Just an hour and a half after posting this, we surpassed our goal collection of $450 (we actually collected $460)!! You guys rock. Thank you. The donation drive is now closed.
If you followed the comment thread on this post, you may have read about how our own theattack, a social worker, is in the 11th hour to raise funds to buy gifts for the severely impoverished children she and her organization serve. They had hoped to be able to give gifts to all 75 of their kids at their annual Christmas party this Saturday, but many of their kids still do not have sponsors. If you are interested in helping theattack get gifts to them, you can paypal a donation to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “theattack” written in the subject line and I will send the collection to her. We’ll make this a 24-hour drive so she has enough time to shop. If interested, please get your donation to me by 5 PM EST tomorrow, 12/13. Thank you!
More info from the attack:
“I work with an organization (The Child Advocacy Center) that covers five rural counties in Tennessee. We serve the most severely abused children in the area, and of those families, we are trying to provide Christmas gifts for the ones who are most in need. We are providing Christmas gifts for 75 children, but 7 of those don’t have any sponsors. These children would be grateful to have anything, and they’ve asked for things as simple as soap, deodorant, and underwear. We would love to be able to provide gifts for them in addition to clothes and hygiene products that we know they desperately need. Any help at all would be very much appreciated and put to good use. If there is any money that’s left over from the donations for Christmas, it will be used to provide other services for our families in the future.”
Our goal is $450 and I will let you know when we’ve reached that goal. Thank you.
Amanda December 12, 2012, 4:20 pm
Woohoo! This is exciting! I’m really happy to help a child get more than underwear or deodorant for Christmas 🙂
honeybeegood December 12, 2012, 4:24 pm
lemongrass December 12, 2012, 4:30 pm
Done! I hope your paypal account is very busy, Wendy!
FireStar December 12, 2012, 4:32 pm
Do we have a target to meet to make sure Santa brings toys to everyone this year?
the attack December 12, 2012, 4:39 pm
We have 7 kids who need sponsors. If we spent $60 on each child, it would be $420. That’s quite a lot though. I figure a reasonable goal could be $300, and if we collect more than that, wonderful! And for the record, if there happens to be anything left over, we would use that to provide other services to our families in the future, like medical exams of sexually abused children or an emergency supply of food for families in dire need.
lets_be_honest December 12, 2012, 4:41 pm
Can I ask specifically what you do at this job? Do you have to deal with these families hands on? I don’t know how you do it, ta. I hope enough is raised.
the attack December 12, 2012, 4:52 pm
Our organization provides forensic interviews for children who have been severely abused, most frequently sexual abuse. The interviews are evidence in court and can sometimes substitute for the child testifying (which can of course be traumatizing). While the other social worker interviews the kid on camera, I meet with the parents to be sure that they have the resources and support they need to move on. I help them get therapy, make changes in their home to help the child, learn how to cope as panicked parents, how to navigate the court system, and make sure they have essential things like food, clothing, shelter, etc. I also run parenting classes and an anti-meth program.
bethany December 12, 2012, 4:59 pm
Holy shit. Your job sounds so difficult! You’re doing great work!
lets_be_honest December 12, 2012, 5:01 pm
Wow! I second EB’s comment. You’re amazing.
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 5:04 pm
The rise of Meth use in small towns is both staggering and alarming… Years ago, I had a casual gay acquaintance here in the big city spiral out of control to oblivion (Literally. Poor Eric is deceased.) and it happened shockingly fast! At the time it seemed like such an ‘Urban” problem — but no more… 🙁
the attack December 12, 2012, 5:08 pm
That’s interesting. Where I’m from meth is associated with rural areas because it’s easier to hide the labs and the stench. I read recently about a huge connection between gay men in the LA area and meth. I wondered at the time if you knew anything about it. Sorry for your loss. :(. Meth really truly destroys lives
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 5:19 pm
Thank you. This was a LONG time ago. Like in the late 1990s when Meth was newer. I’d never even heard of it at least — but then I was very sheltered from drugs growing up. But yeah, I know that the rise of Meth in rural areas has been going on and on for a long time for the reasons you state.
And yes, it’s a HUGE problem in the gay community. Here in LA it often goes by its infinitely more glamorous first name — Crystal. The most horrifying conversation I ever overheard was when one hot young twink said to another: “Meth? God no! I would never do meth! It’s so DANGEROUS!! Your fucking teeth fall out! Fuck that! Why would ANYBODY do meth? Especially when Crystal is such an killer high…”
Um, yeah. I interrupted them at that point. Fortunately the second twink backed me up, otherwise I’m not sure the first one would ever have even believed me. He sincerely believed he was immune to the danger Meth simply because he like Crystal so much instead…
theattack December 12, 2012, 6:48 pm
It is really sad that our drug education has failed those people so much. Growing up in the 90s, all we talked about in our drug programs was cigarettes, alcohol, and weed. I’m glad you got to set someone straight about it, but I’m sad that you had to.
