Over the years many new readers have found our website. I never want to miss an opportunity to share the ways you can keep Ryan and his story relevant. You should know, this is both uncomfortable and humbling for me. In some ways, it’s humiliating to need this much help… all the time. But I do need it.
As I said many times before, I need you to help take care of my son.
You will see, it’s not just about the money. Oh, sure, money is important. Damned important! Yes, I’ll make it as easy as possible for people to contribute, but I am primarily fighting to keep memory alive. I made a promise to Ryan and myself to keep him relevant. I promised to see that both criminal and civil justice is served, be it inside or outside of a courtroom. I promised to give the best I can, for his sake, every second I have left on this earth. My life has purpose, and this is equally a curse. I also promised that when I die, if the universe allows, to haunt the living hell out of the men (Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May) who attacked him.
Think I’m joking? I’m not.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be attending ball games and a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show now and then. Hey, even malevolent ghosts need to cut loose every once-in-an-eternity.
So, I set-up each bullet point’s hyperlink (below) to open a new window/tab in your browser. This way it should make it easy to jump away from this post and see what I’m talking about, while always having this page to return to and continue exploring. It’s really just a quick list of nine ways to keep Ryan foremost, whether through following him and/or your contributions.
- Pinterest. What can I say? I was ahead of the times when I brought RyansRally to Pinterest earlier in the year. I felt it was an excellent way to visually represent much of what’s involved in his life. Most thought it was a great idea (or at least worth a shot) and forward-thinking, but there were a few nay sayers. Anyhow, I just smiled (rather smugly, I might add) when articles began recently appearing telling organizations to create an online presence here. For me, it appears to be catching on. If you’re on Pinterest, new to it, or thinking about joining then please follow Ryan’s Boards.
- Facebook. This was the original social media venue in keeping everyone updated on Ryan. I remember sitting just outside the room as Ryan was getting a CAT scan and posting “Ryan’s life is in peril.” I use it now to alert of new ryansrally.org website information, content, and events. It’s most important role is in getting breaking news out before I can write a full-blown post. An example of this is just last August when Austin Vantrease was denied parole. I updated Ryan’s Fan Page from my car before leaving the Huttonsville Prison parking lot.
- Twitter. RyansRally is on Twitter too! I promise, I don’t flood it with useless “tweets”. I use it for just two purposes: 1) Notification of a new blog post, and 2) Crisis/Emergency/Breaking News. If you have a Twitter account, please follow Ryan.
- Events/Fundraisers. There is always something happening or planned and you can take a look on the Events Page. These fundraisers not only raise money, but are a lot of fun.
- Amazon Gift Card. This is done entirely electronically (on the Amazon website), is available immediately to Ryan, and you can set your own amount! What’s especially appealing about this is there are no “fees” like PayPal that take a small percentage from away from the gift. Ryan gets it all. For one-time or non-recurring contributions, this is certainly the preferred way to go. If this is something you would like to do, just click here to go directly to Ryan’s Amazon Gift Card Account. If you like, you can even add a personal message and select the card image (or add your own).
- Ryan’s Wish List. This online list, as simple as it is, has provided so much for Ryan. Ryan’s Wish List started in June 2011 when a reader suggested this as a way to allow people to help. Since its beginning people have fulfilled over 380 orders, comprising somewhere around one-thousand products (estimated). Not once — ever — has a request not been met!
- One-Time and Recurring Monthly Contribution. This was also suggested by a reader. This couldn’t be easier and can be done online through the PayPal portal, even if you don’t have a PayPal account. All you need is your credit card! These donations are then put directly into Ryan’s Special Needs Trust Fund. You can make a single contribution or subscribe to an ongoing monthly one (and unsubscribe at any time). Please, no contribution is too small. It adds up quickly. It’s money we rely on and is helping offset the astronomical cost of his care and treatment. View the donation page here. As always, contributions can also be mailed to: Ryan Diviney Special Needs Trust 21092 Carthagena Ct. Ashburn, VA 20147 *Payable to Ryan Diviney SNT.
- Team Diviney Initiatives. Sometimes “Team Diviney” is asked to rise to an ocassion. The most recent is a call-to-action to sign an Anti-Parole Petition that will be given to the West Virginia Parole Board to show that society is strongly opposed to Austin Vantrease’s early release. Right now it is approaching 25,000 signatures. Another example happened over the summer when reams of letters were written to the West Virginia Parole Board requesting the denial of parole for Austin Vantrease. It made a huge impression and was key in keeping a violent felon (i.e., Austin Vantrease) in prison. It is the largest community opposition of a convict, at least at Huttonsville Prison, to date (well, that is, until next July). If you haven’t already, you should read my four part series recounting the parole hearing, starting on Part 1. One of the most effective ways to help is to share initiatives through your social media.
