Twitter and charity

I came across this in my Twitter feed earlier today:

It’s inspiring and thought-provoking. And with the apparent rapid spread of this video (over 20,000 views so far in the 2 days since it’s been posted), I expect it probably won’t be too long until he’s got some work. To be honest, with the way these things go I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets interviews on news channels and prime-time chat shows.

But what if he doesn’t? How could the huge reach of Twitter help him out?

I don’t know his personal cirumstances, and leaving aside his probable need for a roof over his head, but in order to start a career as a professional voice-over man he technically only needs a laptop ($400/£250) some free audio software, and a half-decent microphone ($100/£65). With a small amount of training in how to use the software it really wouldn’t take a lot for him to start creating his own recordings, online portfolio, and eventually provide high-quality work for clients from the warmth and comfort of his own home.

So, for around $500/£320 we (the social media users of the world) could change this guy’s life at a point where he really looks like he’s willing to make it happen. Here’s a guy who is honest about the difficulties he’s had in his life, and is looking to start afresh. I for one would happily give him a tenner.

But how would this happen?

Sites like Justgiving have made it brilliantly easy to donate to charity, but giving to individuals isn’t quite so simple, especially if they’re not someone you can hand the money to personally.

  • He could set up his own site and ask for Paypal donations?
  • We could set up a Twitter/Facebook fund that we all contribute a few quid to, and then vote each week on who gets a “grant” or award from it?
  • With the relatively tiny amounts probably needed, maybe micro-donation services like Flattr could be the answer? It would take only minutes to raise the $500 needed if this video continues to spread the way it has done.
  • Any other ideas?

As social media makes it easier for brilliant stories like this to come to our attention wouldn’t it be amazing for it to be easy to donate to them, too?

If we can find a way to help him out, and he gets the facilities to do so, I’ll personally guarantee that we use him, and pay him, for a job doing a voiceover on our next Dizzyjam promo video.

– – – – –

Hat-tip to Brian Travers (from UB40) whose original tweet about this reached me via an Urbanfly retweet.

UPDATE – Since I first saw the video it’s picked up over 100,000 more views, is getting about 30 comments A MINUTE, and I’ve just received news that he’s been offered some radio appearances. Excellent!

UPDATE 2 – In the 18 hours or so since I first saw this, the video has received a further MILLION views, homeless voiceover guy is landing lots of job offers it seems, and the guy who uploaded the video is going to give him a phone so that he can respond to all the offers. When used for things like this, the internet is a true force for good. But how could we formalise this process?

UPDATE 3 – Over 4.5 million views in the last 24 hours, many job offers, and a news piece on CNN:

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4 thoughts on “Twitter and charity

  1. I think your prediction of help is coming true, but via youtube.

    (16 hours ago)”Ritchey,
    My name is Shane Cormier and I own a Hollywood talent agency that specializes in voiceovers. I don’t know exactly how to do this since he’s homeless, but please e-mail me at shanestravels@gmail.com (I don’t want to put my work email address on here). One of my voiceover clients sent me this link. I know some people in Columbus who work in the field I can probably hook him up with. ”

    (16 hours ago)”I removed my comment, but perhaps I will repost it again if I cannot get in touch with him. I own a talent agency in Hollywood California that specializes in voiceovers, and have for over 10 years. I know some people in Columbus who work in the field that can help him out. My e-mail address (that I’ll use on youtube) is shanestravels@gmail.com. If we can get in touch with him, and into a studio, if you guys keep requesting him, we will get him work, no problem. Let’s see what we can make of this”

    (6 minutes ago) “My name is Shane Cormier and I’m a Hollywood, CA voiceover talent agency owner and we want to sign Ted. I’ve been trying to contact him since his video posted. The Columbus Dispatch published my comment on his video on their site. I’ve contacted the radio station and the shooter of this video and asked some of my voiceover talent in Columbus to find him so we can sign him. We’re still looking and any help would be greatly appreciated.”

    (4 minutes ago)”Please thumbs up my reply so we can find him. My offer is legitimate you can google my name if you question. My name is Shane Cormier and I’m a Hollywood, CA voiceover talent agency owner and we want to sign Ted. I’ve been trying to contact him since his video posted. The Columbus Dispatch published my comment on his video on their site. I’ve contacted the radio station and the shooter of this video and asked some of my voiceover talent in Columbus to find him so we can sign him. “

    1. And some more good news!

      UPDATE-1: Many thanks go out to all of you who have been tossing phone numbers and e-mails my way for Ted’s sake. I went up to Hudson/I-71 (Columbus) today, but Ted wasn’t there. He is going to be on air tomorrow morning on radio station WNCI. I’ve left my contact info w/WNCI to call/e-mail me on a way to get your enormous opportunities over to him.

      I’m going to give him a Trac phone (w/ample minutes) so that he can return calls to all of you.

      Hopefully, in some way I’ll get in contact w/him. Peace.

      UPDATE-2: To all those who have been writing me (as one of Ted’s only means of contact), I have learned that the radio station interviewing him tomorrow (1-5-11) a.m. is going to make him a formal offer. Whether true or not, we’ll see.

      Hope it works out well for him. That was the whole point of me posting this video. I cannot thank enough everyone who was willing to do their part in offering Ted their helping hand.

      Whoever lands him is certainly getting much more than a memorable personality; they’re getting a great human being as part of their team.

      My best to all.

      1. I was just thinking, this could be a misjudged viral campaign 😉 – you never know… an advert for a job seeking website?

  2. Maf – if it is an ad, it’s got to be the best under-the-radar one of all time….

    😉

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