The history of theCHIVE’s charitable nature is a fascinating one… and it almost didn’t happen.
It all started when a Chiver named Kenny from Fluvanna Co. Virginia emailed me one night in early 2011. He told me how the state had cut off funding to a group of volunteer firefighters and EMT’s serving the impoverished residents in the rural county and how much the low-income families would struggle without their services, “These are prideful people, they won’t call for medical help if they can’t afford it. I’m throwing a hail Mary now but do you think theCHIVE community would be willing to help?”
I honestly had no idea if the Chivers would contribute a dime to the cause. There were plenty of indicators they would – y’all were an actual civilized online community for example, you treated each other with respect and that’s a rare gem to find online. Still, I was still on the fence believe it or not.
Then Kenny sent me the singular image of a little girl holding a pink teddy bear and explained that the Fluvanna County Rescue always had teddy bears around, “The back of an ambulance is a very scary place for a child. We keep teddy bears around for them to hold onto. These days, we don’t even have funding for teddy bears. We happily pay for them ourselves but it gives you an idea of how dire our situation has become.”
To this day I consider the singular image of that unknown girl holding a teddy bear to be one of the most impatful photos we’ve ever posted – It was a turning point for me personally and a watershed moment for theCHIVE. It was the moment I realized we could be so much more than a humor blog and also the moment I realized I needed to be a better person.
I launched the Fluvanna County campaign the next day hoping to raise a few thousand dollars. It didn’t happen. Instead the Chivers contributed $22,000 and single-handedly saved the entire Fluvanna County Rescue. The EMT’s were also inundated with, of all things, teddy bears…