Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spiritswander Selecting Charities For Donation Funds

We have some good news, or at least that we are able to do a little bit of good.

Most of our loyal readers are well aware of the Subpoena saga and that people subsequently offered to donate funds to help fight for all of our rights in what we felt was a violation of all of our First Amendment rights and a power play and misuse of subpoena powers by Matt and Amy Roloff.

And as you know, we successfully quashed the subpoena.

http://spiritswander.blogspot.com/2010/02/spiritswander-blog-defeats-matt-and-amy.html

Spiritswander has never been about money or profit (haven't made one dime off of this site). Our readers offered to donate towards the costs (and there were some) of going through the court process to fight the subpoena. I said all along that any excess money would be donated to charities. And once again, I would like to express a heartfelt "Thank you" to all who donated or even felt the desire to help. It was very over-whelming to feel the support and much appreciated.

We are pleased to announce that it looks like we will indeed be able to make a couple of donations. As stated in our article, this is all possible due to the generosity of internet lawyer Karl Kronenberger. I informed Karl Kronenberger about the money that was donated and he also suggested we give the money to charity.

So now it becomes a choice of what charity/charities? I believe we have enough money to make two donations in amounts that will be appreciated.

One organization is pretty much decided. Karl Kronenberger suggested an organization such as  -- EFF - Electronic Frontier Foundation - because of the First Amendment issues that were involved in our case.

So the decision that is left is what charity or organization should we choose for the other half of our donation money? I wanted to put this out here to give people an opportunity to suggest a charity they feel would be worthy or make sense for our site to help. You can either post a comment here or if you would prefer, email at spiritswander@gmail.com . And if you donated yourself and want to keep it confidential, please feel free to email me with your suggestion. Ultimately the final decision will have to be mine as of course there are thousands of wonderful charities, but I did want to take some input and I will listen to all suggestions.

I'll list some ideas that have already been suggested.

1. Amy Roloff Charity Foundation  or CoDA: When this idea first came up, some suggested that it might be humorous to make a donation to Matt's CoDA charity or the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation in the name of Spiritswander. Honestly though, that seems a tad spiteful and there is the ugly reality that this whole issue came about because Matt and Amy were attempting to strip all of us of our rights. So even if it is for a charity, giving money to the people who attempted to infringe on your rights -- seems a bit odd. I'm not suggesting that those charities haven't helped any people in need, but there is also a lot of fun partying involved for the likes of Amy Roloff and her board members such as Chris Cardamone. So when there are so many other worthy charities, giving them a donation so they can stand up at a Gala and say "Look at what our charity did", doesn't seem like the right choice to make for our site.

2. Little People of America: Due to the content of our site, some readers have suggested a charity that goes towards benefiting people with dwarfism and the LPA is the most well known advocates for people with dwarfism. However, once again, I will just lay this out to be honest. There was one concern that some have with the LPA as it relates to the Roloffs.

We sent a note to the LPA informing them that we were considering them for a donation and wanted to give them a chance to clear the air.

The main issue is that we have been told by a few different members of the LPA,  that the LPA gives the Roloffs free hotel rooms for the National LPA conferences (as recently as last year). Although, someone else told us they didn't think that was true and had the understanding the Roloffs are still comped free hotel rooms by the hotel because of their celebrity status and not directly from the LPA.

As our readers know, Jeremy Roloff's best friend, Jacob Mueller, who is approximately 6'5" and is not related to any people with dwarfism, often goes along with the Roloffs to the LPA conferences and has a great time partying with them.

Although the LPA certainly does a lot more than chose recipients for comp hotel rooms, there is something about that idea that raises concerns about the wisdom of the decision makers. People envision the LPA helping people with dwarfism who are in need -- or if it involves the Conferences - the many children with dwarfism whose dream it is to attend a LPA conference to feel "normal" for a week. The conventions are very expensive as you can imagine. Depending upon the city, it can be around $200 for a hotel room per night. Obviously that's just not feasible for many families. So with this rumor that the LPA then gives free hotel rooms to celebrities like the Roloffs who live in a mansion, with a fleet of BMW's and vintage vehicles and have their hotel rooms occupied by their average height friend that likes to party -- it sort of sours the LPA as a worthy choice for a donation.

We wanted to be fair to the LPA, so we sent them a letter, asking for clarification if they wished. We received a very nice response which thanked us for even considering them, regardless of whether we chose them or not and thanked us for giving the money to any charity.

