This might be the hardest thing I’ve ever written. Being a writer myself, that truly says something. Often in emotional moments I deflect to sarcasm or humor, but this situation calls for neither.
We’ve never met. The sad but realistic truth is, we likely never will. A few of you I might know from Absolute Write or an occasional tweet back and forth. You might follow the blog I write for, yahighway, and I might follow yours.
We’ve never met, but you’ve done something incredible for me.
Vilonia, Arkansas is a small town of around 3000 people, built along a stretch of highway in the center of the state. It has one stoplight. One grocery store. One school system. I lived there for twenty-four years, but no matter where I go, it will always be home. I wish nothing more than to be back there helping clean and rebuild, but the universe had other plans.
Vilonia was only one small town touched by the storms and flooding. I can’t speak for other people and the horrible effects the storms have had on them, and will continue to do so for many months to come. Only that there’s been a great loss. I could go on and on relaying stories of tragedies, homes lost, and the sadness that echoes in every picture and video that surfaced after the storms. But this isn’t a post about that. It’s a post about how money raised through auctions like this support groups that have kept food, water, medicine, and morale in places that were without.
Gratitude is a strange thing. Much like when given a compliment, our automatic response seems to be to shy away from truly accepting it. To believe something we did changed another life might feel overindulgent. Maybe even too close to those dreaded posters in a guidance counselor’s office back in school, that one small act of kindness can change a world.
Help Write Now might not have changed the world, but the unbelievable amount of money being raised from the writing community will change lives. And for that, I’m whole-heartedly grateful to each and every one of you.
Kate Hart. My fellow yahighwayer, and fellow Arkansan—even though you’re a sometimes traitor when rooting for a football team that shall not be named ;) When you first mentioned a charity auction with this scope, I thought you were insane. You have a family, your own writing, and without a second’s hesitation, you dove into planning something of grand proportions. Now, glimpsing just a taste of the time and work required, I know you are insane. You’re also a beautiful, inspiring woman with an amazing heart.
To all the others who jumped on board to help: Bree, Cleolinda, Kaitlin, Michelle, Kody, Kirsten, Kristin(s), Lee, Leila, Kristin, and Emilia. For using your connections to gather donations, and your time and work seeing this thing through.
To those who donated, whether it was an item or your time. To those who bid in the auction. For every person who tweeted, blogged, spread the word: Thank You.
Don’t shrug the gratitude off, or pass it on to someone you think is more deserving. You did something selfless for places you might never go and people you might never meet. That’s no small thing.