clay sannar – Stay N Alive

Tragedy Turns Into Inspiration as Thousands Turn to Help Slain Bishop Through Social Media

My heart just tears at the thought of this story as it hits really close to home – I can’t help writing this without a tear in my eye and heaviness in my heart.  A man enters a Visalia, California LDS Church meetinghouse, asks to meet with the leader over the congregation, and gets referred to the Bishop (all Bishops are volunteer, lay clergy in the LDS Church).  He meets with the Bishop, pulls out a gun, shoots him in the foot, then drags him out into the hall and shoots him in the head in front of his congregation and family.  The Bishop, Bishop Clay Sannar, is a husband and Father of 6 sons, ranging from the ages of 14 years and 3 months.  The wife and children are now left without a father, and the Congregation heartbroken as the man who served them was slain doing what he believed to be right, helping the poor, comforting the afflicted, and feeding the needy.  The shooter and the Bishop had never met prior to the event.

There’s a good side to this story though.  Connor Boyack (Twitter), a local Utah activist (he used to manage the Social Media Campaign for Mike Lee for Senate), geek, and I think all around good guy, heard this story and decided to do something about it.  He created a Pledgie campaign, setting a goal of $60,000 to raise for the family that was left behind – that’s $10,000 per boy in the 6-children family.  In just a couple days, they’ve met that goal, and in a single day they are in fact exceeding it and have raised over a thousand dollars just today.  The brother of Bishop Sannar has asked to keep the pledges going, on behalf of the family.

The fundraiser seems to be raising records for Pledgie as well, raising over 45,000 pageviews just in the few days since last night for the site, bringing over 1,100 pledges, and a total of $63,000 for the family.  The fundraiser hasn’t stopped either – it is spreading like wildfire, starting in LDS/Mormon circles, and expanding to many more who feel a need to donate.  It’s inspiring!  It, to me, shows the power and good of Social Media and that there’s a little good in each of us, and while this family will never see their father again, hopefully this effort can at least remove the burden financially for them so they can focus on resetting their life without a Dad.

If you could, would you please donate?  Just a few dollars is sufficient.  If you can’t afford to donate (and even if you can), would you please share this story on your blog, Tweet about it, tip Techmeme, post on Digg (I don’t even care if you do this for my article – feel free to post other articles that explain it better if you like), or whatever you might do to help out?  This family could be any one of us, and their Dad had put his whole life out to help others, even ahead of himself and his family.  Let’s show some good Karma and give back at least a little towards his priceless life and what is left behind.

As I write this, the family is grieving at the Father’s funeral (again, this just breaks my heart!).  These boys will never have their father to go to Scout camp with.  He won’t be able to watch his boys grow up.  While I hope justice is served, let’s show a little compassion and mercy by helping out this family.  Will you please donate?  As a father of 3 boys, this just tugs at the bottom of my soul.  Please help me out, and thank you for any help you can give.

You can do so now by just clicking this widget:

Click here to lend your support to: Help Bishop Sannar