- Legal Fund. For some time now I’ve been kicking around the idea of seeing if there is an interest in people financially supporting a fund that will help cover the legal cost of holding Ryan’s attackers legally accountable. Truth is, even if we win the civil lawsuit for a bizillion dollars, Ryan will not likely see much (if any) of it. That’s not the point. It’s the principle. I will keep them accountable for the rest of their lives… then go after their estates. Problem is, it takes money to do this; filing liens and garnishments, hiring private investigators, and so on. It’s an unfair reality of our legal system in the United States. I believe I would also use this to defend this website and myself, should the need arise (and it already has). Let’s not be too quick to forget that Vantrease tried to shutdown this blog and I had to defend my freedom of expression (successfully) in federal court against their attempted restraining order (Read about it here). Beyond that example, I successfully fought to one of their “Discovery Requests” where Vantrease felt your donations should offset his liability (read about it here). Seriously, he did! In effect, he was saying your help toward Ryan is his to claim. Of all the nerve! It was another classless act in a string off them.
- RyansRally.org Subscription. At the very bottom-center of every page, to include this one, is a field where you can enter your email to get alerts delivered right to your inbox! What is nice about this is, if you are one of the many who follow reader comments then you can be alerted (or not) when someone has something to say. Be forewarned, by signing-up for comment notifications, you should expect between one- and two-dozen. This is for the hardcore follower. Otherwise, it’s probably best to just sign-up for new articles or link through FaceBook or Twitter (and forego subscribing). The point is, I just want you to stay connected and it’s up to you how.
Let me again thank each of you for all you do. Because of you, this website is now ranked in the top 1% of all active Worldwide and United States based websites (0.33%). Readership, measured in “page views”, has exceeded over 50,000 per day on several occassions. I need look no further than this to know that you are keeping my son relevant.
Raised in Charles Town, West Virginia, I’ve never been a fan of Morgantown. I’ve watched my role models, older siblings, friends, and family be completely transformed by this city- rarely for the better. They come home alcoholics, angry alcoholics, bimbos, completely dull eyes, almost as if their beautiful soul was totally consumed. I’ve had friends go to jail, lose their scholarships, wake up in the hospital, they’ve been raped, taken advantage of, and even myself, was essentially left for dead after a night of drinking.
Morgantown makes the devil smirk, snicker, and grow stronger. He gets away with most all of what he desires, because there is little to no God, no good, left in that city. Surely not enough to overcome the darkness of alcoholism, drugs, perverse spirits, sexual abuse, violence, etc. “Who in the right mind,” is not a valid question in this city because I would beg to differ that most anyone is ever in their “right mind.” They’re just not. I’m not saying people who drink or do drugs are bad people. But how many times does something ruthless have to happen at “the party school of the US” for WVU to reclaim a title of something a little more tasteful– a little more safe?
I feel so deeply for your family. I so badly want to wish hell for Vantrease and the others that did this to Ryan. I was on his Vantrease’s sister’s twitter account almost wishing to see at least one person, say something so terrible to her that maybe she would believe it.
I hesitate to offer any advice.. I am young in my twenties. By expressing my feelings, I do believe this is a battle deeper then many may see. It’s a spiritual battle, a mental battle– between good and evil, effecting those who even just follow the story. This is a glimpse into the war of one’s flesh and one’s spirit. To invest hate in my heart for a man I’ve never met, surely will not help me grow. But to find any forgiveness, feels wrong.
All I can do is pray and hurt for your family. I cry, because it is all so evil and I fear that the world is truly fallen. If this is Morgantown, West Virginia, what about Detroit, Michigan? How many victims? How many criminals?
I pray for peace and understanding for Diviney family. I pray you may tie into God so closely that He makes total sense of a senseless situation and sheds light upon a life worth living. I pray that Ryan could even come back to you for a moment, a day, or miraculously- forever. I pray that hope and love are so consuming in your life that they are enough to overtake any feeling of anger or resentment. I pray the blood of Jesus over your family. And lastly, I pray, that Austin reaps what he has sowed these past years. That God sees straight into Austin’s heart and may His will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
I’m so sorry. I will keep not just Ryan, but your family, relevant in my life and prayers.
Dayna Powderly says
Although I do not know Ryan, I have been connected with people who have had the pleasure of meeting him and befriending him since I started dating my recent boyfriend of two years. Since then, I have tried to stay up to date with his progress. Although I have never met Ryan, something struck a chord with me and truly broke my heart when I learned about his story. Today I am so saddened to hear that Austin Vantrease was granted parole. My thoughts and prayers will continue to stay with Ryan and his family. Stay strong – stay positive.
Bonnie Perkins says
Love and hugs to you and Ryan on your birthday. You are a very special Dad to Ryan.