BROOKLYN (PIX11) — Are you looking for a way to provide a little extra financial support to your favorite charitable organization this holiday season?
Al Bahna, a father who started a music foundation after his Brooklyn-born son died by suicide, is getting out the word that Facebook is matching recurring donations to 501(c)(3)’s through the end of the year.
Facebook’s owner, Meta, said in a statement, “If you sign up to be a monthly donor to an eligible nonprofit on Facebook during Giving Season, then Meta may match a donation after the second donation made on that recurring agreement. Giving Season is from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31. The match program used to be only on ‘Giving Tuesday,’ the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.”
Bahna founded The Waffles Foundation after his son Matthew took his life in 2019. Matthew Bahna developed a love for music in grammar school and was an aspiring musician who was often seen with a guitar. The foundation is now a way for Bahna to turn his pain into something positive. The organization gives scholarships to people looking to pursue music. So far, the foundation has sponsored eight people. Three of them attend the Nubian Conservatory of Music in Crown Heights.
“You give charity money for one month, say it’s $5, the second month you give that $5, Facebook will match that. The money is already out there on the table. You don’t have to do anything special to have it provided,” Bahna said regarding Facebook’s donations matching.
Ricky Brackett, a baritone, is one of the scholarship recipients.
“I discovered my first love of music when I was a little kid, probably around six or seven years old. I heard my mom sing,” he told PIX11. “The son’s legacy will live on as us students continue our dream of being a musician. The scholarship money is a blessing for all of us.”
E. Harrison Gordon is the president of the Nubian Conservatory of Music, which he founded in 1983. It is also a 501(c)(3) in need of donations to keep its doors open.
“The music was one of the things that helped to keep me out of trouble,” Gordon said. “We are eternally grateful that [Bahna] has taken an interest in some of our students because we’re struggling like most 501(c)(3)s.”
Thmauri Bobo, 17, and his 15-year-old sister Ariyah Bobo are currently students at Nubian.
Ariyah told PIX11 that music lessons are “not just playing piano, I also have opportunities to go see other people perform and just be inspired by other musicians, and understand what that love can do for other people, not just myself.”
Thmauri said he’s considering a second major in music and thanked Bahna.
“The father did a very good deed, giving money, helping other people develop a love for music and carry on that love for music,” he said.