A Desperate Plea
By Don Barone
"As I walk this land of broken dreams,
I have visions of many things…"
Dateline: North Alabama
I was hoping to fail.
Hoping I was just an emotional idiot. A relic. A product of the '60's with left over Peace, Love and do-gooder tendencies.
I was hoping we would hold an event, and no one would show up.
That the Tackle The Storm project, and the 501c 3 non-profit parent organization of it "Tackle The Storm Foundation," would just be a waste of time…not needed.
I was wrong.
I was horribly wrong.
As we reached out to just a couple…A COUPLE…of schools in Cullman, Alabama a number came in of children who lost everything to the storm.
Gone. As one child said, "Mama was holding onto the commode so as to not get blown away and when it was over the commode was the only thing left of our house."
In just a couple of schools we know of 70….SEVENTY…children who have lost everything.
Including their beloved fishing gear.
I heard that number early this morning, and it stunned me, but then a little while later, I heard a number that made me sit down on the bed in the RV, and frankly…cry.
"…I know I've got to find,
Some kind of peace of mind,
I'll be searching everywhere…"
And feel helpless.
We are hearing that when you take in the immediate surrounding area, take in those kids who might not live right in Cullman, but children who none-the-less have also lost everything.
Children who have heard of the Tackle The Storm event…young anglers who have lost everything.
Including the magic wand of childhood….a fishing pole…and would just like one back to escape the storm…to get back to laughing…smiling…get some part of their childhood back.
Here's the number that was a body blow to my heart.
Upwards of THREE HUNDRED children have lost everything. Their homes, their clothes, their books, their toys.
And all their fishing stuff too.
I can barely type that.
"…I'll be looking everyday,
I know I'm gonna find a way…"
We desperately need children's Rod and Reel combos. Just today we locked up a huge donation of worms and crickets for bait, but we are massively short children's combos.
We have been getting great donations, but nobody, nobody saw a number like that coming our way.
I was hoping no one would show up.
Instead, as unbelievable as it may sound, the children may come in busloads.
That's just for this county.
And other counties with the same needs have reached out to me as well.
I'm going to get in big trouble with my accountant and the attorneys working with Tackle The Storm Foundation because I'm not supposed to be asking for donations until we get some sort of Fed Tax Id number from the IRS or somebody, but here's the only number I care about…
If I go to IRS prison for this, so be it, but those kids will have rods and reel combos in their hands.
I know you might not have a kids rod and reel combo lying around, but if you have a couple of bucks to help us go buy some…send it.
Here's where I go to IRS jail.
Send it to me via some sort of Paypal thing I have opened to accept gifts. Once we jump through all the IRS hoops we will have a real non-profit sort of way of helping…but those hoops take time…and we don't have time.
Here's where I'll lose my license to be a journalist.
But I don't care…I can't handle knowing that many kids are hurting and not do something about it.
So if you want to donate money to buy children's rod and reel combos you can do so by going to Paypal and sending the money to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Somehow on your statement it will show you that the money went to a company called Oneka LLC.
Oneka LLC is me...that's the freelance company I write under…and if you are wondering what "Oneka" means, it is in honor of my maternal Grandfather (Grandpa Clay)…a Canadian First Nation from the Iroquoian Tribe…and in Mohawk (his ancestry) "One:ka" means…water.
Mark it as a gift…there is not a dime in that new account right now…I just opened it and anything that goes into it I will keep track of and give you updates…and every dime including whatever charges I get hit with from Paypal…every cent will go to buying rod and reel combos for the children who lost everything to the storm.
Including the magic wand of childhood.
A fishing pole.
"…nothings gonna stop me now,
I'll find a way somehow.
I'll be searching everywhere..."
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
with backup by
The Funk Brothers