First off, thank you all so much for allowing us to take a break from the typical content here and tell you stories about people in Arkansas doing amazing things for others.
The unfortunate part of doing this is that there are so many stories of average humans doing super human things in response to the disaster this week. The amazing ones do not ask for recognition. They quietly going about their good deeds because it is the right thing to do. Because they love Arkansas and the people in it. Because not sacrificing everything possible would be a bigger disaster than any tornado could bring.
People like Alexis and Shane Cauthen. Alexis and Shane lost their Vilonia house this Sunday. Instead of worrying about what they were going to do next they instinctively began helping any neighbor they could find who lost as well. They have been interviewed a number of times (part of the reason why I didn’t push for an interview) and in everyone they shift the focus away from their own devastation to the collective spirit of the community.
People like Aaron Reddin who is an amazing individual without a tornado to respond to for aid. Aaron dropped everything he had several years ago to help aid homeless individuals in Arkansas and other parts of the country. When the tornado hit Vilonia in 2011 Aaron realized that bringing relief to disaster victims is no different from helping homeless. Both groups have lost everything, need anything, and often are reliant on people with a heart just to give something, be it time or money. Aaron continued that effort this year and is actively helping victims while still managing his full-time homeless relief efforts.
Companies like Ben E. Keith who silently give up thousands of meals to victims and responders. I first became aware of what Ben E. Keith was doing after talking with Lindsay on Monday. Ben E. Keith happily gave up thousands of snack boxes to include in her first shipment of supplies. Over the week it seemed any time we dug very deep into relief efforts, Ben E. Keith was there. Quietly making donations or serving up hot dogs to anyone needing a meal in the Vilonia area.
There are many more stories that we could write about, there are just not enough hours in the day to do it. Plus at some point you all are going to want us to be (somewhat) funny again, because that is our job in this fantastic state.
Before we go off to be funny again, I want you all to do one thing for us. Something to help us give back a little more. As part of a strong relationship with The Rep we wanted to help them promote one of our favorite shows, Second City. If you do not know what Second City is, think Saturday Night Live on stage. In fact a large number of top SNL cast members (you would not believe the list) all got their start in Second City.
Originally we were going to give the ticket away in some caption contest, but doing something to help victims seemed much more appropriate. After listening to you all we decided to auction the tickets off and donate 100% of the money to relief efforts, namely the Arkansas Dream Center. I contacted Big Orange and got them to throw in a dinner to sweeten the deal.
So here is what you get. Dinner for 2 to Big Orange, and 2 tickets (great seats, I picked them myself) to join me on Friday May 9th (next Friday) to see Second City. The tickets alone are a $60 value, throw in one of the best burgers in town and it is a very nice package. Please consider making a bid on the auction.
Finally I made a promise to you all to donate all ad revenue from this week to support relief efforts. This is not bragging, just transparency. Unfortunately our huge paydays come from heavily viral content. Having a very local focus and a drastic departure from our normal content only netted us around $150 in ad revenue this week. I didn’t feel like that was enough so I dipped into the account to double it.
We gave $150 to support Lindsay’s mission that we talked about on Tuesday. Today we gave another $150 to support the ongoing efforts of Arkansas Dream Center.
Thank you all again for allowing our little fake news site take a serious approach for a week at something that is very dear to our hearts and the hearts of many of our readers.
We will now return you to your regularly scheduled programing.