By:  Jeffrey D. Stauffer – Director,, 443-393-7696

In March, The Elville Center developed a relationship with a truly unique organization that makes a difference in the lives of young people in its community, The Children’s Home in Catonsville.  Established in 1863, The Children’s Home (TCH) is a non-profit residential care facility that provides services to youth 13 to 21 years of age who have experienced abuse, neglect, violence or abandonment.  The Children’s Home is a place these students can truly call “home.”

After hearing about The Elville Center on 91.5 WBJC, Mr. Bruce VanderVort, Grant Writer and Publicist for The Children’s Home, reached out to The Elville Center to inquire about starting a music program for its students.  TCH has many programs in place for the children on its 44-acre campus, including many arts programs that have proven very successful and enjoyed by its student residents.  Mr. VanderVort launched a campaign on the organization’s Facebook page asking for musical instrument donations, and the community responded by offering keyboards, guitars, and various other instruments to get the program moving in the right direction.

But, the question begged – what to do with some donated instruments and students that have never touched an instrument before?

The Elville Center and Mr. VanderVort met and determined that, beginning in mid-May, The Elville Center will support having music instructors visit The Children’s Home every couple weeks and teach the students the basics of playing musical instruments.  To promote a sense of harmony and spirit and with a number of guitars on hand, the first lessons will be with a guitar instructor so students can play together, and as the instrument inventory grows and students’ interests are piqued about certain instruments, different instructors will be brought in to give lessons about different instruments.

The Elville Center was also able to purchase a new guitar for TCH and provide the students two additional guitars, a ukulele, and a trumpet kindly donated to The Elville Center along with refurbishing a violin and flute TCH had in its inventory.  The Elville Center will continue to help increase The Children’s Home musical instrument inventory so children can experience playing as many instruments as possible as the months progress.  Other opportunities discussed include having the students experience playing instruments in a band format as well as offering vocal instruction at a local studio.

“The support from [The Elville Center] and the community helps generate a strong sense of hope, creating endless possibilities and positive outcomes.  There are endless possibilities of the services and programs we offer the residents – leading to endless possibilities for their future,” said Gail Lee, Director of Development at The Children’s Home.  “The increase in program opportunities in music will provide hours of enjoyment that is very therapeutic to youth.  And there is always the possibility that what the residents learn today can turn into a satisfying career.”

We are so excited about the opportunities that could open up for some of these young people that may never have experienced music without this new music program offered by The Children’s Home – all through the vision of Mr. VanderVort!  We at The Elville Center are truly humbled by the opportunity to partner with such a caring, extraordinary place that makes a difference in the lives of its students and is a pillar in its community.  To learn more about The Children’s Home, please visit  And, to learn how to make a musical difference in the life of a child by making a monetary pledge or donating a musical instrument, please visit our donate page.


TCH -- bruce, jeff, guitar
TCH -- bruce, jeff, trumpet
pictures and story for The Children’s Home article — in pictures, Mr. Bruce VanderVort — Grant Writer/Publicist for The Children’s Home, Jeffrey Stauffer — Director, The Elville Center (donated new guitar to The Children’s Home by The Elville Center, refurbished trumpet donated to The Elville Center provided to The Children’s Home)