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US Piano Store Gives Donated Pianos to Kenya

A former Olympic hopeful working in a piano store in Seattle, Washington is helping create much-needed jobs in Kenya. How? By shipping donated pianos to the East African nation where they are refurbished and sold.

Inside Seattle's Piano Gallery, Kenn Wildes is hard at work tuning pianos.

Wildes did this work in Kenya 15 years ago, while training as an Olympic runner. But a car accident ended this dream. Instead, his other dream to help Kenyans is a reality.

"The pianos will find a very thankful home," he says.

The pianos find homes in Nairobi, Kenya in churches and schools. The store has shipped more than a hundred donated pianos to Nairobi since 2003.

Kenya is a poor country, afflicted by drought and hunger. Jobs are in short supply. But donated pianos can provide work, says storeowner Arnie Tucker. "They want the work because there's 50 percent unemployment in Kenya, and they will work on the inside while neighbors are stripping and finishing the outside, and rebuild that piano so it's marketable."

So, pianos donated by the Seattle community are shipped to Kenya, where they are helping people enjoy a better life, thanks to Kenn Wildes.