I’ve spent my entire life trying to make people happy. I’m a proverbial “people pleaser.”
As other people pleasers can testify, it’s never enough. Sooner or later you mess up and let someone down.
That’s what this story is about.
Last week was busy.
We sent a person to rehab. We are moving the Second Chance store to another part of the building. And I got the opportunity to get interviewed by Jennifer Conn from Cleveland.com.
It was a wonderful week. Until I messed it up.
The article Jennifer wrote was amazing! It captured our story perfectly. You can check it out here if you want: Auctioneer starts Akron Homeless Charity to fill gaps in safety net | cleveland.com
It tells where we came from, where we are and also our first benefit concert and silent auction that’s coming up this Wednesday, June 14.
It was a really in-depth interview. She interviewed me at my desk and then took a tour of our entire facility.
At the end of the interview we came back to my desk and she asked me details about our benefit event.
This is where it all went wrong for me.
She asked if we were going to have a food truck. I said yes and that we were really excited.
She asked me if it was going to be Food Truck “A”.
I said yes.
Last week was also difficult.
If you recall, I wrote a piece on the hatred of the homeless. I referenced a woman who I overheard complaining about our facility at a neighborhood meeting.
What I didn’t tell you about was the death threat.
We have a neighbor behind our privacy fence who vehemently despises us.
He came to the Second Chance Store last week, as he and his wife have done before loudly complaining that we are in the neighborhood.
But this time was different.
He told me and several homeless people standing with me that if he EVER saw any of us near his property he was going to shoot us.
I’ve never had a face to face death threat before. It’s a surreal experience. Is he just bluffing? Is he for real?
I feel confident that he is definitely unhinged with anger. So I don’t put it past him.
On top of that I have an ongoing, lingering cold that won’t quit.
I tell you all that just to give you a feeling that I have a lot on my mind.
Additionally, all the bands (11 of them) and silent auction donors are rightfully interested in being promoted.
The first response I got from the article when it came out was why I didn’t mention all the bands in the article.
I should have made that a point. I’m sorry for that too.
But as J- was asking me about the event, we had just come back from our facility tour and I didn’t have my event notes in front of me.
When she asked me if our food truck was Food Truck “A”, I had remembered we had talked about them. So I said yes.
But that was wrong.
All our material. Everything we have ever put out was promoting the actual food truck we had scheduled: Food Truck “B”.
But I told J-: Food Truck “A”. And that’s what got printed.
This embarrassed the owner of Food Truck “A”. She felt that it made her look bad because they already were booked somewhere else.
She, rightfully, wrote me incredibly upset. She wanted to know how this could happen and also wanted to let me know that this significantly damaged her brand. To be clear: she didn’t feel that being part of our event made her look bad. Being mentioned as coming to the event and not being able to due to a conflict of schedule made her look bad.
And then just as quickly, Food Truck “B” posted on our event page that he was not coming because we promoted the wrong food truck.
I was mortified.
When I upset people I feel like a deer standing in the middle of the road staring down a semi truck barreling right for me.
It’s sheer terror.
My muscles pulse with a vibrating electricity. My head swims in fear and shame.
HOW COULD I BE SO STUPID!!
But I was. And now it’s done.
All I have left is to say I’m sorry.
But otherwise, the show will go on.
We have an amazing lineup of bands. And we have an amazing lineup of silent auction items.
Additionally, this is happening right in and around our homeless center. This is a fully operational facility. And you will be enjoying the event with the homeless people that live there.
I’m SO excited for you to meet them. They all are at our place so they can move forward in their lives. They all are actively working on something to take the next step in their lives.
This will probably be the most unique, interesting venue for an event you will experience all year.
If you are a little nervous please don’t be. The people at our facility all are very kind and gentle. Plus, we will have our security team actively working as well.
We ask that this be an alcohol (and drug) free event. Many of the people at our center are actively trying to quit drinking or doing drugs. Seeing super cool people like yourselves drinking might be a pressure they don’t need.
We will have some light snacks and nonalcoholic drinks.
Our event is at:
15 Broad Street
Wednesday, June 14 from 8pm-11pm.
You can make a donation to come if you want. But if you don’t have much money we definitely get it. Just come and hang out with us.
You can learn more about the event here: