Daymark has several programs: Patchwork, a runaway and homeless shelter for ages 12 and up; Turning Point, a group home for older youth; and New Connections, a GED lab and transitional living program and outreach that goes into Putnam and Kanawha counties to help youth on the streets. According to Executive Director Vicki Pleasant, Daymark has aided 4,000 youth in the past year and 40,000 in its 39 years of service.
Murphy said programs such as Daymark are "steppingstones for help" and the aid they provide is necessary for youth in crisis. He connected with the organization following his win on "America's Got Talent" in 2011.
"Many of my fans were actually staff and kids from Daymark, so I met some of them like that," Murphy said. "I met them on my journey of music. I like to help them when I can -- like make appearances or perform."
He'll perform and tell his story May 18 at Daymark's "Fly Me to the Moon" gala. The event will be held at the Executive Air hanger and includes a dinner with signature foods by Charleston's top chefs. Tickets are $100 and must be reserved by May 10.
Murphy said he had the best of both worlds growing up. He was born in West Virginia and moved to Detroit after his parents divorced when he was 11.
"My life was pretty exciting," he said. "I had to learn what streets not to go down, and I learned from people on the streets don't do drugs or do what some of them did. People always had a positive message to send me, anyone I talked to."
Murphy has his own advice to give to young people.
"Just live every day like it's your last," he said. "Everyone has their own destiny to follow. Follow your heart because that's what should lead you."
If youth are in bad situations at home and don't know where to go, Murphy encouraged them to "just leave it up to God."
"Every day goes by, but God doesn't," he said. "Just put everything in God's hands.