How Tumblr helped an unemployed journalist get back on his feet
Craig D. Lindsey is an award-winning film critic and pop-culture columnist, but plaudits don’t pay the bills. Laid off from Raleigh, North Carolina’s News & Observer in 2011, Lindsey has struggled to find non-freelance employment ever since.
As 2013 drew to a close, he decided that it was time to ask for a helping hand. He outlined his financial and medical struggles in a Tumblr post and launched an Indiegogo campaign with a witty photo and a modest goal of $900—the bare minimum required to cover back rent and keep him off the street.
In just under four days, he raised nearly $5,000, more than five times what he’d asked for, due in part to a signal boost from blogger Jim Romenesko. “I truly do not know where to begin with this,” Lindsey wrote in a follow-up post after his plea garnered a huge response. “I mean, I was at the end of my rope. I was going to get evicted … I forgot that I know people. A lot of people. People from all around who, thankfully, like me enough to help me out.”
Besides extolling the virtue of setting aside one’s stubborn pride when necessary, and pledging to be more charitable himself, he also expressed his newfound holiday cheer (as well as incredulity) on Twitter.
Well, this has been the most faith-in-humanity-restoring day of my whole existence.— 'Hood George Bailey (@unclecrizzle) January 1, 2014
Is it OK to admit that I'm having a difficult time processing ALL OF THIS?!— 'Hood George Bailey (@unclecrizzle) January 2, 2014
Thanking his friends, he urged restraint at the $3,000 mark: “I should say that, people, you can stop sending money. If you want to donate, that’s fine, but really—I’m straight. Not only do I have enough to pay off the two months’ rent, but I can pay off the next two months.” But the campaign has more than 30 hours to go, and the cash keeps rolling in. As do the interview requests from local news.
It’s nice to see that even after the Christmas trees come down, the Yuletide spirit carries on.