As a songwriter, Candace Christensen knows music can change lives because it has changed hers. And now she hopes to help others experience its healing power.
In October 2013, Christensen created a Facebook page for her nonprofit organization titled Lyrics for Lives. Her organization focuses on writing and selling a song and then donating the proceeds to a family in need.
"I wanted to take this passion and do something for other people with it," Christensen told the Deseret News. "I know there are a lot of people in need of help. Tragedy happens, it's a part of life, and when it does happen I want to be able to come together as a community and help each other. I wanted to give musicians, singers, songwriters and producers an opportunity to give of their time and talents to do something for somebody else."
Prior to creating the organization, Christensen says the concept weighed on her mind, especially as she spent her days working as a certified nursing assistant.
"I work with residents and patients every day where music is all they have," Christensen said. "I work with patients who are blind, suffer from depression and anxiety, (who are) crippled, bed ridden — and the one thing that seems to help these patients the most is music.
"I have always believed that music was healing; it has been in my life. But seeing it for other people is really what made me want to finally do something with music."
After hearing about an accident that nearly took 18-year-old BYU student Lexi Hansen's life in February, Christensen decided to pursue her passion for reaching out.
Her first step was to collaborate with City of Enoch, who wrote and performed a song dedicated to Hansen titled "Miracle." The song revolves around the miracles Hansen's family has witnessed as Hansen continues to recover. The song will be available to purchase on iTunes, and all proceeds will go to the Hansen family.
Lyrics for Lives also organized a benefit concert for Hansen that was held last week at Bingham High School. With the help of Hailey McKee and Cami Morrison, Lyrics for Lives was able to gather many Utah artists — including Nathan Osmond, John Allred, Lexi Walker and Charley Jenkins — to perform at the event.
"I was so impressed at the humility the performers had, and I felt complete sincerity from them," Christensen said. "It was also just a blessing for people to get together for a night to remember Lexi and all the miracles that have taken place, and the strength of her family."
At the event, City of Enoch performed "Miracle," while other artists performed original songs, hymns and inspirational covers. Nathan Osmond and Lexi Walker sang "The Prayer." One of John Allred's performances included "Come Thou Fount," and Rilee Nicole performed "If You Dream," a song written for a previous Lyrics for Lives event.
Overall, Christensen considered the event a success and said the Hansen family is grateful to all who participated.
"The Hansen family is so grateful for all the support. They truly are," Christensen said. "They have been so touched by all the support."
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