Although the response did not include a "That is absolutely false and there is no truth to it", it did imply that they are not giving the Roloffs -- and by extension - Jacob Mueller their comp hotel rooms. The response stated the board members, conference planners, and others who are required to attend the Conferences are often are the beneficiaries of the comp rooms (which is common at hotels for the organizers of any group that will be occupying a large number of rooms at a hotel). Some comp rooms are set aside for the Kitchen Scholarship Fund Awardees.

The response we received went on to say that when Matt Roloff served as President of the LPA (he hasn't since 2004 or 2005) he would have been eligible for a comp room those years. Also, Matt Roloff was on the board for the 2007 LPA Convention in Seattle, so the Roloffs would have been eligible to receive a comp room that year. The response said that one of those years, Matt donated his comp room back to the Kitchens fund.

Please make of that what you will and form your own opinion. If the LPA is a popular choice among our readers or those who donated, I'll have no problem in selecting them.

3. The Salman family. They were the family originally from Iraq that was featured in a couple of LPBW episodes. They have moved to the U.S. Some of the children have forms of dwarfism. The father also has a tumor. Tragically, their daughter passed away after undergoing surgery. Russell Hayes and U.S soldier Tammy and their families have basically adopted the family and took on all the responsibilities and emotional burdens involved in basically adopting a family that has so many medical needs. We have done articles about their plight in the past. Russell and Tammy are very grateful and appreciative of anyone who sends positive thoughts, prayers or are able to make a donation. If Rap541 (of course our frequent commentator and guest reviewer) had their choice, Rap would choose the Salman family.

4. Gay rights or anti-Bullying organizations. This was suggested by some of our readers -- mainly because one of the primary reasons why we are so disliked by the Roloffs is because we have expressed our disagreement with them over issues such as the hurtful effects of derogatory gay slurs and our opinion that it's hypocritical for the Roloffs as diversity speakers that talk about accepting your difference and the difference of others to support organizations that teach and preach that gay people must pray to be cured. So because there is an obvious disagreement regarding gay rights issues between many of our readers and the Roloffs, some people think an organization geared towards that would be a good choice.

Those are just some of the organizations that were originally suggested, but by all means, please submit your suggestions.

And thank you once again to all that donated or wanted to donate or offered whatever form of support you could in our effort to (successfully) defend ourselves against Matt and Amy Roloff's attempt to violate the rights of not only myself or Rap, but all of readers.

39 comments:

Ashley said...

I agree with definitely not Matt or Amy's charities. That doesn't make sense...

I think the LPA would be fine.

Rap541 said...

Needless to say, I am pro www.dwarfchildren.org !

Also pro donating to what Lawyer Karl suggested because that donation will mean that EEF might be able to provide more help than they were able to here.

And again kudos to Karl, who really didn't need to offer some much needed tips and assistance.

Lynn C said...

Spirits, I think it is spiteful to disqualify Matt and Amy's charities from the discussion.

Okay, I understand not wanting to give to Matt or Amy because that's who the subpoena fight was with, but it's not giving to them. It's to their charities.

Look at all the things ARCF has done. That's who is helped by Amy's charity. The homeless shelters, the water wells, the orphanages.

Dustin said...

I think the Trevor Project for the reason Spirits nailed in the article.

Lets get real. The real reason why the Roloffs hate this site is because Spirits has information about the Roloffs that they don't want people to know.

The Roloffs never want to be held accountable.

They want to be able to support their bigoted churches and still get paid by equal rights group to give an empty speech.

They don't want people to know that their kids use gay slurs while they were talking about how damaging the M word was.

The fact is gay youth do kill themselves because of people like the Roloffs, Jeremy and Mueller in school and then because of the messages taught of John Mark Comer and his church that Jeremy, Molly and the Roloffs love.

My vote is for the Trevor Project.

Rap541 said...

Lynn - did you read the article?

Spirit didn't disqualify ARCF or CODA at all. Spirit merely pointed out that it's spiteful on our part to send the money there, merely to force Amy or Matt - depending on whether it's CODA or ARCF - to churn out a forced thank you.

There's plenty of places the money could go - why send it someplace purely for spite?

Kyle said...

My vote is for gay rights and anti-bullying group. They have a larger community dealing with such issues.

And I'm be happier knowing that not even one cent would trickle down to the Roloffs in any way whether it's for rooms, food for their meetings, gas to get them from place to place in the name of charity work, whatever.

Can you make the donation to the gay rights group in the Roloffs' name?

