by Travis Gruber
Main Entry: al·tru·ism Your browser may not support display of this image.
It would not be outside anyone’s acceptance of reason to say that I am an asshole. And you would probably be right, I generally am an asshole. But every now and then I get the urge to do something altruistic. It’s rare, but occasionally, I am a nice person.
Of course there are moments in everyone’s life where they want to reach out that helping hand. When the world trade center thing happened I was 21 and called in to their phone line and donated ten dollars. Ten dollars that probably went to administrative fees of the charity that had been established. Boy nothing makes me feel like a good human being than giving money that’s going to end up paying for a secretary to help file paper work instead of actually doing some good.
Then there was hurricane Katrina. When Katrina hit I volunteered as soon as I could and I ended up missing the plane by four hours. So once again I reached into my meager wallet to try and help some people. Wow, look at all of the good that did. FEMA cards were used to buy lap dances and plasma screens. Had I known that donations and federal money were going to be spent that way I would’ve just taken my forty bucks to Gold Club Centerfolds and had myself a fine lap dance.
Now I too have been the recipient of my fair share of good deeds throughout my life. I spent the better amount of 2005 and 2006 living off of Karma and the good will of others. Brian took me in when I returned from my forced government vacation and then a little while after that Job and his family allowed me to live with them, on a moments notice. When I was planning on getting engaged I – at the time – had no car and my friend Ryan gave me the use of his extra car, indefinitely. I couldn’t afford the ring I wanted to propose to my girlfriend and two of her friends helped me pay for it as their engagement present. My family fell on some hard times and my friend took it upon herself to help me in trying to provide a better Christmas for my family. Yes, all of this took place in the last two years. Yes, I would consider myself rather lucky.
Now it’s my turn to help, but this time I, and hopefully you, will actually make a difference.
Scott is currently homeless in the Salt Lake city area. Scott has a blog thanks to the free computers at the University of Utah and blogger.com’ free web hosting service. That fact, in and of itself, is actually a testament to technology in today’s society. Scott was, at one point, a drug addict and an alcoholic which, to my understanding, is what has landed him on the street in the first place. He’s trying to turn his life around through hard work, dedication, and faith. On top of everything else, Scott sleeps outside every night in a camp that he has made. Put that together Homeless + Utah in winter + outside = one freezing fucking man.
Now while I have my own views of god and religion it always makes me feel good to see someone who has faith that is so strong that it allows them to persevere where most people would give up. Scott is in the process of turning over a new leaf and I would like to, along with the help of the staff of FTTW and its readers, to help him.
Before I tell you what I would like to do I want to answer what I am sure is the question that is brewing in the back of everyone’s mind. “With the glut of internet scammers the world over how can we tell that this guy is not just faking it to get attention and free stuff from chumps like you Travis?”
How about this for an answer: I DON’T CARE.
I personally don’t think that this man is faking it and I see in him something that I don’t see in the bums that I see everyday: he wants to make things right. He doesn’t want to ‘spare for change’; he wants to make a living. He doesn’t sit on his ass getting drunk every day, he goes out and tries to find day labor and help. Because he’s making the effort, so will I.
I want to create a care package for Scott. I have a delivery address that he can receive mail at and I want to send him some stuff – for lack of a better word – that will assist him in his everyday journey. I have collected the following items so far:
A North Face one man tent
A winter weight sleeping bag (both from my father
One large black military style weather resistant back pack.
Some warm clothing.
Here’s what I would like you, both staff and readers, to do if you feel so inclinded: Contribute. If you have a warm sweatshirt that you don’t wear anymore, send it. If you have a some large socks, send ‘em. If you have a warm beanie, send it. If you want to help with shipping, send me five bucks. If you have anything that would benefit a grown man who is sleeping in the snow every night, send it. I know that the typical tradition when something like this comes up is just to grab stuff around the house that you don’t need and place it in the barrel at work but no one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to eat beets.
I would like to put together everything so it fits in the backpack (which is rather large) that way it is protected from the elements and he can take everything with him when he leaves his camp. If you would like to contribute you can contact me at htkpeeps at gmail.com . I will give you the address to send the stuff to me, I will package it, and send it off to Scott. If you want to help with the shipping or just want to give Scott some cash I’ll take that at the same address.
This coming year my fiancé and I are going to spend more money in one day than I have ever spent on anything in my life. You are probably going to buy new cars, new computers, new houses, new clothes. Essentially we are all going to have fairly easy, by most standards, lives. Scott probably won’t but maybe we can give help a leg up when he needs it. Hopefully, together, we can make a difference in the life of a guy who’s trying to do the right thing.
stepping off the soap box