Helping Shawn Powers

Shawn Powers, a friend of Whatever and also a frequent commenter here, has had a very bad day: His house has burned up. The good news is Shawn, his wife and children are safe; unfortunately their pets were victims of the fire.

Friends and co-workers have set up a place for other friends and concerned folks to chip in to help Shawn and his family get through this really terrible moment in their lives: It’s here. If you have a bit to spare, I’d appreciate you thinking about sparing it. There are also more details about today’s events at the link.

Thanks, and feel free to spread the word.

25 Comments on “Helping Shawn Powers”

  1. Thank you so much for helping to spread the word for a dear friend. Shawn is one of the kindest people I know and would give the shirt off of his back to help others in need. Hopefully, with such wonderful support we can help soften a terrible blow.

  2. I actually just bought your book “Your hate mail will be graded” and decided to take alook at this blog. I’m sad to know that the first post that I have read was this. He will be in my prayers.

  3. I was just reading your book today and came upon the post where a reader had asked you what would happen if tragedy struck you, how could you live knowing that tragedy can strike at any moment? Knowing there are people like you around makes your friend’s recent tragedy more bearable in this unbearable lightness of being.

    Well, I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s loss and I hope he takes comfort in knowing he has such a wise friend such as you that can see that when the shit hits the fan, and it always does at some point in my opinion, someone needs to shut the fan off. In all seriousness, it is voices like yours that have the power to shout for help when it is needed and know when it’s wise to shut up.

    With all your sarcastic albeit entertaining jargon, you never laughed about your wife’s miscarriage. You aren’t laughing about this man’s losing his precious pets. You are an extremely sensitive man despite your hard edge and I think that’s beautiful.

    And also know that you have inspired yet another writer. I started a blog a few months ago and almost gave up on it until I saw your book today. I think what I found most charming about your work is that you make no apologies about yourself and don’t assume you are God but simply the god of your own universe.

    What I say to you is what I will say to god when I meet her, “Thank you for existing.”


  4. John;

    As one of Shawn’s coworkers at Linux Journal, as well as one of his friends, I thank you VERY much for helping to take up the banner to give his family a helping hand.

    Shawn’s a great person and a kind soul — and we all appreciate your readers contributing in any way they can.

    Thanks John, and thanks to your readers as well. When I see people in a loose community band together to help one of our own in need, it makes me proud to know you and all of my friends.

    – Bill

  5. When I was growing up, my family twice lost absolutely everything we owned, once to flood and once to fire. I know how it feels to receive support and love from total strangers in my time of great need, and I know when it’s time for me to give what I can to others. Thanks for letting us know about this, John.

  6. [Deleted because this person appears to want a pointless, contentious conversation I don’t want to have here, particularly as this incident involves a personal friend of mine.

    Also, as a general tip: If during the writing of your comment you feel the need to put in a line along the lines of “now, maybe I’ll look like an asshole for saying this,” then yeah, you’ll definitely look like an asshole. So don’t say it — JS]

  7. I am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. I do not know Mr. Powers or his family, but they will be in my thoughts and prayers. I did use the chipin feature to donate to the fund. It’s not much, but its the best I can do at the present time. I’m so sorry that their pets did not survive.
    I have a little dog named Molly and if anything happened to her I don’t know what I would do.
    Thank you John for letting us know about this. Even though I’m just a fan and don’t know them personally, I wanted to help as much as I can.

  8. Thank you for posting this, John. As Kate said, Shawn is a fantastic and generous person. As someone who is proud to call Shawn friend (even if we’ve not met in meatspace – yet), I appreciate you spreading the word.

  9. I don’t think the meter showing contributions is updating. I made a donation a couple hours ago, and it is showing me the same total it showed before the donation. And I see now that Wil Wheaton has also posted this please, so I find it hard to believe that no one has given anything over that time.

    Not that it really matters, I guess, but I was really hoping to see the little meter start flying to the right!

  10. Matthew: The meter was at 2400ish yesterday when I donated. It’s now at over 8190. So it is probably updating but only as the receipts are processed, which may or may not take some time. (A lot of charity website servers are being hit a lot right now for various reasons.) Or they could update it every few hours.

  11. Sounds more like a caching issue to me, because every time I look at it it’s gone up another few hundred dollars, even if it’s just a few minutes later.

    Also: thanks, John, for posting about this.

  12. Sorry about the pets hoss. They aren’t “pets” they are family members, though of a lesser status.

  13. [Deleted because I find the poster’s “oh, I might have donated if you’d just done [X], but you didn’t so I’ll take my money elsewhere” line of admonishment petty and annoying — JS]

    [Additional comments by commenter deleted because apparently they’re having a hard time seeing this isn’t about them. Move on, Valentine — JS]

  14. Must be my problem because I STILL see $6594.83! I keep hitting refresh. I must be stupid!

  15. I would also like to thank you for bringing awareness to Shawn and his family’s plight right now. As I said on Wil’s blog, I know from experience how unnerving it can be when your house burns down, and I think that it’s wonderful that you and Wil have brought this to all of our attention. Every little bit counts in situations such as this, even the smallest of donations will make a huge difference if enough people chip in. I am also spreading the word on my own blog, and while I certainly don’t have a huge following like you and Wil, I am certain that the people that do read my blog will continue to spread the word.

    Shawn and his family are in my thoughts/prayers and I send them best wishes for a quick recovery from this unsettling event.

  16. I have Internet access at our rental place now. While I’ve been trying to keep the world updated on my site and Twitter, I haven’t had a chance to do much responding anywhere.

    Thank you John. Thank you Whatever readers. Thank you everyone that has thought a kind thought, sent up a prayer, sent us money, or spread the word about us. I’ve never experienced the sheer power of human decency first hand before, and I must say — wow.

    So as cliche as it might sound, I assure you I mean it from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of my entire family. Thank you.

    -Shawn (and the evil Twitter @Ghlaghghee)

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