Rap541 said...

Kyle - I understand the impulse to donate in the Roloffs name, but that also seems spiteful. And they get the thank you for it.

Christine said...

Kyle, I think the Trevor Project that Spirits linked would be a good choice.

But I disagree about doing it in the Roloffs name.

The Roloffs pretend and are happy to let organizations believe they support equal rights when they do not.

You realize if the donation was in the Roloffs name the group would think it was actually from the Roloffs or because of the Roloffs and give the Roloffs the credit?

That would only help the Roloffs in fooling other groups.

Jim said...

Rap are you anti-American? There are many American families that need help with medical costs.

I can list off a dozen names in my town that would benefit from a donation because of having a family member that has outrageous medical expenses and the fallout from it.

Even if I was supportive of gays and I'm not, that's a waste of money as far as I'm concerned.

Tell me how a "suicide prevention" charity actually helps? People that are going to kill themselves, kill themselves. Some ad somewhere saying "It's alright!" isn't going to save them.

Out of the ones listed the LPA makes the most sense if it goes towards a hotel room for a family that can't afford it.

Brandon said...

Maybe Ashley, but the LPA does give the Roloffs awards and really didn't care about the fact that the Roloffs do to other groups, what they fight against for themselves.

Laura S said...

Dustin, how do you equate Jeremy and Mueller with gay bullying????

Rap541 said...

Jim - at last check the Salman were livng in Idaho because the father was tortured for assisting the US. Yes, they have sick kids, but what greased the wheels was that Papa Salman was assisting US troops and paid the price.

But frankly, my big thing here is that it shouldn't go to CODA or ARCF because yes, thats rewarding Matt and Amy for acting badly, and it shouldn't be donated *in the name of the Roloffs* because that accords them honor they don't deserve, and if it goes to a charity they dislike? Its spiteful.

The poor woman in Goergia battling flesh eating virus would be worthy to me as well, if the Salmon family (who I think are planning to be US citizens) doesn't cut it.

Rap541 said...

Laura S - Jeremy and Mueller like to mock gays by taking photos of themselves hugging and staging running leaps at their reunions n Jeremy's many vacations. Also Jeremy is known for using the term "Faggot" and Faggothole and saying things like "not to be a gay bragging faggot but I raped their defenses" and staging mocking photoss of himself kissing male friends to mock homosexuality.

Yeah, thats bullying behavior these days.

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

This is a very good item, Spirit. It's bringing out everyone's deep and true colours. It's insightful to see what people really think and feel.
Thank you.

Megan said...

This is a good idea. Thanks Spirits and people who donated. Sorry I didn't have money.

There are lots of great organizations.

Rap541 said...

Megan, there wass a lot of support in spirit! :)

Jocelynn said...

I think they're all worthy charities.

I agree though against Amy or Matt's, what they did or tried to do was very low. It's hard to justify giving them money in any form.

I don't think a donation to the LPA would go towards the Roloffs.

The Trevor Project would be good too because of the things Rap outlined.

Mike P. said...

The Roloffs are false fronts and empty suits in just about every way that matters.

My particular dislike for them--and it is intense--concerns their cheapening of the field of human rights and social justice.

They pretend to advocate for human dignity, they are paid $6000 a pop for it, and yet they return home to host fund-raisers for Oregon's most right-wing politicians and to support and worship in fundamentalist churches--churches whose dogma is a chief engine for bullying of gay students in schools, and whose money flows to African extremists who call for the death penalty for gay persons.

This isn't conjecture, it is known fact. In the Roloff world, diversity has limits and human dignity is not for everyone.

For these reasons, I support a contribution to some of the persons most damaged by the Roloff charade. The Trevor Project or the Ali Forney Center for LGBT youth thrown out of their homes by their parents--either would be a worthy recipient of this money.

And the donation should be made in the name of the blog.

(I donated here, in my real name.)

Susan Coles said...

Mike P, very well said. I think you made a strong argument.

I think the Trevor Project fits the criteria and is logical for the blog for the reasons you named.

Justin said...

Yeah I think Mike P makes a good point.

This site has always stood up for human rights and gay rights against the Roloffs.

Don't forget that before Facebook and Matt had his flock on mattroloff.com they wrote things like "Words don't hurt" when people didn't like Jeremy uses gay slurs.

The Roloffs don't like people that stand up for it and in doing so, expose the Roloffs hypocrisy.

Ashley said...

I'm happy with the ones suggested.

