What makes a community? Yet another part...

vette · April 6, 2001 12:00 am

What makes a community? Yet another part... "Something Stinks in Texas by Jade_nyc" For any looking to tune in and catch their weekly burst of Ironbear's irreverant humor, sorry folks... not this time. This isn't a funny subject. It does have it's bright spots though... but you have to kind of hunt for them amidst the gloom. Bright spots are like that sometimes. Take a few minutes and right click on the link at the top here, and open it in a new window so that you can read the thread and come back. But do come back... While your reading, you're going to see some things that are a bit depressing - a story of a man, a member, and a truly excellent artist and wonderful human being whose stuck in some of the truly lousiest circumstances I've seen in a long time. Physically disabled, unable to get declared disabled in Texas so that he can get aid, generally unable to work or do a lot of the things that most of us take for granted. The really scary thing is how many of us there are that are one serious illness or a few missed paychecks away from the same situation. And No... this is not a plea for support or donations. There are people who are busily taking care of that as we type and read here. They're doing a pretty decent job of it too. That's what the link is for, if you want to do something on that... let one of them know. This is more a focus on the way tragedy can pull together and bring out the best in us. For the second time in several months, I've seen one of our members hit bottom in a big way. And for the second time - I've seen us band together to do something about it, putting aside all of the petty bickerings and usual BS that we tend to get into in these forums. That's kind of neat, eh? While we're at this... I want to recognise a couple of our members. Jade_nyc, who has taken it upon herself to pull the effort together this time and make things happen. And Wynter... who last time around shouldered almost the full burden of organizing and getting the rescue together. And one more who has stated that they'd like to remain unnamed... someone who volunteered to pay the bills on this one out of their own pocket, and who came home after taking care of that to find an eviction notice in their own mailbox. And who still went ahead and kept their word on the donation they'd commited to inspite of their personal tragedy. Kudos. That's above and beyond the call in all three cases. Kudos also to everyone, regardless of what site, who are responding with the single simple phrase: "How can we help?" I say ours, even though a lot of the people involved in this belong to both sites. Does it matter? They're ours to me. On something like this - it doesn't matter what website we belong to: community is something that cuts across the boundaries and petty rivalries and competitions. It's the simple act of looking at one of our own in need, and the first thing that comes out is "What can I do to help?" that makes us a community. A community takes care of each other... This is an extreme example, but it's the same thing we do for each other on a daily basis everytime we give of our time to another member. The only difference is the scale. And the scale of the need. I'm going to leave this with one last question that I've been looking at for a while here. Is there something that we can do to set up a way that we don't have to make a mad emergency scramble everytime something like this happens? The last minute efforts are heroic, but a little less last minute could be nice. Maybe we could design a community fund or something like the old community support items we had, something that could be drawn upon in time of need to pick up the slack. It's a thought, anyway... Later... Sherman Ironbear's Featured Column (click here)

Article Comments

Sacred Rose ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 06 April 2001

I think U are an amazing man. You shoot from the hip, and you truly care about people. To everyone who has helped bone....thankyou. To those who can help....I URGE you....PLEASE HELP. A community fund would be a FANTASTIC thing. I for one would strongly support it. I hope others do as well. Once again sherman....thank YOU for being YOU!

tonylynch ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 08 April 2001

Sounds like an outstanding idea. I would be more than willing to create a couple models and have the proceeds go to a community fund.

Syyd ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 09 April 2001

Any help you need just holler.....

lopsided ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 09 April 2001

Perhaps we could have a monthly art contest judged by a panel of AOM's, where every entry is charged five bucks or so and the proceeds of the art contest could go to the community fund. Perhaps we could extend the art contest to include non-members. The prize could be something like a AOM feature on the winning artist and some goodies from the store since so many of the wonderful artists here are willing to donate their wares. Perhaps we could get Curious Labs and other software companies to offer their goodies as prizes too! We could post the fund info for all to see how it is being used and let members vote for an administrative group to handle all of the affairs.

nfredman ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 10 April 2001

A community fund is an excellent idea. It recognizes that we can choose to belong to each other, and this means taking care of one another, which really only requires modest acts of heroism on a continuing basis. What do we have to do to get started? BTW, this might be a huge technical problem for the webmaster, but would it be possible for folks who buy from the store (such as myself) to designate that they'd like to add a small amount of money to go toward the community fund when they buy? Or some variation on the opt-in automatic donation theme. Like, "Please send $1 of this sale to the community fund," or "Please add $1 to this sale to go to the community fund."