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Donation of 440 Ukuleles To Benefit Students

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Donation of 440 Ukuleles To Benefit Students
Posted on 04/14/2022
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The Portland Public Schools is very grateful to Greg Heslin, founder of an organization called "Uku Global," who has donated 440 ukuleles to the Portland Schools. Helping to secure this generous donation were PPS volunteer Lee Urban, the founder of the nonprofit Ukuleles Heal the World, and Portland High School music teacher Jayne Sawtelle, with assistance from PPS music coordinator Audrey Cabral.

Urban said some of the ukuleles will be for use in teachers’ classrooms, others will go to school libraries, and some will go home with kids for use during the summer months. The Portland Public Schools had some ukuleles previously, but demand always outpaced supply, Sawtelle said.

On April 12, a truck carrying more than 40 boxes of ukuleles and accessories arrived at Lincoln Middle School. Ukuleles Heal The World generously paid the $525 shipping charge. Urban also wrote a song, titled "440 Ukuleles," to the tune of “76 Trombones” for the occasion as a gift to Heslin, Urban's friend and the donor of the instruments. Urban and fellow uke’sters performed the song and volunteers helped unload the instruments.

This April 10 column by Bill Nemitz in the Portland Press Herald tells the whole story behind the donation: "Coming soon to Portland schools – a windfall of ukuleles"