Speaking of the less-fortunate

For the past 48 hours, the blogsphere has been abuzz with the news of Ted Williams, who in three days has gone from homeless Columbus, Ohio panhandler to world-famous voiceover talent.

It’s a heart-warming story, a metaphor for hope and redemption in a time where such stories are desperately needed.

But while we’re celebrating Mr. Williams’ new-found success, let’s not forget there are are hundreds of thousands of people still living on the streets, each of them with talents–perhaps not as obvious as his, but there nevertheless–yet to be tapped. And there are millions of kids who’ll go to bed hungry tonight, each with talents that might go unnoticed if they’re not fed. Perhaps some of the energy and attention focused on Mr. Williams’ story can be redirected to others who need it, now that he seems to be doing okay.

Here’s a suggestion for Mr. Williams. When you’re solidly back on your feet (toward which you appear to be headed), use your notoriety, your unique experience and your God-given voice to speak for others whose less-fortunate lives you understand more than most of us ever will. Perhaps you’re already moving in this direction. If so, Godspeed.

“I have never seen so many homeless and hurting people…”

By Ed Nicholson

The folks in the Tyson Foods Transportation Department are the unsung heroes of the company’s hunger relief efforts.  Always ready, always there with the load, they get to stand in the background while the rest of us take the glory for making the donation.   So a big shoutout to every person, either on the ground or in a truck, who has a hand in getting our products to hunger and disaster relief sites.

Last week, while making the Hunger All-Star donation in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of visiting with Tyson driver, Bill Hall.  A longtime trucker, Bill offered an observation from a perspective I’d not considered:     "I have been out here on the road twenty-one years, and I have never seen so many homeless and hurting people out here…"

Invisible People

By Ed Nicholson

I was at BlogWorld last week and had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Mark Horvath, advocate for the homeless and creator of invisiblepeople.tv   It was humbling.  Powerful.  Inspiring.

Mark’s one of those people who’s walking the talk. He goes out into the world and documents the stories of the homeless, posting them online in a number of different channels (see below).

 As the folks at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas have done with their Hunger is Unacceptable site, Mark has not shied away from showing clients–people who are affected by the issue, and who would benefit from engagement. The stories hit you in the heart.

I’m going to try to catch up with Mark later to interview him, but meanwhile, you should check out some of the stuff he puts online.