One of my bass students, a really spunky 14 year old kid, had hoped to get a bass for Christmas, but all that changed suddenly when his dad passed away just before Christmas after a short battle with cancer. I hadn't seen this kid in 3 months (he dropped out of lessons shortly after his dads passing) so I phoned his mom last week and found out that the reason he wasn't coming to lessons anymore was because he didn't have a bass and they couldn't afford to pay for lessons either. I told her not to worry about the cost of lessons, I'd provide them to him for free. I had an old MIM Jazz lying around, no bridge, tuners, or strings, and missing the neck pup. It was pretty banged up. Another student of mine offered to take it home and ask his dad (an auto painter) to paint it for me. It came back a beautiful high gloss deep red - looked like new. Some other students (with permission from their parents) pitched in (out of their own allowances) to help cover the cost of hardware and a nice gig-bag. Well, "spunky" came for lessons last night, expecting to borrow one of my basses for lessons... I handed him the MIM bass and we went through his 45 minutes, him thinking I was letting him borrow the bass for lessons. Towards the end of the session, he looked at me and said "I don't know how I'm going to practice everything I learned today without a bass, Mr. X, I don't think this is going to work". I looked at him and said... you've got a bass buddy, take good care of it. You should've seen the look on his face when he finally absorbed what was happening - worth a million bucks! He gave me a big hug (totally un-characteristic of him) and walked out to his waiting mom (who had no idea what was going on) with a grin from ear to ear. Ahhhh, the simple pleasures in life. Thought I'd share with you.