North Carolina’s National Pawn began donating instruments and cash to performing arts programs in counties where their stores are located in 2010. Their CEO, Bob Moulton, has always sought to give back to the communities his stores serve and was specifically inspired to support music education through his own experiences growing up.
Enamored by music as a child, Moulton wanted to join his middle school band in Durham, NC, but financial strains made it difficult for his parents to purchase a new instrument. It wasn’t until his mom found an affordable instrument at a yard sale that Moulton was able to live out his musical dreams. Now a successful businessman, Moulton wants to ensure that every child interested in joining a school music program has the ability to pursue those opportunities.
“In my memory, it was just fun. I didn’t realize until later in life that I was learning reading, math, and teamwork. I realize that there are a lot of kids out there who would love to play in the band, but cannot because they do not have an instrument,” he says.
“Our hope is that this will also inspire others to donate gently used instruments to local public schools to expand the overall community impact,” said Moulton.
Over the years, they’ve hosted unveiling assemblies in Alamance, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, and Wake counties. Even during the pandemic disruptions of 2020, Moulton made instrument donations. It wasn’t until a recent event, however, that he was able to hear the satisfying sounds of students performing.
Last month, students of William Owens at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Charlotte received a gift of over 100 instruments and $2,000 in cash during a socially-distanced event. “It was the first time I’ve had students perform for anyone else in almost two years,” Owens said.
Moulton plans to continue hosting more instrument giveaways at other schools as restrictions allow. Principal Nemal Patel, a former musician, shared “It warms my heart to know that students will now have access to the magic of music.”
National Pawn is a Triangle-based pawn retailer with 23 locations across North Carolina. National Pawn offers services including buying, selling, and pawn loans. Visit www.nationalpawnshops.com.
Source: Cyndee Harrison, Pawnbroker Network