Connecting individuals with causes in new and unique ways is a key component of United Way’s transformation. Leveraging social media as their primary communication channel, our Brand Ambassadors will further this work by inspiring, connecting and empowering their audiences to drive social impact in local communities around the world. Read their bios and follow the journey by connecting with them on social media.
Jay and Mark O’Shea
The multi-award winning husband and wife duo O’Shea is one of Australia’s most energetic live acts. Now based in Nashville, the Australian couple have graced stages from the Grand Ole Opry to the Sydney Opera House.
Although Mark and Jay may come from different musical backgrounds, with Mark’s country rock roots providing contrast to Jay’s history as a “singer’s singer” and successful songwriter, it is those differences that make them such a powerful musical force.
The Imagination Library was established in Australia’s country music capital, Tamworth, thanks in large part to the vision of Jay and Mark O’Shea.
“We were recipients of that program with both of our kids,” says Jay. “I didn’t grow up with a lot of books; it wasn’t high on the agenda with Mum and Dad. So for our kids to get the benefit of this program has been incredible. They’re both avid readers, and seeing these books arrive once a month, beautifully wrapped, is just the most amazing gift.”
Once their youngest child turned five, Jay began making inquiries about bringing the program to Tamworth, where she found that Tamworth City Council and United Way Australia were highly receptive to the idea.
We are so grateful to have Jay and Mark sharing their love for reading with us and helping to ensure children in Australia start school ready to thrive. Their vision and passion for Imagination Library has been a large part of its amazing success.