I think Mike made a good argument. I think most of the people that read this blog know that the Roloffs are anti gay and most readers are pro or supportive.

Btw, what does Amy and Lisa do at all these "fundraisers"? I don't understand. They just posted a picture of themselves at a fancy dinner saying it's a fundraiser for abused children.

I don't think they actually have the money to donate and they don't donate their own money?

Is it just they get to go to these fancy dinners and the catch is when Amy's fans donate some money she'll choose their charity?

I don't know, just wondering. They seem to go to a lot of fundraisers where they get dressed up pretty and there's a lot of food and drink.

BeckyM said...

Trevor Project....

Donating to any Amy/Matt related charity or charity that they are involved in is really just wrong in many ways.

Caryn said...

what makes you all thnk Matt would even accept your money? LOL rediculous...

David said...

Well Caryn, Matt always accepts money.

Matt will give a personal tour to anyone willing to cough up 350 bucks.

Rap541 said...

Caryn - interesting nick choice, btw - here's the deal.

Maybe Matt wouldn't accept a charitable donation to CODA if it came from Spiritswander. You know what, Caryn? Yeah, I think you're right, that Matt would take the opportunity to be spiteful and reject the funds because he and CODA don't want a donation from "tainted" funds.

Personally, I took the stance of "lets keep it classy" primarily for Matt's sake... and you're just proving me right.

Hey Caryn, how do you think Matt would react if he got a notice from Shriner's Hospital letting him know a nice size donation was made in his name? Would he be "loling"?

Spirit and I kept the "And Matt and Amy might behave like assholes" discussion out of the public article but Caryn, since you brought it up....

Yes folks, I do think Matt and to a lesser extent Amy, would use a donation from the blog as one of their bitch points. Personally, I think David is right, Matt would accept the money, and then he'd be lolling on his facebook about it and basically behave like the emotionally arrested five year old that he is.

And Caryn, if Matt would seriously turn down a donation to his charity for spite and lols... he's not much of a man.

leesa said...

An organization promoting/protecting free speach.

BigBrother said...

Glad to see part of the donation is going to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which was one of the sites I'd directed Spirits to for reference when the subpoena was announced. How about part going to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)?
It's also very relevant to defending against what the subpoena tried to pull.

New Orleans said...

Shriners Hospitals for Children

By what I understand, Matt Roloff had some bad experience or at least a negative view on the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Even through Shriners Hospitals were trying to help him and his family have a better life.

Since Matt Roloff negative comments about the hospitals most likely cost the hospital money in donations, maybe donate some of the money to Shriners.

Spiritswander said...

We received this email from Tammy Goodwin, that we have permission to post:


I read your website all the time and saw your note about donations to a charity and saw someone also listed the Salman family as a nominee. I wasn't certain how to respond in a blog so decided to send this to you via email and let you choose to share or not.

I truly understand when some of your readers write "it should go to an American charity". I won't try to sway anybody either way but I would like to share some facts about the Salman family which may help people to see things in a different perspective.

Abdul and his nephew did work for the US government and while doing that was marked for death. First, they tried to get Abdul and his nephew to try and harm the US troops but when they said no twice they both was marked for death. The way it works is a note is left on your door with a notification you need to be gone by the next day or else. Abdul immediately took his family into the green zone and told his sister to do the same. She waited until morning but by then it was too late. They captured his sister's family, beat the nephew severely, and days later he died. Abdul and his children witnessed his passing.

Three of Abdul's children have Morquio. As we all know Saja's was the worst case. She was able to walk until the age of 11 at which time she fell and became paralyzed. When the Warrant met the family Ali's legs was the same way as Saja's and it was only a matter of time before he would have eventually lost his balance and also became paralyzed.

Ali and Baraa are currently as DuPont Children's Hospital in Wilmington, DE having their cervical spinal fusion surgeries. The Warrant Officer (retired), Russell Hayes, is providing support for all the family's expenses. He did ask for assistance from LPA but I'm not certain of all the details, but he is not receiving any assistance. He set up a non-profitable charity called www.dwarfchildren.org to help the Salman's and any other families who come to him for assistance with Morquio issues.

If anyone wanted to read more about the Salman's or Saja they can go to www.justkeepfaith.com or www.dwarfchildren.org and see everything this family has gone through.

The Warrant Officer is always appreciative of any support and willing to answer any questions. He truly is a great American hero.

Sincerely
Tammy Goodwin
SFC, USAR

Mike P. said...

