RAINNMakers.org

Welcome to Paul's RAINNmaker Page!

Paul's Status Update

"Heartfelt thanks & love to the 38 people (see below) who joined me to raise $1,500 total for RAINN. You're all heroes!"

My RAINNmaker Campaign Info

I HOPE YOU'LL TAKE A MINUTE to read about why RAINN, the nation's foremost anti-sexual-violence organization, holds a special place in my heart and in my life -- and is worthy of your support. If 100 of my friends will give RAINN just $10 each this month, I'll reach my goal! (Want to give MORE than $10? Great!) THANK YOU for reading, for caring . . . and for giving.

MY RAINN STORY:

I've worn my blue RAINN “gummy bracelet” continuously since Development Director Chelsea Bowers mailed it to me five years ago. (I shortened it for a tighter seal, then SuperGlued it back together around my right wrist—so, it's not going anywhere!) A “fitting” gesture, in more ways than one, for RAINN is a permanent part of my life.

Let me tell you why.

I first learned of RAINN in 1998 through the work of the brilliant pianist/singer/songwriter Tori Amos. At the time, I was writing my second book, UNPLUGGED (2002, John Daniel & Co.), about a young musician's struggle to recover from her childhood rape. An unusual topic for a male writer to tackle—but I had a good reason.

It's the same reason why that bracelet is on me for life—and why I was drawn to RAINN in the first place; why I've since helped them financially, creatively, and through advocacy and outreach; why my RAINN Leadership Circle pin means more to me than any award I've won, or ever could win; why I eagerly accepted invitations to join their National Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau; and why RAINN will benefit upon my eventual death.

The reason is Julia.

While walking home alone one muggy night in September 1984, my first-ever girlfriend, a talented young theater and music student, was overpowered by a stranger in a downtown alley. I wish I could refer to Julia not as a rape victim, but as a rape survivor. I can't, because she didn't -- six months later, traumatized, desperate, and depressed, she took the wrong step: off the roof of the tallest building on her campus. The rapist was never caught.

Julia was 21 years old.

I guess I've been trying in vain to undo this tragedy ever since. By completing the short films we shot together in our teens, then screening them at festivals, I've showcased Julia's early acting talent. By basing the character “Stefanie Slocum” in my novel PLANET OF THE DATES (2008, The Permanent Press) on Julia, I took the winsome, winning girl I'd loved, and re-imagined her as an irresistible literary character. By bringing healing to the distraught heroine of UNPLUGGED, I rewrote Julia's final chapter in an effort to affirm girls and women like her, encouraging them to get help, keep going, never give up, and reclaim everything that is rightly theirs.

Julia gave me the mission—but RAINN has given me the means.

RAINN has been my perfect organizational partner: committed, driven, expansive, proactive, and open to the sometimes-strange strategies and peculiar projects I propose—book-store and coffeehouse readings; a charity 2-CD set from amateur musicians, entitled “Amateur”; benefit concerts by my 30-year-old band of aging punk-rockers! Whatever I propose to raise awareness and funds, they're up for it—then they're right there by my side, helping to make it happen.

Thus has RAINN helped me find peace about the tragedy that befell Julia. You see, they don't just educate the public to prevent sexual violence, and help victims transition into survivors; they also help the loved ones of those who didn't make it, enlisting our aid on behalf of others. RAINN has saved so many—and in a very real way, they've saved me, too.

I'm grateful for the faith RAINN has placed in me and my efforts, but I'm even more grateful for the work of Scott Berkowitz and his staff. For nothing is, or ever could be, more important than preventing the Julias of today and tomorrow from themselves taking the wrong step.

Every day, in a multitude of ways, RAINN is handing them back their lives. Please, join them.

Paul McComas, http://paulmccomas.com

Thank you to my supporters!

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