As word spread across the real estate blogging community this morning about the tragic death of Aaron Anglin, some pretty amazing things began to happen.
First was the gut wrenching news — Ben Aaron Anglin, just 24 years of age, was killed in a car accident yesterday. Aaron leaves behind his wife Aleisha Anglin, 25 and their two babies — Eleanor who turns 1 THIS week and Mackenzie who is only 6 weeks old.
Now Aaron is gone.
The amazing spirit and caring of this community however quickly became a shining beacon of light that pierced through the darkness of this horrific tragedy. Literally within minutes of hearing about Aaron's death, real estate bloggers across the country began working together to do whatever we could to help Aaron's wife and young children.
Posts expressing shock and sympathy for the Anglin's quickly sprouted.
Derek Burress had an idea. A green ribbon (go to r.e. revealed to understand the color choice) could be placed on real estate blogs to generate awareness and to encourage bloggers and their readers to contribute anything they could to help Aaron's widow and babies. Greg Swann swiftly produced the graphic art. I was able to add some code to incorporate a donation link where people can contribute via credit card, eCheck, or PayPal.
And the news and the green ribbons began to spread.
Michael Price of MLBroadcast and a fellow contributor at GeekEstate Blog is donating a 30 gig iPod to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to Aaron's family. As of this writing, Kris Berg has a $500 dollar bid in. I love Kris Berg, but I hope she loses this iPod… You can get in on the action at GeekEstate.
Donations are already starting to come in.
But we need more.
So I am going to shamelessly do a little tugging on your heartstrings.
To be honest, I don't possess the vocabulary to put this thing into perspective. I didn't know Aaron. But I know Lani, and if Aaron was just one-tenth the human being that his sister is, then the world is a lesser place without him.
Here are some words from Aaron himself, from his MySpace profile:
I try to live my life the best I can, I try to be nice to people, I try to help those who cross my path that need my help, I try to curb my anger, I try to emanate the fruits of the Spirit. If I can offer you any advice, it's this: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I'm not as clued in to life at 46 as Ben was at 24…
His kids are 6 *weeks* old and 1 year old. Aleisha and the kids face the rest of their lives without Aaron. The last thing she needs is to worry about funeral and medical expenses (she and the kids were in the car when Aaron was killed. They are OK, but there are bills to pay).
Like I said, I don't have the words to express my sadness, or to plead with my readers to donate. Pictures though, are worth 1,000 words…
Please, if you can spare *anything*, click on the donate button at the top of this post, or any of several other real estate blogs displaying the green ribbon. Even a dollar makes a difference.
The outpouring of sympathy and support in this community is nothing short of phenomenal. I've never been prouder to be a member of the real estate blogging community. Please, dig deep if you can.
Life is short. Live every day with gusto. And to the people you love, tell them so every day.
UPDATED 9/26 7:05pm
Tribute / PSA Posts (apologies to any I've missed)
By Benn Rosales, Aaron's brother-in-law and Lani's husband
By Lani, Aaron's big sister.
Michael Price at GeekEstate
April Groves, here and here. Lani's dear friend and the one who let me know about Aaron.
Kris & Steve Berg
Carnival of Real Estate
Brian Brady on Active Rain
Paula Henry on Active Rain
Liz Strauss – a "non-real estate" blogger who if you aren't already reading… well, you're missing a LOT.
Mary De LucaRick Cockrum (Non RE.net blog. Nice stuff!)
Greg is hosting the green ribbon graphic and has the code up that incorporates the donation button. You can get it here. Please consider putting it on your blog.