Just over ten years ago Rick was a suicidal alcoholic about to release his grip on The MacDonald Bridge in Halifax. He went to the men's shelter instead where he enrolled in their treatment program. Six months later he not only graduated, but went on to become their Addictions Counsellor helping others who were lost find their way back. Recently he moved to New Brunswick where he went back to his original passion years prior, building custom guitars but this time they each have a unique story based on where the originating wood came from.
Paul was released from jail in 2007 and had nowhere to go. He found himself homeless and ended up living in a men's shelter in Halifax and starting over. It was here he met Rick and the homeless but grateful men began a friendship that included serving meals on the streets to those who were also homeless, and much more. Paul realized his true passion was in helping others and began unique projects, fundraisers, and networks to help those in need. He is the Founding Director of the Make Cents of Change Society.
Singer, guitarist, writer, producer and leader of the band April Wine, Myles Goodwyn’s passion and drive shaped and directed the group from its earliest beginnings. He is the only remaining original member of the group since the inception of April Wine in 1969. Goodwyn grew up poor and is the classic “small-town kid makes good” success story.
He continues to lead the band to the present day. For nearly a decade Goodwyn has actively supported and raised funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Goodwyn is the founder of the charitable foundation, Soleful Caring … Shoes for the Homeless, est. 2014.
Aerobics First of Halifax had an idea that could show how truly amazing their customers were in not only supporting their store but also the community around them. Luke MacDonald is synonymous with running. He is the co-owner of Aerobics First and with their amazing customers and staff began #fititforward a program that sees those who are homeless or otherwise marginalized get new sneakers and hiking boots, supported by New Balance Canada and Wolverine Worldwide. Luke happened upon Paul and MCOC's mission and the partnership was easy from there. Now #fititforward has grown leaps and bounds and isn't stopping.
It's amazing when creativity meets opportunity. A mutual connection from all of these men was found at the Home of Rock N' Roll Q104 in Halifax. Here their management set up a lunch for these men to meet and an idea unfolded. Rick has built a stunning custom one only guitar from Brazilian blood wood that was once floor boards and the hand rails from the very shelter he and Paul met at. Long & McQuade stepped in and helped to see the project finished donating the electronics, pickups and hardware. Myles Goodwyn will be autographing this instrument at one of his sold out shows this fall. Q104 and K-Rock are helping to spread the message. So...how do you win it?
Just click on this link to our Panhandling Project and support this initiative to be a part...of change. The cents you see on your pay-cheque each week is not only your ticket for this rare guitar but also makes you a part of...change in your community. MCOC are Professional Panhandlers that take the cents you never even think about (feel free to donate more, most do!) and use it for the clients we see every day. Challenge your co-workers and employer to do the same. Share this opportunity with friends and family. But please, don't walk by. That guy playing the guitar with his hat on the sidewalk, he deserves a better chance and the dignity thatyou can give him that. Let's make cents together. Peace.
The story of the build