The 'blessings broker' is lifting spirits through song in time of coronavirus crisis

Stefan Youngblood was raised one of eight children in a very small, very musical home.

"I made lots of noise on the drums" Youngblood recalled, "and then I ended up going into music in college, and I realized the power of melody."

Youngblood has since put that power to work, devoting himself to bringing people together and lifting them up through his nonprofit "When Grace Happens."

"Someone told me you're like a blessing broker," Youngblood said. "I don't know about broker but that's kind of what I do now, and I found a lot of joy in doing it, of connecting people who might not normally meet one another. And this whole coronavirus has been an opportunity."

Though he now reaches out to those in pain, Youngblood, has known it himself.

So, I think I play out of that struggle," Youngblood said. "And it's amazing to be on the other side."

It was while teaching music in the Caribbean in 1995, that Youngblood found himself square in the middle of Hurricane Marilyn. That night, hunkered down, he wrote a song that has since become a worldwide anthem of perseverance.

The lyrics begin "We will rise once again, from the place that we're in. Hand in hand, with faith we will stand."

That song, 'We Will Rise,' has since been translated and used to help people endure and recover from Hurricane Katrina to disasters in Haiti and Myanmar to the foot of Mount Everest itself in the wake of an avalanche.

"So, it's good for us not to just say, wow this is, I can't get over this mountain, I can't get beyond, because it's just a mountain, and we will get to the other side," Youngblood said.

Youngblood, who gives all his music away for free, is now soliciting writing help to reword the first verse to reflect the current COVID-19 crisis. The second verse though seems awfully pertinent right now too.

"Nothing can tear apart unity when everyone looks to one goal and trials they bring opportunity to give from your spirit and soul."
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