A central Alberta charity is giving used guitars a new home.

Red Deer’s Guitarz for Kidz takes donated guitars and fixes them so they can be given to kids who can’t afford a new instrument.

"I kind of thought it was my turn to give back," said David Gilmore on why he started Guitarz for Kidz. “It hits me in the feels every time we give one away. There’s been times when we get the stories back where parents or teachers or others are saying, ‘You’ve changed a life by putting a guitar in this persons hands.'"

River Roan, 13, was one of the approximately 30 recipients since the program started a year and a half ago.

"I saw a guitar case at the back and I was like, 'That can’t be mine,” he said.

It was. He’s been practicing and playing his new guitar ever since.

“It’s been pretty good, I’ve been learning lots about notes, bars, chords,” he said.

The organization also offers five lessons to kids who get an instrument through a partnership with St. John’s Music.

Not all of the guitars, however, are able to repaired. Instead of throwing them away, Guitarz for Kidz, along with the Red Deer Art Council, turns them into works of art.

“They’re available for sale and all of the proceeds from those guitars goes into the Guitarz for Kidz bank account, and each artist that does an art guitar gets paid an honorarium,” said Gilmore.

For more information about Guitarz for Kidz, visit its website.