Last night, I mentioned here that a dozen or so friends and I, through the micro-philonthropic organization, A2Awesome, had contributed $1,000 to Ozone House, a local nonprofit that has been serving runaway, homeless and at-risk youth since the 1960s. The response, as you might expect, was overwhelmingly positive. There was, however, one dissenting voice. Our resident troll, a self-proclaimed Christian from Ypsilanti Township, who calls himself EOS, took the opportunity to make a series of unsubstantiated, ridiculous, and offensive claims about the organization. (His irrational hatred, it would seem, stems from the fact that Ozone House offers support services to LGTBQ youth, as well as to those who are straight.) Well, I’m proud to say that the MarkMaynard.com community responded heroically to the challenge, not only shutting down EOS at every turn, but coming together to donate additional funds to Ozone House every time he came forward to make a homophobic comment. Following, is the first announcement of a donation, left by a reader by the name of Al Thompson:
To the good people at Ozone House,
On behalf of the entire MarkMaynard.com community, I would like to apologize for the remarks of the anonymous homophobic troll who calls himself EOS. His views do not reflect those of this community. The sad irony is, if (Ozone House) were a Christian organization, run by a priest rumored to be a pedophile, he would not be speaking up. He’s angry because you openly serve gay youth. If EOS had his way, there would be no services for such people, unless you count religious programs intended to “cure” homosexuality. His accusations are baseless. They are the daydreams of a sick, twisted man, obsessed with the gay sex. (Draw your own conclusions.) The last time he spoke out on this site, I made my first contribution to Ozone House. Today, I intend to give my second. If others would like to join me, here’s the link.
And thank you again for the important work that you do.
By my count, at least six people have since followed suit, leaving donations in the name of EOS. And, when I share the following news, I expect there will be more.
I’ve just been contact by John Coleman, the owner of the local home hardware company Look in the Attic. John is offering to match contributions to Ozone House through Friday evening, up to a total of $500. Assuming we can do it, that means, by the end of the day tomorrow, thanks to the backward, offensive ranting of EOS, Ozone will have an addition $1,000 to carry out their mission.
Here, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Ozone House, is their mission.
Ozone House is a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy, and productive lives through intensive intervention and prevention services. Since 1969, Ozone House has actively developed unique, high-quality housing and support programs and services that provide support, intervention, training, and assistance to runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth and their families. Through these support services, we help youth develop essential life skills, improve their relationships, and enhance their self-image so that they may realize their full potential for growth and happiness.
I encourage all of you to take John up on his generous offer. Contributions to Ozone House are tax-deducatable, and, more importantly, they’ll make our community better.
I’ve yet to contact Ozone about this, but I’m thinking the best way to contribute, for the purposes of this initiative, is online. There’s a 3% charge for doing so, but the folks at Ozone will know immediately how much has been donated, so that we can, in turn, let John know, so that he can make the match. (In other words, I wouldn’t mail checks, as they won’t make it to Ozone in time to qualify for the match. I suppose, however, that you could drop a check off in person, or call in with your credit card number, if that’s easier for you.)
If you want to join in the fun, and feel extra good about yourself as you head into the weekend, you can find the online donation form here.
And thank you, John, for stepping forward to do this. It’s stuff like this that keeps me blogging, and loving this community that I’ve chosen to be a part of.
update: We did it! The following report comes from Ozone House’s Heather Steenrod.
I am proud to say that thanks to all of you, Ozone House has received more than $500 in donations specifically recognizing the challenge that John Coleman established today. This means that John will be matching the $500 with his own $500, resulting in a generous gift of $1000.
Thank you, everyone, for restoring my faith in humanity.