TAMPA, Fla. - When public school budgets are cut, music departments are often first on the chopping block. One national organization is playing a different tune to help kids from Tampa Bay and across the globe make beautiful music.
Paulette Brown Campbell can't remember a time when she didn't love music. Her love for sound started when her grandmother was the church organist.
"I was born with music in my blood. I've always been music. I am music," she said. "When I was just maybe about three or four years old, when she took me to church, I would get up and bust out songs for everyone. So it was just always something in me."
Paulette became an entrepreneur but never forgot her childhood memories of watching her grandmother play. She had a vision to start Redemption Song, a non-profit organization that supplies musical instruments to struggling schools.
"We give the instruments to underprivileged children and schools, they are struggling as well. They're in undeserved communities. We distribute instruments to those schools," she said.
Paulette Brown Campbell started Redemption Song to provide music education to kids
Now her reach goes even further than music. While she was on a social science graduate studies program in Africa, Paulette noticed children weren't getting a basic education.
"I proposed that to the organization to start an international outreach program that would not focus on just music, but focus on general education for children living in poverty or economically challenged situations in the international arena," she said.
Their first student graduated from the program in 2019 and now writes online articles for Redemption Songs.
"I just emailed her yesterday about a blog she submitted for me to review, and I was crying because it was just overwhelming to know that we gave the child the opportunity to become educated," she said.
They were tears of joy Paulette is happy to shed.
"It feels amazing to help people. I mean, there is a payback to that, why anyone does it. They're getting a good feeling from it. They're getting a sense of worthiness and purpose in the world as well."
To donate an instrument, or to find out how to receive one, email SPG@redemsong.org.