This is not about business, or advertising or marketing. It's personal. And, as I write this I know I am going to cry. Yes. I do that...and if you admit it...you do to. Call that "truth in advertising"? So, if you came by today for our business insight. It's going to have to wait for a bit.
A brief background:
Kunta is an African Gray Parrot. One of the brightest of the species. The experts say they have the intellect of a five year old and the emotions of a three year old. No wonder we bonded. They are excellent talkers and Kunta has quite a vocabulary. They also live forty to fifty years. Kunta is three.
On Sunday the 26th of April a door was opened and Kunta flew out of the also open garage. He was gone in seconds. We've not yet found him. We search every day and in many, many ways. Before I go on...I need to let you know this is a critter. Not a person. Yes he is and was a loved member of our family. And we know the deep hurt and emotional pain. But...we can not imagine how people cope when losing a child. So, I don't want to build this...over that. Please understand. But the message...is amazing.
And so it goes. Posters, e-mail, Twitter, BLOGS, newspapers, television and radio stations....and so many people are helping. This coming Friday I'm going to tell this story on Mac's World Live a local Internet radio show. So, if you listen...you may hear this twice. Kindness is the message of this post.
Within hours of posting the news on Twitter, Craigs List and on our Blog dozens of people joined in promoting the news. The Des Moines Register picked up the story, called and wanted a brief interview. Here is that story. WHO-TV-13 picked it up and ran with it. My friend Bradshaw from 98.3 WOW-FM told his listeners. And people responded. Friends like Robin Pruisner, Tiffany Menke, Sharon Steckman and so many more...I've never met.
When Dave Corbett saw, from a Twitter post, where we were going to search...near I 80/35 north of Des Moines. He came and walked the woods. "Hey, it was close and I felt so bad for you." I had never met Dave before Monday. He just came.
And Nancy Schram who has been in daily contact after she saw the sign at a local McDonalds window. She has been passing out fliers and information. I've never met her. She just came and helped.
And Wilma Johnson who wrote a lovely note and remembered her own Gray and then sent us further ideas of where and how to look for Kunta. I've never met Wilma...she just offered her help.
And Bob Santi, a Twitter friend, who took the flyer and wrote to everybody on his e-mail list and passed on the word. I've never met Bob in person....we know each other from the Twitter Community.
And, the Twitter Community. Dozens and dozens of people have "re-tweeted" our messages and poster. And those messages have been passed out far and wide. I have met maybe one or two of these people...but they helped and we're grateful.
And we've heard from hundreds of people we know...and those we've never met. They have all offered support and hope.
On Tuesday afternoon I stood in Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey's office with his Deputy Secretary Karry Claghorn and told this story about the kindness of people and wept. Secretary Northey said, "In a way it doesn't surprise me we're all seeking a meaningful connection and a way to help."
There I stood in the shadow of the Capital where, on more than one occasion this year, there have been deep and divisive arguments. It was like living in a different zone...but it's not. There is still kindness...
The "Kunta Kage" is still empty. We put it outside. Somebody said "maybe he'll see it and return". Maybe. And we're still looking...every day and now expanded the search to 50 miles around Des Moines....maybe further. We've written every Vet in the area, contacted the pet stores, Animal Rescue League...we're trying. Partly because we need to...and partly because so many of you give us hope.
Thanks...thank you so much. We'll keep you in the loop.
Michael & Georgie Libbie
Follow me on Twitter @MichaelLibbie