Nine years ago today, one of the most horrendous hate crimes occurred. While there is little to be done to ease the pain of thousands of families, the outpouring of support and humanity showed us who we are as people- just, decent, and neighbourly.
While we were worried about whether a wingnut preacher was going to torch a Qu'ran, a Tennessee couple watched their house burn because of the kind of hate that people like Terry Jones spread
Carol and Laura Stutte are a couple that live in Vonore, Tennessee along with their college-aged daughter. Victims of years of harassment from a neighbour that threatened to kill them and burn down their house, they know they are lucky to be alive. It just so happened that they were out celebrating their anniversary and their kid wasn't home because an arsonist torched their home.
This decent family has been left without even the most basic necessities because some homophobic bastard decided that his fellow humans did not deserve to live. Personal belief and hatred put into action has resulted in a family with no home to go to.
And this is where people like you and I come in. These people need everything from clothes to food for their dogs. For those living in or near Tennessee, Maryville PFLAG has a want list of items that are needed immediately. Knoxville Pride has also made their site available for online donations here or you can mail a check (c/o Vonore family fund) to TVUCC 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville TN 37885.
We cannot erase the past, but we can do something to help even one family who has lost everything because of hatred. If the world is a village, families like the Stuttes are our neighbours in need. Let's get this viral, so that sooner rather than later, this everyday family has a home of their own again.
Be well and love your neighbour not just today, but every day.