By Eric Schafer, Producer, and CEO of Azure Management Group
Hello, and a warm welcome to you all. We are happy to greet you here at the Lead Me Home website, and at our very first blog. This has been a long time coming, and we are, frankly, overjoyed at finally being in the process of moving forward with our project to help the vulnerable in our society.
Our aims are big – but we are positive that with the talent and dedication of our team, whom you will soon meet in these pages, and with the support of each and every one of the people in our society, we will be a success – and that success means that our society succeeds. Later in this blog I’ll detail those aims, but right now I will tell you how and why Lead Me Home came to be.
I am a writer, and began my career as a journalist, then moved into public relations, and, finally, marketing. For the past 15 years I owned and operated a marketing agency in Vietnam, Azure Management Group, with offices in Saigon and Hanoi. For over a decade I specialized in producing television series, television commercials, and short business films for Vietnamese, Southeast Asian, and international clients throughout Asia. Though I was away from home for a long time, I always kept in touch with family, friends and events in the USA, particularly in my hometown in New York State. I have a number of friends and relatives who are in the military, are veterans, or are in law enforcement, and I have always kept in touch with them to both update myself on the issues that are arising with our society and with them personally. In recent years, I grew alarmed at the growing number of missing persons, kidnappings, and youth being trafficked, particularly from the South and mid-West up through the Northeast, my home region. A good friend, Dawn Michaels, who is the Content Director for Lead Me Home, put almost daily updates on such issues on social media, as well as Missing Persons alerts. In the last few weeks that I lived in Vietnam, and was preparing to close my offices there, retire, and return home to America to be closer to my family, I happened to be continually reading Dawn’s posts – and the light bulb went on. I called her from Saigon and said, “We need a weekly television show – on PBS – that will bring immediate awareness of missing persons,
kidnappings and runaways cases – a TV version of AMBER Alerts – we’ll begin in New York and spread it across the country.” And so Lead Me Home was born. I soon added homeless military veterans to our program.
The concept is to present a weekly, 60-minute television program about new cases of lost, missing, kidnapped, or runaway persons, and homeless military veterans, in order to raise awareness about their cases and get them the help they need. Each program will be tailored to people’s viewing region; if you live in New York State, you’ll see stories that range from New York City to the Canadian border. If you live in the Bay area, you’ll see San Francisco and Oakland stories. If you live in Miami, you’ll see southern Florida stories, and so on. In this way, Lead Me Home will be a national, local program produced by Azure Management Group – and you can see stories anywhere and they will always be about your neighborhood. We shall begin in New York State, but in the very first season will began spreading Lead Me Home across the country. Soon, no matter where you are in America, you will be able to watch a Lead Me Home episode about a story near you.
In addition to the Television series, we will present a daily Radio show, this web site, live
events, a Mobile App, and “Wearable Technology” – clothing with embedded GPS chips so the wearer, child or adult, can be tracked by their loved ones or police, wherever they go. Within a day of proposing the concept to PBS, we were accepted for broadcast. Now we are busy creating all the different elements of Lead Me Home, foremost being the opening episodes of the Television series. We hope to begin airing within a couple of months, though a major factor of Lead Me Home remains to be put into place: a title sponsor. We are still talking with many organizations, institutions and foundations about being our title sponsor, but have not settled with one yet. In the meantime, we still must finance our first season, and thus we are seeking support from you, our viewers. We ask you to kindly donate to Lead Me Home, through this link [insert here] or through our Donate tab on the website. Any amount is welcome, and not only do we offer our thanks, but this special offer: Whatever amount you donate to Lead Me Home, we shall offer that same amount as a discount toward any article of our GPS clothing when it becomes available in 2019.
With you, we can achieve the Mission and Vision we have set for Lead Me Home. They are:
Lead Me Home Mission Statement
Our Mission is to assist and protect the vulnerable in our society by raising awareness of their condition – we call it Bringing Light – through the use of television, radio, the internet, live events, and social media devices; and through partnering with the professional agents who can best help lead them home.
Lead Me Home Vision Statement
Lead Me Home will become a nationally-recognized institution through its regionally-
customized television and radio series, website, cell phone app, and live events that raise
awareness about current cases of missing and kidnapped children and adults, runaway youth, and homeless military veterans; through educating parents and the public at large on how to address these issues; and through our partnerships with law enforcement, government and non-government organizations, foundations and educational agencies that can best deal with these issues. In achieving this we will help reduce instances of kidnapping, missing persons, runaways, and military veterans’ homelessness; build closer and more secure communities through shared knowledge and effort; and provide victims and their families with avenues of information and communication that will help lead people home.
Once again, welcome to Lead Me Home. We are thrilled to have you join us, and we look
forward to creating a groundbreaking Television series and organization that will help our
society. There is no higher calling in life. We will post regular blogs from a number of people in this space, so visit us often – and soon you will see us on television, hear us on radio, and see us in your town.
Producer, Lead Me Home, and CEO, Azure Management Group