Jeff Hayes: The Musical Handyman from Virginia

By Leah Rome

From playing the slide guitar to wiring the whole LMI campus for wifi, Jeff Hayes can do it all! I had the privilege of having a conversation with Jeff about his many gifts and how he chooses to share those with us here at Leadership Mission International. 

Jeff first traveled to The Leadership Center in January 2018. He was connected through Chris and Dan Moore, board members who have been involved in this organization for the past 10+ years, after falling in love with the people of Honduras. Jeff’s 2018 trip hooked him, and he continued to visit TLC in 2019, 2020, and now in 2022. He describes TLC’s nurturing environment as phenomenal and the women as so appreciative of all that visitors do for them. He enjoys his afternoons on campus talking, listening, and practicing English with the students. 

Jeff on his most recent trip to The Leadership Center in February of 2022.

During Jeff’s four visits to campus, he has been involved in countless projects, from painting the Los Valles church to fixing the TLC bandsaw. He is a handyman who can conquer any broken piece of equipment. Jeff’s 2020 project has been particularly impactful. He wired all of TLC to provide a strong wifi connection in all corners of campus. A week after installing the wifi, Jeff saw a class taught virtually for the students. WiFi drastically increased the amount of resources available to the students and staff. We are thankful for Jeff’s knowledge and talents every day. 

In 2020, Jeff wired the entire TLC campus for wifi.

Music is another one of Jeff’s passions. He and his friend started a band back in 2009 called The Blue Ridge Sky Band. Four older guys and two 20-year-olds play a mixture of different genres, including rock and country, from their diverse eras – some older, some more contemporary. Jeff sings and plays a 6-string acoustic guitar, as well as a 12-string acoustic, slide guitar, harmonica, and electric guitar. He started teaching himself music at age 20, never imagining he would be playing at private parties, resorts, and restaurants. 

Jeff singing and playing guitar at a TLC bonfire.

I asked Jeff why he keeps coming back to TLC. He replied, “I believe in the mission of TLC. You watch the news and you see so many people trying to immigrate to the United States. If you can balance the power of the women and men in the country, corruption goes down and home-life improves. LMI’s graduates are creating better communities.” 

Every visit to campus means making new friends, and basking in the tranquility of it all. He describes the humility he has learned from TLC students and how they have made him realize that he should appreciate everything he has and share his abilities with the world. 

I see a selfless man who loves helping with projects, engaging with students and teaching guitar. We at LMI appreciate Jeff’s dedication and thank him for his strong belief in this organization!

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