Sorry, but I don't understand what we're supposed to make of this. Who is Tammy Goodwin? How is the warrant officer a "great American hero"?

Following the two suggested links, I'm struck by the fact that neither site appears to be recently updated or recently visited; the KTRV "read more" link is dead; and the video attached to it is from the execrable Glenn Beck Show.

None of this suggests a very conscientious charity or, in its willing association with Beck, an operation sympathetic to much of our objection to the Roloff's behavior.

Even worse is the hidden (but obvious) agenda: the attempt to convert the Muslim Salman family to Mormon Christianity--teaching their kids "the true meaning of Christmas," as a starter.

I don't mean to pile on here, or to take more than my share of space and argument, or to be mean to the Salmans--a family that I list among the Roloff victims.

But I'm just not convinced that dwarfchildren is an active, accountable charity with an agenda that could survive much scrutiny.

Jocelynn said...

Mike, in the episode there was U.S soldier that had befriended the Salmans.

I'm not sure if she knew them before Russell Hayes did, Russell Hayes is the warrant officer.

The female soldier that cared for the Salmans was Tammy Goodwin.

Aside from his military service, I think Russell Hayes could be considered a true American hero because he and his family have basically taken a family that could have been killed, into his home and invested his own emotional energy and money into trying to help the family get the live saving operations they needed.

I don't know many people that have given so much of themselves to help someone else.

I didn't really get the feeling that the Salmans are being "converted" into being Mormons?

I'm not fond of Glen Beck either, but I think it's sort of narrow minded and spiteful if we're going to suggest that they aren't worthy of the donation because Russell read the book.

Rap541 said...

I have to agree with Joceylynn on this Mike. Tammy is the female soldier who was helping the Salman family with Russell and she's kept in close contact with the family. I have sent the Salman family donations and I assure you, Russell is one of those guys who just... reminds me of how great the world would be if we could all act as selfless and as caring as he is.

One of the reasons I am for donating to the Salmans is frankly because people like Adbul, who risked death to assist the US government and save the lives of our troops don't really get much help. Let me assure you, the nephew who died? Died badly, just to gelp the US. Abdul has that droopy face due to the beatings, and he doesn't get any benefits from the govt for that.

I don't think there's any desire to convert the Salmans. I do agree with Jocelynn that I'm not fond of Glen Beck but that doesn't mean the Salmans don't deserve the help.

Mike P. said...

@ Jocelynn and Rap:

Thanks for your responses to my questions.

BTW, I didn't argue that the Salmans don't "deserve" a donation; that's a suggestion you place in my mouth. Please don't.

In fact, I have no problem with the Salmans themselves. I think they are victims, which I did say.

But I have real doubts about the judgement of the persons who brought them here, and about their respect for the Salmans as a Muslim family, and about their further agenda and commitment to them (Hayes all but says that "God" delivered the Salmans to him). So, those doubts remain.

It's difficult. If I felt that the Salmans were free to operate independent of those who now house them (including a return to their own country, if desired), and that a donation went directly to their purse, I wouldn't be raising these questions.

Thanks again for your responses.

BeckyM said...

Sometimes a non-profit has to be set up to help a specific family receive donations (i.e. think liver transplant - a friend had one last year and was told by the hospital team that the first thing to do was set up a donation account). These generally aren't professional websites generating a lot of hits but are little do-it-yourself stuff.

I can understand the suspicion what with what happens across the Internet but it seems the people involved are documented as helping the family.

I guess my favorite charities would be the Trevor Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Salman Family, all for different reasons. I don't know if it would be best to split the money or to give one large chunk to one.... if it's one large chunk I would have to vote the Salman family because the money goes to help someone directly, without the middleman.

Anonymous said...

Will you keep us all up to date with the Roloff vs the county of Washignton court case that is suppose to take place today?

BeckyM said...

Spirits - sounds like Amy's charity is rolling in dough, according to Sharon the insider, so obviously they don't need your money!

Maybe those Haitian kids need some more plastic crappy backpacks? I'm sure they came in handy carrying food or maybe bottled water given to them by other charities.

Spiritswander said...

Mike P., could you send a quick email to spiritswander@gmail.com when you get a chance? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Amy is an awesome woman, as is Matt, she probably is singled out in many walks of her life. Not everyone knows who she is. She is not the only person that encounters discrimination on a daily bases, but the fact is nothing has changed some people are just prejudice period and it doesn't matter what is said or done, they will never change. This world is full of haters sad but true.

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