Meth is so much scarier than other drugs.
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 6:54 pm
It truly is. I know dozens upon dozens of people that have occasionally smoked weed (self included) to no lasting harm or ill-effect. And yet I know of only ONE person who got involved with Meth and, uh, he’s dead. And was dead inside of two years! Its insidious!
Sunshine Brite December 13, 2012, 9:16 am
Yes, from the work I’ve done in the Minneapolis area as an intern a couple years ago it seems like that’s still the attitude towards crystal. Much better than meth that is.
I’m also a social worker focusing on residential mental health treatment of SPMI clients. I can’t wait until the future when more adults have already made improvements due to earlier intervention as children, especially interventions that were actually restorative and helpful. As well meaning as people have been, if at all, there has been so much damage done in the world by those trying to lessen the effects of mental health, disabilities, abuse, etc. on society.
EB December 12, 2012, 4:53 pm
so glad these kids have someone like you advocating for them… keep fighting the good fight!
Wendy December 12, 2012, 5:11 pm
Up to $375 already!!
the attack December 12, 2012, 5:12 pm
Holy crap!!!!!!! You guys are AMAZING!!!!!!
CaraM December 12, 2012, 5:27 pm
Thanks for making it possible for us to help theattack. Every kid should be able to open up a new book or toy on Christmas and not just hope for a new toothbrush or bar of soap (hearing that broke my heart). Keep up the good work!
LK7889 December 12, 2012, 5:19 pm
It gives me a warm feeling to know that the DW community cares so much and that some kids are going to get gifts this year that otherwise wouldn’t! 🙂
Classic December 12, 2012, 5:54 pm
You guys are amazing.
Classic December 12, 2012, 5:55 pm
Oh, oops, theattack already said that, sorry! (But you are.)
Imsostartled December 12, 2012, 5:47 pm
I’ve never been so happy to be a part of this community! Thanks theattack and Wendy! This is probably going to be the best Christmas present I “receive” this year, the ability to help out and ensure that some children in need are able to get a few toys for Christmas is simply amazing.
lets_be_honest December 12, 2012, 5:59 pm
Wendy December 12, 2012, 6:00 pm
Goal reached!!! What a generous bunch you guys are. This is amazing.
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 6:32 pm
Whoa. Talk about fast! Congrats, the attack. Good thing you popped by today and just happened to speak up, eh? 🙂
FireStar December 12, 2012, 6:42 pm
Yay!! Not just soap for Christmas! The thought of that just about broke my heart.
I love this website.
theattack December 12, 2012, 6:38 pm
Oh my gosh! You guyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyys! Every one of you is so incredible! It’s absolutely beautiful that this community has completely fulfilled the goals of two different charitable causes today. I can hardly even believe it’s real. You all are making such a huge difference in the lives of several children this Christmas. I’ve spoken to parents in tears because they didn’t have money for Christmas after spending their last penny on finally getting an apartment or on the fall-out from finding out a family member had sexually abused their child. So many of these children are spending the holidays in new and unfamiliar homes, or in a foster home, and their holiday traditions have fallen apart with the abuse. These families shouldn’t have to experience so much loss during the holidays, and your donations will allow them to have joy in their lives during what can otherwise be a very difficult time of the year. Thank you so much!
And thank you to Wendy for organizing this and the book drive earlier today! Wendy, you are so wonderful and thoughtful, and you are making such a huge difference by pulling this all together. You have some really good karma coming your way. 🙂
Wendy December 12, 2012, 6:58 pm
Organizing a donation drive is incredibly easy when you have an audience of such generous people. People like you are the ones who are doing the real work. Thanks for what you do!
jlyfsh December 12, 2012, 7:01 pm
Ahh it was an awful day to be away from the computer at work! Hopefully I can help out during the next one!
Iwannatalktosampson December 12, 2012, 7:27 pm
Wow so I missed all of this today. Theattack I have been both a prosecutor and the daughter of a foster parent and I want you to know that you make a huge difference in the lives of these children. It is incredibly heart warming to get done with what I thought was a hard day (a little perspective told me it wasn’t hard at all) and see proof of what a hard day actually is. Thank God for you and for people all around the country trying to help brighten another’s holiday season. I am genuinely touched.
Vathena December 13, 2012, 12:17 pm
Augh I keep missing these! Darn all you super-generous readers 🙂 Awesome stuff.