It’s an exceptional Monday. They all are. Sometimes its harder to feel that way about it but you can get there, this morning I FaceTimed with my parents — who celebrated their 38th anniversary in South Carolina over the weekend — and I was energized, uplifted, loved. And once you have that, everything else life throws at us is just stuff.
I’ve never used the words “stuff” and “things” as I have this week since the fire in Boyds. As in, “Tiff, Tori, Britt, Pam and Kurt and both dogs walked away that’s all that matters, the rest is just stuff.” [This is your reminder to check your smoke detectors.]
So in a crazy, unfortunate coincidence, last year I had a friend go through a similar incident. I immediately reached out and got some advice from her on what to say, what to do and what it felt like. She is remarkably articulate. Reinforced with empathy, I did what I do, anything I can. In the aftermath some very nice things have been said to me and I want to just quickly say thank you but mostly, I appreciate that could play a small role as a conduit to relief and support — emotionally and financially for these remarkable women.
I was flying to Nashville for a weekend with friends and spent much of the flight crafting the article that would explain the story. It was slow going. I started over a number of times.
The response when I posted the GoFundMe page and the story were swift, intense and one of the most remarkable outpouring of love I have ever witnessed firsthand. My friend and long time confidant, Jon Long, who had some recent experience with crowdsourcing coached me through the day Sunday, when and how to post updates and responding to tweets, Facebook messages and requests (I know I missed some and I’ll circle back but I apologize, it was certainly not my intention to slight anyone).
Then some remarkable trends started to appear. You could see as the donations were coming in and the comments that we attached to them the seeds that these women had sown throughout their lives. For example, once Penn State — Britt and Tiff are both alums — got ahold of the article and distributed it a whole bunch of donations came through with “We are” notes. When the Rose City Riveters, who Tiff played in front of during the 2013 NWSL Championship run, shared the news as “Ocho’s Bat Signal,” $8 donations started to stream in or in some cases $88.
The diversity of donations $5 to $1000 was cool. People gave what they could. And I know many people expressed the desire to have been able to do more, let me tell you right now, you did plenty! Those of you who donated from vacation funds, first paychecks, weekend spending money, it all matters and it’s because of you the incredible has been achieved — 847 people donating $44,344 (as of 1p PT, March 21st)!! Are you kidding me?!
For those who haven’t done the math that’s an average contribution of over $52. The soccer community and in particular the women’s soccer community stepped up in a way that reminded me of the swell of support during the summer of ’99. I was speechless last week and I’m pushing my words to the brink now without truly being able to express the wave and flow of emotions this event had on me 2500 miles away from Maryland.
There are many many people to thank for spreading the word and donating, including current and former US Women’s National Team members and countless NWSL players, members of the media including Soccer America, Steve Goff and the Washington Post, SoccerWire, Equalizer, Midfield Press, Germantown Patch, Comcast SportsNet, The Buzzer on Fox and I’m sorry if I’m forgetting any. American Outlaws and DC United stepped up, as have Bill Lynch and the Washington Spirit. Tiff and Tori wrote a letter of thanks to everyone as well. Assume this is the Oscars and I’m being played off, so if you didn’t hear your name, to all who donated, shared, reached out this is to you — humbly and gratefully — THANK YOU!