By now most of you have heard of the tragic fire that destroyed or damaged multiple businesses on Union Street. Watching the story unfold Sunday morning was extremely difficult for a lot of people, including myself, being a lifelong Athenian. The question I keep hearing is, “How can we help?!” I’ve compiled a list of campaigns, fundraising events, and opportunities for you to do just that. Please consider giving in any way you can. As a community of young professionals, we should and need to be involved.
Union Street Fire: Employee Relief Fund – Started by fellow YAPs, Pete Shooner and Bailey Wagner, has set a $40K goal to provide financial assistance to the many people who woke up on Sunday morning without a job. http://www.gofundme.com/athensfire
Support the students who lost their homes – Around 40 OU students lost their homes and all of their belongings in this fire. Laptops, clothes, and personal mementos. OU has set up a funding source on their website to make sure these students continue as smooth as possible with their campus life. http://www.ohio.edu/advancement/gift.cfm
Help The Union Recover – Started by YAP co-organizer, Tiffany Chapman, has set a $50K goal to help The Union Bar & Grill rebuild itself and become the institution we’ve all grown to love once again. http://www.gofundme.com/unionbar
Rise of the Phoenix: A Benefit to Help Rebuild the Union – organized by many (I think) but being hosted by Hil Hackworth. The proceeds of this benefit will go directly to The Union Bar & Grill. https://www.facebook.com/events/1516846535236391/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular
Union Street Strong T-Shirt Campaign – Traxler Tees co-owned by Zachary Traxler, who grew up in Athens, has a great t-shirt campaign. Buy one of these and all proceeds go to the affected businesses:http://www.traxlertees.com/shop/clothing/unionstreetstrong-t-shirt/
Athenian Vision Presents: Beat Back the Blaze Benefit – This is a concert featuring the bands who were going to be playing at The Union this Friday. The event happens THIS FRIDAY at 9pm in Club Underground, the newly branded venue in the downstairs of Red Brick:https://www.facebook.com/events/1431845410409758/
Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser for the Victims of the Union Street Fire – If you’re in the mood for steak, go get a meal at Texas Roadhouse and 10% will go to benefit victims of the fire.https://www.facebook.com/events/974140819267088/?ref=70
There may be other similar efforts being organized, and we will try to keep you updated as we get the details. If you are unable to attend an event or give financially, consider forwarding this list onto your contact list. Every little bit helps.