Homeless Man Gets 2nd Chance
If you're wondering about the power of viral media, talk to Ted Williams.
It took just a few hours for a Columbus, Ohio, homeless man, Williams, to become the latest viral sensation, sifting through job offers pouring in, including one from the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Credit Union League.
Williams, an ex-radio announcer who fell on hard times after drug and alcohol abuse, was featured on The Columbus Dispatch website in a video story. While panhandling, Williams held a sign claiming to have "a God-given gift of voice." A videographer gave him an opportunity to demonstrate his talent, and Williams delivered in a big way. On the video Williams recounted how years ago he met an announcer who looked nothing like he sounded. That's when Williams decided radio was for him.
"He said to me: 'Radio is defined as theater of mind,'" said Williams in the video segment about the homeless. "I can't be an actor, I can't be an on-air personality. The voice became something of a development."
Sober now for two years, Williams simply wanted another shot at doing what he loves.
Upon hearing the story, Nicole Carey, marketing manager for BMI Federal Credit Union, worked to find a way to give Williams his second chance.
"I heard the story on a local radio station and thought there might be some way credit unions can help. He has the talent, and he appears driven to return to his voice-over roots," said Carey.
Carey contacted the Ohio Credit Union League, who in turn contacted Central Ohio Chapter President Amanda Thomas, marketing/business development manager for Members First Credit Union in Columbus, to see if there were any opportunities. While Williams was being interviewed by local radio personalities, Thomas went in and offered Williams up to $10,000 in voice-over work for the chapter's upcoming awareness campaign.
"The Central Ohio Chapter is planning to introduce videos to help further spread the word about our BumpYourBank.com website and to help consumers understand the difference between a credit union and a bank. Mr. Williams' talent aligns perfectly with our needs, and things happened from there. We were glad to surprise him with this opportunity," said Thomas.
The job offers have been pouring in. Most recently Williams said the Cleveland Cavaliers offered him a full-time job and a house.