Kane Brown Turns His Struggles Into Acts of Kindness
When it comes to giving back, Kane Brown's motto is simple: partner with anyone that works to help others.
Open about the fact that he struggled with poverty and abuse as a child, Brown has made it his mission to give back to those facing life's toughest challenges by bringing awareness to the issues of affordable housing and homelessness. The singer recently partnered with State Farm's Neighborhood of Good initiative to encourage others to find causes they're passionate about in their own communities.
"It was kind of rough," he says of his upbringing, which included jumping from house to house to be able to pay rent. "You don't realize it when you're a kid, you think everything's fine, but it affects your education; it affects your friends and your stability."
He's reminded of the pain of homelessness every time he passes a man on the street selling copies of The Contributor, a street newspaper in Nashville that is sold by individuals who are homeless.
"It breaks my heart," he says."There's a guy in Nashville that he's been there for years, and he stands on the side selling newspapers. He's got a dream that he always tells me—he wants to open his own shirt business. I feel like everybody has a dream, so why not try and help everybody to accomplish that dream."
The "Heaven" singer traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak out about the affordable housing crisis in America, where he not only used his own voice to bring about change, but felt the impact of others' emotional stories.
"I learned that my upbringing was rough, but there's other people out there where their upbringing is even worse than mine," he notes. "It just gives you even more of a reason to want to help. I feel like if you're in a bad situation and then you see somebody that's even in a worse situation, you feel for that person. I would give anything to help them out."
Whether partnering with affordable housing nonprofit Make Room or even cleaning up trash on the side of the highway, Brown is active in creating positive change. But one of the most prominent ways he does so is through his music, which has helped fans navigate the same difficulties Brown faced growing up.
"A lot of people say I inspire them or I've helped them - kids who have been bullied in school or parents coming up to me because their kids have been bullied or anything that they've went through. It really touches me," he says of the most rewarding moments he's experienced giving back. "It makes me a better person."
And the same fans that helped make him one of the most noteworthy young acts in country music also follow his lead when it comes to demonstrating benevolence, with fans taking it upon themselves to send stuffed animals to children in need. "I see on Facebook all the time where they get these little bears and they ship them out to kids with cancer, or kids that have a disability, and it really touches them," Brown says, who signs the T-shirts they put on the bears. "It warms my heart."
While affordable housing and homelessness are two issues the singer gravitates to most, he hopes to contribute to as many causes as he can.
"It doesn't matter what it is," he says. "I would love to help."
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