Leah Meray came home last Thursday and was a bit skeptical of what her husband Ryan was working on. It was supposed to be a rare day off for Ryan: a day to relax from his hectic schedule as the owner of C! Tech Solutions. Instead, he had been working all day.
She was greeted at the door by Ryan, who was talking about RoboCharity. Leah immediately thought he had taken on too much. However, that skepticism melted when she saw how excited he was and the buzz that was already building.
His flurry of extra activity was inspired by a conversation on Twitter between screenwriter Gary Whitta and Comic book author Ron Marz about the proposed RoboCop statue in Detroit. The two were debating the pros and cons of the statue when Gary said that if Ron really cared, he should donate to a soup kitchen. Ryan jumped in, suggested Forgotten Harvest and suggested they call it RoboCharity on Twitter.
“They could have just donated the $50 (the amount that Whitta and Marz discussed) and just be done with it,” noted Ryan.
Instead, they agreed with him and Ryan ran with it. By the end of the day, a Facebook fan page had been created. The next day, WXYZ ran a story about RoboCharity and Comic book illustrator Francesco Francavilla was auctioning off an original illustration for RoboCharity. After one week, $3,000 had been raised. This is enough to provide 15,000 meals to area soup kitchens.
The staff at Forgotten Harvest was surprised and thankful for the attention. The agency thanked him at a private reception on Wednesday for his work. He says that he wasn’t expecting any recognition. He just wanted to help a worthy non-profit organization raise a little extra money and do some good for metro Detroit. His wife insists he’s a little too modest about his role.
“It’s one thing to have a good idea. It’s another to do something with the idea,” Leah remarked. “Ron and Gary had a great idea but Ryan has really run with it. He’s not just talking the talk. He’s walking the walk about this community, a community he really loves.”
Eventually, Ryan would like to figure out how to use the social capital that is being built by RoboCharity to help other organizations in Detroit kick start their fundraising efforts. But for now, the attention of RoboCharity will be firmly focused on Forgotten Harvest. Because, as Leah pointed out, you can’t eat a statue.