Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A personal message from the Chief Fool

I realize you come to this blog for fantasy news and commentary, and that you have a myriad of options for your charitable giving during the holiday season. But many of you have thanked me over the years for the help I've provided in your fantasy exploits, so I thought it couldn't hurt to make you aware of a personal initiative I launched via Facebook late last night in case you are looking for a unique way to "give back" this year. I'll only post this once, and I can assure you that I will not give better advice to those who contribute! Thanks for your indulgence...

Subject: Danny the Tow Truck Driver Update and Christmas Fund Drive

Every week, we have people ask us how Danny -- the tow truck driver who was severely injured while hooking up our RV in Yosemite this Summer -- is doing. Well, he's better, but still a long way from normal. (If you don't know what we're talking about, you can read about the "Tragedy in Yosemite" in the Notes section on Ladd's wall.)

Danny is still dealing with the effects of his brain injury/swelling. He has not regained all of his cognitive functions, is not yet back to work or even driving, and is getting more and more frustrated by the week. His wife, Christina -- an angel of a lady -- is doing her best to help him while almost single-handedly raising their four kids, including an autistic daughter. Shelly texts her almost daily, and it's clear that the grind is really wearing on Christina.

The McLaughlins are struggling, to put it mildly. The worker's comp checks are meager, Danny's medical bills are climbing and there's no telling when or if he can return to work. They've been dealt a very tough hand.

We could go on, but you get the picture. Which brings us to the real point of this letter...

Every year around this time, our family digs a little deeper to help the less fortunate around us. We have no doubt yours does, too. This year, we've decided to "adopt" the McLaughlins as our primary Christmas "project." We're planning to send gift cards to help Christina buy groceries, clothes and presents for the kids. We're sending some clothing for the kids and whatever else we think they could use.

And because we know so many of you were touched by Danny's story (as chronicled on Facebook), we thought we'd try to harness the power of Facebook to see if we could exponentially increase our impact.

So, if you're able and feel inclined, we'd love for you to pitch in. We're doing this very informally -- we're not setting up a not-for-profit or a web site or anything like that; so I can't offer you tax deductibility. And you'll just have to trust us that 100% of what we receive will go to the McLaughlins. If you're uncomfortable about that in any way but still want to give, call Shelly (817.675.3299) or me (817.675.3499) and we'll figure out another way for you to help.

By the way, they don't know we're doing this. (They don’t have a computer at home, much less Facebook accounts.)

Here's what we ask:

1. Pray for Danny and his family every day
2. Send gift cards (nothing too exotic; they live in a tiny town called Sonora, CA -- Wal-mart, Sears, Safeway and Visa/Mastercard gift cards are safest). No amount is too small. Times are tough for everyone; anything you do will be greatly appreciated.
3. Though gift cards are much easier to ship, you can also send clothing, toys or other gifts. Kids - age (size): Jordan - 16 (L), Gavin - 6 (7-8), Ella - 5 (6 or 6X), Shane - 3 (4-5).

Finally, we'd really like to send most/all of this so it arrives well before Christmas (ideally, around 12/15); especially the gift cards, so Christina can use them to shop for the kids. So, if you feel led to give, please do so generously...and quickly!

Send all donations to our address: 3405 Veronica Drive, Flower Mound, TX 75022.

Thanks so much, and know that you'll be helping a tremendous family that is truly in need. We'll be sure to provide regular updates via Facebook of our fundraising progress and Danny's condition.

May God bless you and your family this Christmas season!
Ladd & Shelly

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