Because I am a horrible person, I’ll often find myself desperately wanting a frivolous, unnecessary, extravagant item of clothing. Maybe a fun, overpriced ‘conversation necklace.’ And I’ll think, “If everyone I know just gave me $5, problem solved!”
Only these problems aren’t real problems, of course. I’m simply fiscally irresponsible and possess questionable taste. Real problems are happening to my friend Aaron right now, whose Castro home was burned down by an arsonist.
I met Aaron through my cousin Kate. And I like Aaron because he is dry, funny and has impressive tattoos. He is a normal, hard-working, fun-loving person who, along with his boyfriend, roommates and family, lost just about everything in a senseless fire.
Kate called and told me she wanted to have a fundraiser in the Castro for Aaron. What a good idea, I thought. Let me use my overly-accessorized, self-involved scheme for good. If everyone we know just gave Aaron $5, well, we might make a dent in his troubles.
When: Tuesday, February 15, 7-10 PM
Cost: It’s a fundraiser, duh. Donations will be solicited at the door.
So I called Supervisor Scott Wiener. Without missing a beat, Scott wanted to get involved in the fundraiser. These arsons are happening on his turf. And along with Kate, we agreed that while many people are probably affected by these shitty, tragic arsons, we should keep the scope of our efforts small by raising money for people in Aaron’s situation: their homes are no longer inhabitable.
There are a total of 10 people who lost their roof. I’ve spoken with many of them, and they are friendly, sweet, everyday San Franciscans who while minding their own business, found themselves standing on the sidewalk watching their house burn down.
In a lovely San Francisco twist, Scott’s former competition for his seat on the Board (Rebecca Prozan, Bill Hemenger and Rafael Mandelman) have all dramatically stepped up and involved themselves in the fundraiser, connecting us with Sterling Bank, which set up a formal fund, the Lookout as an awesome venue, a printer for the poster and so much more.
Kate and I have called in favors at Beach Blanket Babylon, Home Restaurant, Wayfare Tavern, Marlowe, Café Flore, Chow, Harry Denton’s Sunday’s A Drag and more, all for a fun little raffle we plan to hold. We’re asking for cash donations at the door, I think there’s a specialty cocktail, I’m working on an online donation option; it’s all happening pretty efficiently considering we decided to do this 72 hours ago.
Because San Francisco is the best city in the world. And while none of you folks should ever fund my fashion don’ts, you seem to always step up when the shit hits the fan.
I have no idea how much money we’ll raise. My hope is that we raise enough to gently ease the burden on Aaron and his former neighbors. I want to buy them all a house. I want to buy them all a massage. I’m aiming to raise something in between.
Thank you in advance for your support. I hope to see you all on Tuesday.