A brief history
A Brief History
Lee Urban picked up a ukulele for the first time in the Fall of 2014, and he immediately realized that it was special social instrument that could bring joy to many, many people, including him. Soon after in the July of 2015, he and his friends put together the first CascoBay UkeFest to bring like-minded uke'sters together to enjoy ukulele music.
The next step in Lee's mind was to teach kids how to play the ukulele, and that's how free Ukulele Camps for elementary school kids came about. He and his friends as co-instructors became a loose-knit group known as Ukuleles Heal The World.
With generous donations from many kind people, Ukuleles Heal The World purchased ukuleles to be given to the young Campers - many of whom don't have the same advantages as their classmates.
Beginning in 2017, Ukuleles Heal The World became a Maine 501(c)(3) non-profit; and thereafter all the net proceeds realized from the annual CascoBay UkeFest that year have been donated to Ukuleles Heal The World to help fulfill the mission or the organization.
Where we are today
Where we are today
Ukuleles Heal The World has led more than 20 free Ukulele Camps and given ukuleles to over 200 Ukulele Campers, many of whom don't have the same opportunities in life as their classmates.
We also lead free Mini-Ukulele Camps lasting only an hour or so for seniors and developmentally challenged young adults. We are most proud of the fact that we have played a positive role in the lives of many who have come to enjoy the thrill of creating music on their own and thereby adding joy to their lives.
We created Vets With Ukes where weekly we gather via Zoom to teach ukulele to combat vets, and we all play songs of their choosing. We also teach ukulele to vets at the local VA Clinic and entertain vets at the Maine Veterans Homes.
We're providing and teaching ukulele and harmonica to young residents of the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, Maine; and these boys and girls are really enjoying learning both instruments at the same time. There comes a joyous moment where while one kid strums a 12-bar blues progression on a ukulele, another plays a harmonica using as few as two holes to create melodies of their own. Hope, perseverance, triumph, and joy!
Long Creek rules require that the ukuleles and harmonicas be kept in the classroom at all times and not be taken from the room. When these kids are finally released from the facility, however, each of these kids can take with them the ukulele and harmomica he or she used during the music classes. The power of self-made music to heal!