Mr. Holland's Opus, released in 1995, focused on the power of music to transform the lives of music students (and their teacher). The story inspired the film's composer, Michael Kamen, so much that he created a real life organization that carries on the good ideas of the film in a concrete way.
Over 10,000 music students have benefited from an organization called Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation which provides musical instruments to students who can not afford their own. It's really a simple idea, it makes use of what you don't use anymore; think of it as musical recycling. When children (or adults) upgrade their instruments or simply stop playing, they can donate gently used band or orchestral instruments* to students who would appreciate and use them. If you don't have a used instrument to donate, you may also donate money.
So if you have a clarinet or violin sitting a closet, why not give it a second life as you give a child a chance to make some beautiful music?
*Please note that they cannot accept pianos, organs, accordions or guitars.
To all my Jewish readers shana tova umetukah (a happy and sweet new year).