This Saturday is our Christmas Karaoke for The Van! Many have said that they will be traveling, etc. and unable to attend. Never fear!! You can still help us reach this goal, which is a $5,000 night! If you give using this link between now and Saturday, you’re money will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2,500!! Thank you all so much for all the support you’ve shown us over the last couple years! You’re all amazing!
We all have different ideas of what a home looks like. When I think of a home, I think of a wood stove similar to the one showed above, except ours was brown and rusted out. It was the center of our home when our electricity would go out as a kid. When I think of the house I grew up in, my fondest memories were of our brown wood stove. The house I grew up in has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, two dining rooms, a large den and a big kitchen. At the peaks of my growing up, sometimes there were as many as 15 folks living in this house. We all lived together at different times because some of us were going through hard times and other sundries. It is the house my grandfather built. And when one of his kids, or friends, needed somewhere to sleep, we made room. We made room because we loved one another.
Due to my rich, privileged childhood, I always knew I had family that loved me. I always had a home.
I have a friend that I’m going to call Job. Job has lost everything. His kids have disowned him. His wife has passed. He can barely walk. Job has told me every week for the past 3 months that on the 27th of this month he will turn 80. So, I’m not quite sure how old Job is. Three “27th of this month”‘s have passed since he first told me that he will turn 80 on the 27th. Sometimes Job is very conscious and aware of his surroundings. Today was one of those days. Two weeks ago, when I saw him last, he was sure that his son, who hasn’t spoken to him in 5 years was coming to pick him up. Today he spoke of a god that he loved that was mean and spiteful that was punishing Job for all of his sins. Today he spoke of a god that didn’t care whether he lived or died. I don’t know who this god is that Job is speaking of, but I know better. But Job is currently very mad at this god and it breaks my heart. So when this god (that Job has created in his mind to replace the ever loving, ‘I shall never leave nor forsake you’ God that I know) has forsaken Job, I am making it my duty to show Job that God has NOT forsaken him and that God loves him. How do I do this? I’m going to check on him every few days. I am going to bring him a cup of coffee and a doughnut when I can. I’m going to make sure he stays warm and survives this winter.
Below is a picture of where Job currently lives. His home consists of a couch, where he sleeps, a recliner and a tarp hanging on some limbs to keep the rain off of him. This is a picture of why VanLanta needs your support. I need to keep what I’m doing so that Job knows he is loved. If the name of this organization is “The One, Inc.”, Job is The One. The 99 are fine in the field where they are supposed to be, but Job is currently lost. He needs to know people care enough about him to go looking for him. Job is The One.
If you haven’t yet, please consider becoming a monthly partner with The One, Inc. The world is full of Job’s.
Today was one of the hardest days I’ve had doing this work…
Today the story we hope we never hear, I heard….
Today, the stories I’ve heard friends like Aaron Reddin (The Van) and Hugh Hollowell (http://lovewins.info) tell happened around me…
A woman who has made the hard decision to be homeless (because the alternative is to share a home with an abusive male) named Luann (name has been changed, obviously) introduced herself to me. We talked for about a half hour. We cried. We hugged. And she knows, if she needs anything, she can give me a call.
This is the kind of work I do. I don’t just give folks clothes, soap and socks. I do my best to give folks a friend. I do my best to give folks an ear that they wouldn’t get at other places. I do my best to give folks a judgment free zone so they can tell their story without worrying whether or not I’m going to think less of them or stop helping them.
However, I do give folks clothes, soap and socks. I make sure my friends are as comfortable as living in the woods allows. And I need your help.
I need your old jackets that you’re going to give to some other 501(c)3. We can give you the same type of tax receipt you would get from them. I need gently used or new socks. I need blankets, sleeping bags, tents and tooth brushes so that my friends aren’t sleeping on the ground and so that they might be able to retain a bit of self-respect.
I need to keep doing what I’m doing so folks who “choose” to sleep outside, because the only house they have is shared with an abusive partner can know they’re not alone.
I need your help. You can donate right on this website or you can comment or send me an email at email@example.com to talk about donating material items, an address to mail a check, or if you want me to come pick up something you want to donate.
The One Inc. needs your help. Luann needs your help. Jerome, Wanda, Minny, Mickey, Brandon and Justin need your help too. These are folks that I have a relationship with that I help, week in and week out and I can’t do it without your help.
Terry R. Smith
Big news at The One this week. We finally have an official volunteer coordinator! One of the coolest people in the whole world, Emily Gaiser, has offered to coordinate with any person or group interested in helping out with all that The One does.
