Randy Lanham can play a mean fiddle. I've seen him do it live. And I've seen him do it in Clay Walker's "Live Until I Die" video--he's the one with the shades, the long hair, the mullet, and, well, the fiddle. And now I've seen him--along with his good friend Wayne Morris--kickstart a program that could revolutionize volunteerism in the Owensboro area.
It's called helpsomeone.us
. It's a website that aims to provide visual assistance--through videos--to those who are wanting to become area volunteers. The videos that will go up on the site will give detailed information about local organizations that are in need of volunteer service.
Often, with an individual's desire to volunteer comes a need for understanding of what will be expected of that individual. It's one thing to want to help, but quite another to be ready to do so. And that's what helpsomeone.us will be striving to accomplish--not only to inform the public where help is needed, but how each one of us CAN help and how we need to prepare in order to give that assistance. Other videos on the website will present accounts from area homeless shelter residents of how they were helped by volunteers and the type of assistance those who have yet to sign up can offer. It's a magnificent service that feels, at once, revolutionary AND long overdue.
IN THE BEGINNING
It's a brilliant idea conceived by Randy and Wayne when they were volunteers through Hospice. As they would move from homes, to the hospital, to facilities like The Wendell Foster Center, they came to wonder how they could get the ball rolling on getting others involved who want to donate their time. As Randy said, "God spoke to me. He opened my eyes." And the idea of a website where folks could actually SEE how and where they could help simply unfolded. Obviously, the site is in its infancy, but its very nature seems to indicate that it's hear to stay. I mean, there are so many ways helpsomeone.us can help people like us determine where our abilities are best suited. There are a number of links on the home page like babies and children, disabilities, elderly, kids and youth that open wide a door to volunteer service that many thought was closed, if not locked. It's really extraordinary. And so is Unsung TV
Unsung TV--a web series--is a show that "honors the ordinary for doing the extraordinary." Conceived by Randy and Wayne, Unsung TV spotlights local heroes--people who have helped others in a special way. For Unsung TV, Randy and Wayne team up with someone whose life was changed by a volunteer and then they plan a surprise to publicly thank and honor that hero. You know, musicians often create through inspiration, but now Randy Lanham and Wayne Morris have flipped that script. As Randy says, "The goal is to inspire compassion." Mission accomplished. It's now the musician providing the inspiration.