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Helping a Friend

Katie and Henry

It’s been too long since I fired up this blog and shared any news. I hate that the news I have to share today is so sad. My good friend Katie has suffered a devastating loss. Her oldest son, Henry, passed away yesterday following a drug overdose and a serious assault. The whole story of her family’s ordeal can be read in detail from Katie’s own brave words at her blog.

In the meantime, so many of Katie’s friends have asked me and her other co-workers at Ackermann PR what they can do to help. I want to pass along this information on what we are doing here at work and how you can be a part of it.

As if the pain of losing Henry weren’t enough, there are very real financial hurdles to be faced now, as well.

So many people have been asking what they can do to help. There is a simple and direct way to do so and I’m calling on you for assistance. With some coordinated effort in the online community, we can at least try to make one aspect of this horrible time easier to manage for the family and give everyone a sense of having helped in a constructive and real way.

Ackermann PR wants to set up a fund to help defray some of the family’s expenses. On the advice of our company bank, this is the best way to handle it:

Simply write a check made out to Katie Allison Granju.

Mail it to:

Crystal Cardwell
c/o Ackermann PR
1111 Northshore Drive, Suite N-400
Knoxville, TN 37919

We’ll handle it from there and deposit the funds raised into an account for the family.

Please pass this along to everyone you can. Katie has inspired us all with how she has dealt with this tragedy. Let’s see what we can do to help make things just a tiny bit easier for her.

And keep praying for them all as well. I know Katie and her family felt a lot of love and support the past few weeks and believe it helped her.



About Shane

Shane Rhyne is currently exploring an unorthodox career path, leaving behind a career in corporate marketing and non-profit management to listen to the voice inside him that seeks a life of creativity and the arts. So, Shane Rhyne has decided to become a writer and a comedian.
  • http://homesteadgeek.com Erin D.

    I only now just heard of this tragedy… these people… tears are flowing in compassion and heartbreak, though, and I would like to help. Do you have a PayPal address I can send to?

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane


    At this time a PayPal (or other electronic form of donation) has not been established. The recommendation from the bank was to stick to traditional checks at this time. If we are able to establish an online donation method, I will post about it. In the meantime, please do consider sending a check to the fund. Thanks.

  • http://homesteadgeek.com Erin D.

    No problem at all – I’ll get one sent straightaway. Thank you for setting this up.

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  • Britt

    Oh, doubly sad, I went over to look at her blog and it appears her account has been suspended, wth. :(

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  • Joanna Zuk

    mamapundit blog crashed (likely from high traffic)

    Can you help?
    JZ, Toronto

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane

    Joanna, you are likely correct that high traffic counts have crashed her blog or pushed it beyond its bandwidth subscription. Since that’s Katie’s personal blog, I don’t have access to the account.

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane

    Likely the site has experienced a surge in traffic and has exceeded its bandwidth limits.

  • Linda Kaufman

    Shane, Thank you for your wonderful efforts and fabulous idea. I will share this with everyone who knows and cares for Katie and her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Katie, Henry and the rest of their family.

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane


    Thank you for your concerns for Katie. Please note, I am merely the messenger here. The fund was the idea of Cathy Ackermann, Katie’s boss here at Ackermann PR. All of us are eager and happy to join in and do what we can.

  • http://homesteadgeek.com Erin D.

    Hello, I am working on setting up a free upgraded server for these folks right now. If it cannot be donated by the hosting company, I will pay for it.

  • Nancy Fisk

    Here’s a blog on another site about the last few weeks: It’s only missing the most recent news. http://www.babble.com/CS/blogs/homework/default.aspx

  • Merce

    Why does Ackerman not have sufficient health coverage for its employees? Especially for one as experienced and dedicated as Katie? There should not be a CENT owed by that poor family!

  • http://homesteadgeek.com Erin D.

    A new server is being set up as we speak, and I will be migrating the data over shortly.

  • susanna eve

    For those of us who have known Katie for years online but don’t live in the US sending a cheque isn’t an option. I hope that there will be a way set up a paypal account or some other option so that more of can help.

  • http://thelynnsterzone.wordpress.com/ Lynnster

    Hi Shane, I already mentioned this at Speak to Power but since I was on FB and saw the link to your blog I thought I would post again at the source.

    The check donation idea is wonderful and kind and such a good one – but I’d have to second the PayPal idea simply because I am sure there are probably going to be a lot of people online who would love to help that won’t be able to because they are not in the US and therefore can’t send a check.

