Country music legend Vince Gill helped Nashville-based musical instrument distributor KHS America donate $100,000 worth of instruments to schools impacted by deadly flooding in Waverly, Tenn.
KHS America made the donation on behalf of the CMA Foundation, with Gill announcing the generous gift in-person to students of Waverly Junior High School and Waverly Central High School.
Gill spoke to students during a Monday morning assembly about the importance of music in schools and shared how he lost musical equipment in the 2010 Nashville flood.
"The kids were so excited about the new instruments to replace the ones they lost," Stephanie Graham, a photographer for KHS America, told The Tennessean. "Plus, Vince is just a super down to earth guy, and he was very genuine with the kids. You can just tell he really does do these things out of the kindness of his own heart."
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Nashville's NBC affiliate WSMV spoke to band director Joseph Bullington, who said that more than a dozen of his nearly 90 band members were impacted by the August floods that ravaged Waverly in Humphreys County and other parts of Middle Tennessee.
"I have been kind of inspired by the kids for how resilient they have been," Bullington said. "Coming back to music and being involved in band, even for those that were affected, band becomes their outlet."
Nashville's ABC affiliate WKRN reports that 1,100 students, teachers, and administrators got displaced by the floods. Students are still sharing classrooms and working out of converted workspaces thanks to damage to their schools.
Gill isn't the first country music great to lend a helping hand to the people of Waverly. Loretta Lynn sponsored a Sept. 13 benefit concert at the Grand Ole Opry House for flood victims, while Dolly Parton donated proceeds from an October weekend at her businesses in East Tennessee to the United Way of Humphreys County.
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