NPR profiles Jeff Campbell, the founder and director of Hungry for Music, a Washington, D.C.-area nonprofit that takes in donated musical instruments and gives them to underprivileged young people. Campbell has experienced the power that music can bring to a person’s life – using music to help ‘get through some dark times’ – and over the past 16 years has delivered over 3,500 instruments to young people in the D.C.-area.
Jeff Campbell explains his eccentricities this way: “I had something happen to me at a young age that caused me not to trust anybody.”
When he was just 10 months old, his father was killed in a helicopter crash. As a result, Campbell says, he grew up without much guidance. Along with his mother and five siblings, he experienced a sense of abandonment. The healing process has taken a long time.
And over the course of that process, Campbell developed two deep instincts: a general distrust of people and a genuine love of music.
Nearly 50 years later, Campbell has transformed that love into a life. As founder and director of Hungry for Music, a Washington, D.C.-area nonprofit, Campbell takes in donated musical instruments and gives them to underprivileged young people. He’s been doing that for 16 years and has handed out more than 3,500 instruments.
Simple idea, really — the whole trash/treasure swap. But for Campbell, there is complex harmony in helping others make music. After all, he says, “music helped me through some dark times.”
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