In a matter of a few hours, a Columbus area homeless man went from down on his luck, to the latest viral sensation, to a likely spokesperson for the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Credit Union League.
COLUMBUS – In a matter of a few hours, a Columbus area homeless man went from down on his luck, to the latest viral sensation, to a likely spokesperson for the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Credit Union League.
Ted Williams, who was featured on The Columbus Dispatch website in a video story titled “Golden Homeless Voice,” claims to be “an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times,” according to the sign he uses to panhandle.
Inspired by the credit union spirit and by Mr. William’s story, Nicole Carey, marketing manager for BMI Federal Credit Union in Dublin, Ohio, set in motion an opportunity to give William’s 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 voiceover roots.”
Carey contacted the Ohio Credit Union League, who in turn contacted Central Ohio Chapter President Amanda Thomas, marketing and business development manager for Members First Credit Union in Columbus, to see if any opportunities for Williams existed within the local Credit Union Movement.
The chapter board agreed he would serve well as the vocal talent for their upcoming video marketing campaign. On January 5, live on Columbus’ WNCI-97.9 Morning Zoo, Thomas offered Williams up to $10,000 in voiceover work. The work is contingent on a background check.
“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 this morning with this opportunity,” said Thomas.
A tearful and humbled Williams appreciated the offer. “Oh my God, Amanda. Thank you for that offer. Thank you truly.”
Meanwhile, the video of Williams has appeared on social media outlets such as YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit.com and started trending on Twitter. Additionally, mainstream media such as CNN, CBS, ABC, Inside Edition, and local Columbus television affiliates took notice.
Williams appeared on the CBS Early Show as well.
The Central Ohio Chapter is also working on securing funds to help subsidize everyday needs for Williams, including an apartment, transportation, and groceries. Due to his sudden fame, which has lead to dozens of job offers, the chapter will also offer free financial counseling to Williams.
“A job is one thing, but to help this person get back on track is the real goal. That is the credit union way. We truly believe in the ‘People Helping People’ mantra,” said Thomas.