax-deductible financial donation to purchase replacement strings and repairs for instruments can:
donate through PayPal here;
phone 859-255-5700 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST to make a credit card donation;
or mail a cheque to WoodSongs Tornado Relief Effort, P.O. Box 200, Lexington, KY 40588.Martin Guitar is donating guitar strings for donated guitars needing replacements. Additional brand alliances are being organized, with information being updated here.
In addition to his music career, Johnathon is also an author, playwright, screenwriter and founder, producer and host of the weekly WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour. The show airs globally on 537 radio and television stations and on the American Forces Radio Network to every American military base and United States Navy ship around the world.