Eddie Van Halen Donates Personal Guitar Collection to Charity

Guitar god Eddie Van Halen donated seventy-five guitars from his own personal collection to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The foundation provides musical instruments, over 1800 annually, to students in low-income schools with no music programs.

On Tuesday Van Halen told CNN, “My whole life has been music. I could not imagine anything else. It’s a must. It has to be taught.”

“It was very difficult at first to find a charity that (takes guitars),” Van Halen said. “They all just wanted money.”

Cultivating music education stems from his own high school experience. “It really hit me when I graduated high school, you sign everybody’s yearbook and everybody asks you, ‘So what college are you going to?’ Uh … ‘Hey Alex [brother Alex Van Halen], I think we better stick to what we know,'” the guitarist said.

“Our goal is to give kids every tool they can possibly have to succeed. Music is the common denominator,” the foundation’s president and CEO Felice Mancini said. “You put a kid in a music class and it builds community, communication and they find a place. It’s a safe haven.”