Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

WILD TALES: Local author Gary Sizer’s forthcoming book is a prequel to his previous work “Where’s the Next Shelter?” which presented his experiences on the Appalachian Trail. “I’ve been traveling — not just by foot, but also by airplane, train, car, bus, taxi and even mule train at one point — for many, many years,” he says. “I’ve been writing these stories for a long time, and I’ve got another batch that’s ready to go.” Photo from Sizer's website

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Gary Sizer’s next book

Author Gary Sizer barely gets past the first sentence in his crowdfunding video when a branch gently slaps him in the face. It’s a fitting interruption for the travel writer, whose book Where’s the Next Shelter? used a comedic spin to detail his time on the Appalachian Trail. Sizer’s follow-up book, which has the working title Home is Forward, covers adventures (and misadventures) from before the thru-hike, including trips through Newfoundland, Iceland, Germany, India and Peru. “We’re going to go all around the world in this book,” he says, including “waking up on a train in Eastern Europe with an empty wallet, one shoe and no idea how we got there.” Sizer, or Green Giant as he’s known on the trail, aims to raise $2,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 21, to cover costs like editing, illustrating, formatting, proofing and printing the work.

Winterizing Standing Rock camps

Operating out of The Regeneration Station, a team of volunteers has been preparing and transporting supplies to protestors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. “Prior to setting up this GoFundMe, we raised over $10,000 locally and used that to take our first load up in our 45-foot trailer,” Nikki Allen writes online. “From our time there, it seemed 80 percent of the valiant protectors’ camps could be much better prepared for the harsh Dakota winters.” Various gear for heat and shelter are being purchased from Candler-based company Mountain Gear Surplus and transported to Standing Rock in batches in order to address pressing needs. Allen aims to raise $42,000 to fund the purchase and delivery of goods. Note: Following contradictory communications from North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Morton County Sheriff’s Department regarding potential fines to those bringing supplies to Standing Rock, as reported by NPRXpress was unable to confirm that Allen’s funds would still be used for the same purpose.

Additional campaigns relating to Standing Rock can be found here.

Image from Allen's campaign page
Image from Allen’s campaign page

Backpack care kits for the homeless

Hats, high protein foods, soap, wet wipes, toothpaste and other items will be purchased, packaged inside backpacks and distributed among individuals experiencing homelessness in Buncome and Henderson counties if John Watters reaches his crowdfunding goal. The kits, which he estimates will cost as little as $20 each, are intended to bring recipients “some measure of comfort, hygiene, nutrition and human dignity.” Watters aims to raise $1,000 toward the project, and he’s also committed to volunteer at Homeward Bound for one hour per $25 in donations.

Image from Watters' campaign page
Image from Watters’ campaign page

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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18 thoughts on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

  1. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    This is a great time of year to throw away our money on a cause that has absolutely no practical worth, but is bursting at the seams with self-image enhancing virtue signaling and symbolic gestures (native Americans, anti-oil, water safety, etc). We can help buy all these products that are made from oil to protest oil! Talk about an opportunity to feel relevant!

    FWIW, the 1200-mile-long, $3.6 billion pipeline is about 95% complete, so it will be finished once Obama leaves office. Even if the pipeline is never used, the oil will still get transported to market via trains (averaging about 700 tanker cars per day), which according to the data are 4.5% more likely to result in a hazardous spill than a pipeline. I have read speculation that billionaire Warren Buffet is behind this protest because he owns the railroad that will transport the oil (anyone remember the schemings of the railroad barons?).

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      Correction: Trains are about 4.5 times (450%) more likely to result in a spill than a pipeline.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        After running the numbers (instead of just repeating what I read in an article) the 450% figure appears to be incorrect. Looks to be more like 359% (2.08/.58 = 3.59)

        “A detailed analysis of from the Manhattan Institute finds that there are 2.08 “incidents” per billion ton-miles transported by railway, compared to 0.89 for natural gas pipelines, and 0.58 for hazardous liquid pipelines.”

    • Lulz

      The loons are brainwashed. They’ll go so far as to create environmental disasters to further their cause.

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        The more I read about this pipeline, the more I become convinced that this whole thing is about money. I already mentioned Buffet’s motivation and possible involvement. Apparently, (I haven’t been able to verify all of this) there was an agreement among tribes in the area to share all proceeds from mineral wealth. However, when the Bakken field was discovered under land owned by the the Three Affiliated Tribes (Fort Berthold reservation), the TAT backed out of the deal leaving the Standing Rock Reservation with nothing.

        Supposedly at some point during the planning phase, the pipeline was to pass through the Standing Rock Reservation, which would have benefited from pipeline fees. When Standing Rock demanded more money, the pipeline was moved north completely off their land (Like I said, I haven’t verified this yet). There is a pipeline running through the TAT reservation that they have no problem with. They are benefiting enormously from the oil boom, but Standing Rock’s not benefiting at all. So it seems possible that they are just stirring up trouble about this new pipeline because they got left out in the cold.

        • The Real World

          “that this whole thing is about money. ” — yes, indeedy. Regarding the trading of anything of value it generally is all about that no matter what virtuous aspects the affected parties might spout.

