Charity of the week: Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

The foundation gives some 10,000 young people a year the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (mhopus.org) donates musical instruments to underserved school and community music programs across the country. It was founded in 1996 by the late Michael Kamen, the composer of the film Mr. Holland’s Opus, which chronicles a high school music teacher’s lasting impact on his students. The foundation gives some 10,000 young people a year the opportunity to learn an instrument; that experience, its studies show, tends to improve test scores and school attendance. As school budgets tighten, the foundation’s efforts are becoming more vital than ever in keeping school music programs afloat. The group also administers the annual Michael Kamen Solo Award, which provides suitable instruments to outstanding student musicians.

Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator ranks not-for-profit organizations on the effectiveness of their programs, their control of administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest ranking.

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