High School Student Creates Nonprofit to Give Back to Community Through Music


“Recycling Instruments for Needy Kids” nonprofit. (WHO-HD)

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URBANDALE, Iowa – A metro high school student from Urbandale is using an  honors project to give back to the community through music.

Sixteen-year-old Kathryn Wittrock created the nonprofit “Recycling Instruments for Needy Kids” when she saw not every student could afford to rent a musical instrument to learn how to play.

The West Des Moines Valley student said, “I wanted every student to be able to have the opportunity to participate in band without having to worry about the financial barrier."

Wittrock said she has reached out to Des Moines Public Schools, West Des Moines Community Schools, Waukee Community Schools, Urbandale Schools, and Johnston Community Schools band directors to participate.

Kathryn’s mother Kristi Wittrock said, “There are kids that don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. There is no way they can afford that kind of money to rent and instrument. So, for them to have the opportunity to play without their parents having to try to figure out how to get that instrument is huge.”

Kristi Wittrock said renting can cost anywhere from $25 a month to $75 depending on the instrument.

So far RINKS has collected 22 instruments and counting.

Wittrock said instruments will be distributed in the fall of 2019 when most band seasons start back up.

“My goal before I graduate is to distribute as many instruments as possible to students in the Des Moines area. And then, hopefully have the cycle continue,” Wittrock said.

Kristi Wittrock said music is more than just learning how to play an instrument. It is an outlet to some students.

“It’s just awesome for kids to kind of participate in music, and be able to work towards something and be with a group of kids that have a common goal,” Kristi Wittrock said.

Anyone can donate any instruments. You can either send an email to rinksdsm@gmail.com or drop off instruments during business hours at StylEyes at 6630 Mills Civic Parkway West Des Moines.


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