          And, yes also, that some of the “protests and dissent” surrounding many things are engineered by parties other than the ones portrayed. I’ve mentioned this film before: Promised Land http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2091473/?ref_=nv_sr_1 They could have articulated the conclusion better, which ties the big picture together, but just listen closely to what Krasinski is telling Damon at the end.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Here’s an idea of the disparity between the two tribal groups, the TAT of Fort Berthold and the Sioux of Standing Rock.

            TAT receives something like $10 million dollars per month (as high as $40 million at times) from oil-related income. Part of that comes from transit fees for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP) that crosses their land. The population is about 10,000 .

            As far as I know, Standing Rock receives nothing. Imagine the jealousy that would create, and ill will if there really was an agreement between them at some point to share the wealth.

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            Now compare TAT’s $$$ largesse with the poverty of Standing Rock (which is less than 100 miles from Fort Berthold; less than from Asheville to Charlotte), which is one of the poorest reservations in America, has a huge alcoholism problem, approx. 75% of its members are government entitlement junkies (welfare, food stamps, etc), that is “magnanimously represented” by “altruistic” environmental law interests that offer to “fight” pro bono for Standing Rock’s “environmental rights”, and you start to get the picture what this is all about.

      • boatrocker

        Yes, after all Alaska’s Exxon Valdez and the Gulf of Mexico’s BP Deepwater disasters were nothing more than (choose one) Obama/Hillary/Jewish media/racist thugs/paid protesters/Soros/Alinsky’s insidious plan to discredit the oil industry, which we (chuckling) all know is clean, cheap, never results in wars being fought over it and infinite in supply.

        Can I borrow a few of your lols/lulzes? Just saying the above paragraph has me laughing like a hyena.

  2. boatrocker

    Silly me- and I thought this article was about a guy writing stories about hiking.
    Just checking in- how’s it going in here on the angry right echo chamber? Good? Cool.

    I’m not a fan of begging for $ online (ahem the kids call it crowdfunding) but it was an interesting article.

    How dare those Sioux Nation paid Soros/Alinsky types care about their land they’ve lived on since the last Ice Age!
    Liberal progressive scum! All that’s missing for insults are ‘thugs’ and ‘mudpeople’, but the thread is young.

  3. Peter Robbins

    Any new developments on the Standing Rock issue? I’ll bet the protesters are just reeling after that ‘flaky critique.

    • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

      Latest development is that Obama ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit for the pipeline to be drilled 70′-90′ under the river just north of Cannonball. This is actually good news because it will allow the police (many of them out-of-state) to go home and be with their families and lessen the taxpayer burden to pay for their time. The pipeline will still be completed, so the 160,000 barrels of oil per day (1/3 of Bakken production) coming off of Indian land to the north can get transported to market more safely, cheaply and efficiently.

      Meanwhile, Standing Rock gets nothing. Oh wait. They are getting their 15 minutes of fame (and then some) and receiving large sums of money from the many suckers who are crown funding the protests. Just go look at GoFundMe to see how much that is.

      I suspect that the arrival of the veterans to the protests had something to do with Obama’s decision. Those guys are trained to respect authority, and would have seen with their own eyes the lawlessness of some of the protesters, eg, throwing feces and urine on police, charging them on horseback and stopping within inches, moltov cocktails, attempted murder (one lady is under federal charges for this), exploding IEDS (one lady had her arm nearly blown off supposedly when one exploded prematurely; I read she is under federal investigation for possible terrorism), destruction of property, and other lawless acts. The vets would have been such party poopers, and there would have been no way to de-ligitimize them.

  4. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    This crowdfunding BS is now exacerbating the problem. The head/chief/whatever of the Standing Rock reservation has asked the non-Indian protesters to leave, and they won’t go because gullible crowdfunders continue to pay for their unwanted stay where they pollute the flood plain where they are camped with trash and feces, and scare off the wildlife. Once the ground freezes, they won’t be able to bury their waste.

  5. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    At 14:40 it’s minus 30F windchill factor and snowing at the NoDAPL protest camp. I hope the snowflakes (oh isn’t that precious) are having a good time in their teepees with their wood heaters. This is supposed to last for a week or two (isn’t that more precious!). God forbid that they would use evil propane to stay warm! I wonder what they do with their poop when the ground is frozen so they can’t bury it (in a flood plain, no less). Maybe they can tweet to let us know what a good time they’re having. Bless their little oil-hating hearts!

    • boatrocker

      They’ll probably do what their ancestors did. They’ll suck it up, resist on principle of conscience and sadly be defeated by big oil, big money and under-educated soul less bigot cops with superior funding/weaponry and the corrupt laws on their side. And be mocked for it online by 4chan fans calling them mudpeople.

      Please hope your home in Illinois, Florida or whichever cornfed flyover state is never destroyed for making a quick buck, otherwise another crazy Cliven Bundy type debacle will occur and you’ll rant about the big bad gub’mnt and pine for the Antebellum South days. Double standard when it’s you’re back yard, eh?

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        “They’ll probably do what their ancestors did. ”

        Which ancestors would those be? From England? Sweden? Ireland? Germany? The Indians have probably gone back to their reservations as requested by the Standing Rock chairman, who also requested that all lily white protesters return to their reservations, which for the most part are probably temperate CA, OR, WA, HI,, etc.. But they, of course, refused because they have a chip on their shoulders and have something to prove and are snowflakes who are at home in minus 30F, snowy weather.

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