When One Of Our Own Needed Us, #Dads4Oren Came Running
I grew up with a father who would always stop to help other people in need. Often times they were people we had never met before whose car had broken down in the middle on an intersection, sometimes they were homeless people begging for food outside the grocery store, and other times they were lonely elderly people in nursing homes who just wanted someone to keep them company for a little while. I grew up surrounded by the mentality that helping others was just what you did. It’s what makes you a good person.
When I moved out, joined the working world, and became a young dad with piercings and tattoos, I quickly learned that not everyone grew up in with those same lessons. If they had known those values, they had long forgotten them. Over the years, I came to feel increasingly isolated as a young father. I had friends who were older than me, but most of them did not yet have children. Hell, many of them weren’t even married yet.
When I joined Twitter many years ago, I somehow found a group of men who used Twitter to connect with other dads. Suddenly, I was no longer alone.
Sure, I couldn’t grab a beer with them or let our kids play together at the park, but they were there for me. They understood my frustrations. They supported me when I struggled with parenting decisions and didn’t know what to do. When life got busy and I disappeared from social media and blogging for a while, they were always there when I returned, welcoming me back into the fold. We often reminded each other that we were there, if any of us needed something. As simple as that sounds, reaching out for help can feel like an impossible task.
There are few people who I’ve met that had an immediate, positive impact on me. Oren Miller, of A Blogger and a Father, is one of those people. In our sparse conversations, 140 characters at a time, he inspired me to be a better person.
Oren saw that there was a void that needed to be filled and so he set to create a community of dad bloggers. When I received his invitation to join his private Dad Bloggers Facebook group, I accepted without a second’s hesitation. Since then, the group has exploded from about a hundred of us, to almost 800 members, where we continue to support each other, offer advice and input on both blogging and parenting matters. And the more-than-occasional dick joke. Oren brought together a rag-tag group of dads from all over the globe, from all walks of life, and united us under a common banner.
When Oren was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in May, our entire community was knocked on our collective asses. We were stunned, shocked, and scared for him and his family. But we were only knocked down for a moment. We knew that Oren and his family would need help with this news and so we did the first thing any of could think of – We came running to help.
Brent Almond of Designer Daddy, set up a donation drive through GiveForward, called “Give Back To Oren.” As a group, we simply hoped to give a little something back to a man who has helped out – literally – hundreds of people by raising enough money to send him and his family on an awesome vacation. Within 24 hours a goal of a couple thousand dollars had raised $7,000. Then $15,000. As I type this post, 260 people have donated $26,606.
There’s no shame in asking for help. But if you’re a good, decent person like Oren, you won’t need to even ask because the people in your life will come running to your side to help in any way they can.
If you can spare even $10, please consider making a donation through this link (or you can use the widget over there on the right) for Oren and his family. The money raised through GiveForward will help cover medical bills, put money way for his children, send them on a well-deserved and much needed vacation to spend some time as a family making some amazing memories.