    Just a thought, if you might pass that along to the idea folks.

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane


    Thanks for the input and I will pass it on. At this time, I’m simply reporting what the bank’s recommendations are at this time.

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane


    I understand. At this time, we’re going by the recommendations of the financial institution helping with this. If that changes in the near future, I’ll be sure to pass along an update.

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  • http://twitter.com/ramills08 Rebecca Mills

    Hello everyone, I checked and Katie’s e-mail address is registered at PayPal. If anyone sends payments to her account, she will receive an e-mail notification. The address is katie . granju @ gmail . com (no spaces)

  • http://homesteadgeek.com Erin D.

    We have the site up on a new server. Due to DNS caching, you may have to access it directly via IP address:

  • http://domesticpsychology.com/blog/ Cathy McCaughan

    Merce – Even the very best insurance wouldn’t cover the tremendous medical efforts that took place. Hours, days and weeks of work/income were missed. Anyone who has lost a family member knows the unfairly cruel costs that they still face. Everyone left behind is wounded and in need of care. We can’t ease their emotional suffering, but we can help physically. It won’t be enough, but it’s all that we can do.

  • Lauren

    Something to note — if you donate via PayPal, service charges will be deducted from your donation.

  • http://thelynnsterzone.wordpress.com/ Lynnster

    Lauren, there won’t be a fee if her PayPal is a personal account and not if the payment is marked as a gift.

    In fact even if she has a business and not personal PayPal account, there still won’t be a fee is the payment is marked as a gift. At least not as long as the payment comes from one’s bank or PayPal balance is used to fund it (there might be a fee if credit card is used but only if she has a business and not personal account).

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  • Babs

    This is a terrific idea but I have to ask: Did you or someone consult an accountant to make sure that donations are not counted as income? I know there are ways around it … (I have not met Katie in person, I have been reading her blog for five years and am devastated for Katie and the family.)

  • http://www.shanerhyne.com Shane

    Babs, it is my understanding the bank that services Katie’s workplace advised the company’s owner on the steps to be taken.

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  • Babs

    Thanks, Shane! Sorry if that was explained above. This is terrific.

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  • Kathy Dettwyler

    The new server is not showing the blog, but if you type mamapundit.com into google and then click on “cached” it will take you to a version from early this morning, June 1st.

    The money donations are a wonderful idea. Katie has helped so many people — all around the world — through her writings. I’ve known her, virtually, ever since Henry and my Alex were babies at the same time. Being able to contribute money makes me feel like I’m doing something.

  • Anon

    A note about PayPal. If you mark it as a donation and her account does not have the proper paperwork for a Non Profit org then PayPal will keep the funds. They do not care who the money if for. Pay Pal took over $1,000 that was donated via PayPal for a dying 4 year old child and also suspended the PayPal account.
    My husband is a recovering drug addict. His drugs of choice were Crack, Cocaine, Meth, Pot and Pills. He also drank a lot. He almost died more than once. He has been clean for 3 years and had his first relapse last week.
    What happened to Henry is my biggest fear for my husband.
    My prayers go out to this family. My heart is breaking for them.

  • Carolyn Blaney

    Do we have confirmation on paypal being a good option yet? I am Canadian and need to donate from here.

  • sheila o’keefe

    thank you so much for posting this. i will mail a check to dear katie. to go through such a heartbreaking loss AND to have to suffer financial burden on top of that…how sad! we all need to help this wonderful family, they’ve been through so much.

  • John Barbarino

    Some folks are thinking that all costs of illness are paid by insurances. This is not so. Also, sudden events such as a death outside of one’s control bring instant demands that are not ever considered when one sets a budget.

    It is true that funds collected could be considered income, so I am sure that if in the notes section of the check one put: to defray medical expenses. It would help the question of the receipt of such monies.

    Those outside of the US can send certified money orders in US currency and pay the fees for funds conversions on their side. It is a hassle, but it would speed the process.

    And most of all, it is great to see that people give a damn. That is encouraging.

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  • Anne

    Canadians can still send a check. The USA bank will make the adjustment into USA funds. The USA bank will probably hold the check for 10 days to be sure it clears the Canadian bank.

    I am Canadian and send Birthday Checks to my USA neice all the time.

  • Elizabeth

    Don’t do PayPal. They are terrible to work with, especially on charitable stuff. Check is smarter and better.

    I will send what I can. I am so terribly sorry for this family.

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