Emily and Aaron took a tour of The One headquarters on Monday and went over everything that might come up as she starts to field calls and emails from volunteers. Look for her name and contact info on the website soon!
Thanks Emily. You rule.
To donate to The One, Inc. click here!
Please make plans now to attend the first annual ‘Field Hands’ Event / Fundraiser for The One, Inc. at the White Water Tavern on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 8pm. The cost to get into the show is only $10 @ the door and the proceeds go to benefit “The Field”. The headline artists include: The Salty Dogs, Monkhouse, and Jody Evans plus other friends and guests. Watch for details and announcements regarding the event as well as how you can have your own, limited-edition Field Hands T-Shirt! Just keep your eyes on the website…
By the way, you can RSVP for the event on Facebook. (Please share the event page with as many people as you can so we can have an awesome turnout!!)
As many of you in Central Arkansas might have already seen, our good friend and mega-supporter, Hot Dog Mike, recently created the world’s most expensive hot dog and he sold it to help us out here at The One, Inc. In case you missed it, here’s a great writeup on it from the Arkansas Times:
Hot Dog Mike Juiliano stood proudly at his cart on Friday, May 11 as he prepared to make the World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog. There was a roll-away table in front of the cart, lined with a white table cloth, which was topped with five silver platters and a vase of roses. It was clear that a world record was about to be broken.
Juiliano said he had the idea about a month ago to sell an expensive hot dog to raise money for homeless support nonprofit The One, Inc., also known as “The Van.” He tweeted his idea about a month ago, and his followers instantly started bidding against each other on “theONEdog.” In an hour and a half, the price was up to $1,500. Juiliano said that he made it $1,501 because we are in Little Rock, and he is “clever like that.” Previously, Canada held the record for the most expensive hot dog, but he thought it was time to bring the title back to America, intending no offense to Canada.
Juiliano had to buy the supplies for the hot dogs. He knew some local bakeries used gold flakes in fancy wedding cakes, so he tried some and decided that would be a perfect topping for The World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog. The dog – made with a quarter-pound of premium beef – was also topped with lobster tail and saffron aioli.
Sharon Bennett Goodson, one of “The World’s Most Expensive Hot Dog” buyers, chose to buy the hot dog because the money went to a good cause. She said The Van helps people meet their real needs. “I’m a little nervous,” she said, “I’m not a big lobster fan.”
By noon, fans and media crews had crowded around Juiliano’s cart. Old bumper stickers such as “New Price,” and “How Much Is That Hot Dog In The Window,” made for a perfect backdrop as he readied the eagerly-awaited hot dogs.
Reaching into a Ziploc bag full of lobster meat, Juiliano said, “I’m not going to be stingy.” He then invited the cameras to the table with him and said “Ladies and gentlemen, a very expensive hot dog.” He presented the first hot dog to Goodson, noting that he would give her five complimentary napkins to go with her expensive charitable meal.
“It is very good,” Goodson said, “Is this gonna be a regular menu item?”
Bystanders questioned whether the condiment covering her face was mustard or gold. At the same time, Juiliano assured everyone that the gold was “American gold.”
Four other ONEdogs were bought by anonymous donors and given to passersby, Mike’s colleagues and the owner of The Van, Aaron Reddin.
“It was good,” Reddin said. “I was skeptical. I’m not gonna lie.” Reddin said he was going to start saving up his money for another, but noted that it would probably be about $2,000 next time.
After the hot dogs were delivered, Juiliano stood next to The Van and wrote the $6,000 check. “I thank Little Rock because you guys did it. I am just the hot dog guy and he is just the van guy,” he said, before going back to his cart and asking viewers if anyone was hungry for a hot dog.
The remaining hot dogs were sold for the usual $3-$5, as the remnants of the mustard-gold sat unused at the back of “Little Rock’s Coolest Hot Dog Cart.”
In case you are wondering what goes into a $1501 Hot Dog, here’s a great video from Today’sTHV…
We receive an amazing amount of support from local businesses, and for that we are extremely grateful.
We were contacted by Landers last week and we’re really excited to let you know that they decided to partner with us to collect coats at five of their lots! Not only is this a chance for us to bring in more coats that so many people need, but it’s also a great source of exposure for our little organization. Landers will be collecting for us through the end of January.
Please take a second to hear a message from Steve Landers, Sr. about this partnership:
“About three years ago I rode with The Van’s Aaron Reddin during a national census of the Homeless population. Aaron, Red, and others scoured the forgotten parts of the city in search of Aaron’s friends living in tents, under bridges, and behind downtown office buildings. In the months to follow, I was unable to forget […]