Addie Mae Lanham has always looked at the world a little differently. Not only does the 9-year-old enjoy volunteering at Crossroads and St. Benedict’s shelter, she likes to share uplifting stories within the community through her own show called “Encouraging Kids.”
“She has always had compassion for people and is the first one to want to donate time, money, or possessions to others,” her dad Randy Lanham said. “She doesn’t want to just talk about it, she is ready to go make a change.”
Addie Mae isn’t the only one in her family with the desire to help her community. Her father developed and is the director of Help Someone and is also the executive director of Volunteer Owensboro.
Her mother Kristi Lanham, who serves as a student assistance coordinator for DCPS, also understands firsthand the needs in this community. Kristi is proud of the way her daughter sees helping others.
“Addie Mae doesn’t see obstacles,” Kristi said. “She has such a servant’s heart. Many times we’ve encountered situations where folks need help and automatically she’s thinking or doing things to help.”
The 4th-grade student at Country Heights Elementary School shares positive and encouraging stories about local kids on her own show “Encouraging Kids,” which is available on her website, Facebook page, and Youtube Channel.
“For this show, she has stepped out of her comfort zone to be in front of a camera because she wants to inspire other kids to make a difference in the world. We have always called her our little world changer,” Randy Lanham said.
“Encouraging Kids” shows average five minutes in length and feature local children volunteering and finding a positive way to impact their community. Addie Mae interviews the guests and shows footage of kindness in action.
“We are doing it as a family; Addie is learning how to edit, and now she does most of it,” Randy said. “We really want to encourage schools, churches, and youth groups to send the videos out to educate kids.”
While some of her shows are getting between 2,000 and 3,000 views, it’s not quite ready to pitch to the networks Randy works with for his show such as KET or NRBTV — but that’s not out of the question for the future.
“Her shows are so short, and the networks I work with are looking for a 26-minute show, with 13 episodes,” he said. “I have thought about using her show as a PSA for these networks throughout the day.”
According to her mom, Addie Mae just runs with each idea rather than asking what she should do for others. Her main goal is to inspire other kids to do the same. She has been working on a business plan to start her own nonprofit just like her dad.
“Just because they are little, doesn’t mean they can’t do something great,” Kristi said. “She’s her own person. Her dad and I have always encouraged our children to be independent. Addie Mae might have gotten a double dose. It is fun to be her parent because every single day is an adventure.”