HIDDEN HERO: Tom O'Shea (August 2011) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

HIDDEN HERO: Tom O'Shea (August 2011)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - The economy and Mother Nature are no match for a Louisville business owner with the desire to make a difference. 

Tom O'Shea is traveling the country to lend a helping hand, making him WDRB's Hidden Hero for August.

"The sheer devastation was overwhelming to say the least," said Matt Meehan, general manager of O'Shea's Irish Pub.

Hundreds of miles from his job at O'Shea's in Louisville, Matt Meehan and his co-workers spent two days volunteering for hard labor helping clean up tornado-ravaged Alabama. The man who organized and paid for it all was their boss, Tom O'Shea.

"He actually chartered a bus," said Meehan. "We loaded up about 70 people and he actually even compensated some of the employees out of his own pocket for missing some shifts."

It's not the first time O'Shea has offered to help complete strangers. He makes it possible for his employees to participate in community service projects. O'Shea even straps on a Santa suit to make Christmas a little brighter for kids in need.  He gives up making money at his restaurants on occasion to help others make ends meet.

"You know, he's always willing to lend a hand, you know, a fundraiser on the spur of the moment, even sometimes on a whim," Meehan said.

Those acts of kindness caught the attention of Daniel Stephen.  He doesn't know O'Shea and has never met him, but he's been affected by his generosity.

"My younger brother has been involved with the tornado cleanup in Alabama and I just know a number of people he has helped," said Stephen.

That prompted Stephen to go the distance to say "thank you" and nominate O'Shea to be WDRB's Hidden Hero.

O'Shea also received a handshake and a thank you from Stephen, who was finally able to meet the man who's touched his life. O'Shea says he doesn't need a thank you or a certificate because helping others is truly his calling.

"We're very fortunate and very lucky to be able to do some stuff that we do," said Tom O'Shea, owner and Hidden Hero.

To nominate someone you know to be WDRB's Hidden Hero click HERE.

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