Let’s help Matt Dillahunty.

For those who haven’t heard Matt Dillahunty’s house got robbed yesterday.  The burglars got away with his wife’s wedding ring, both their laptops, their Wii, Matt’s tablet, and some other stuff.  Here’s what Matt had to say on facebook.

So, I’m going to be brief as there’s a lot of stuff to do.

First – thank you. Many of you have asked if there’s any way you can help. It’s greatly appreciated, but there are people who are much worse off than we are – even after accounting for the theft.

Second – I’m resetting passwords, closing accounts and doing inventory of the stolen items. I’ll be skipping the show this week and there are several other things that I won’t have time for over the coming week or two.

They stole both of our laptops (Beth desperately needed a new one anyway), along with my new tablet (which stings, because it’s new and because I was going to take it to work today, but forgot) and her netbook. They also got her wedding jewelry (which can’t be easily replaced) and her pistol. In total, it’s several thousand dollars worth of stuff…but nothing that was crazy expensive.

Those are all things. Yes, our privacy has been violated. Yes, we lost a lot of valuable stuff. But there are plenty of people who didn’t have that stuff to begin with….or anything like it.

I’ve lost most of my recent debate notes and lecture notes (they were on the laptop and tablet) – but I could still debate or give a talk, tomorrow.

I may miss my shiny new ASUS TF700T, but we’re still healthy and safe and I’m not going to let this douchebag thief do any more damage than he’s already done, by moping about lost ‘stuff’.

It’s going to take a while to replace the things, and it’ll take a little longer to repair our confidence in the safety of our own home…but we’ll get there.

Matt is seriously a great guy.  So…I’m not in a place right now where I can donate.  :(  Maybe at the first of next month.  If you feel like chipping in, you can send Matt a donation via paypal at the address sans.deity[at!]gmail.com.

Here’s what I can do: all the money I make off this post, I will donate to Matt next month.  I make $100 per 25,000 hits, so unless this post goes viral (or gets some help from reddit), it probably won’t be much.  But it’s money that none of us has to cough up individually, and I’ve made damn near $1,000 from a viral post before, so it’s possible.  It’s what I can do.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://www.stuartftaylor.co.uk Stuart Taylor (@chainbear)

    But… isn’t this what he doesn’t want?

    • doaftheloaf

      I don’t see where it says he won’t accept donations if they are offered to him.

  • Ray


  • joe

    You just stated that he doesn’t want money or donations.

    It seems like you’re just doing this to get hits on your blog. You’re taking advantage of the misfortune of others here.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      You totally caught me. The fact that someone who has been instrumental to the atheist movement would get helped is of no consequence to me at all, just people visiting a single post. The fact that Matt will get money is just an annoying side effect of my quest for temporary popularity.

      And I thought I was cynical.

      • http://www.stuartftaylor.co.uk Stuart Taylor (@chainbear)

        I don’t think you’re springboarding off this for hits, but… I mean, he did say he didn’t want donations so I don’t understand.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          I suspect Matt was trying to be down-to-earth. He’s right that people have it worse off, but his situation already sucks. I already donate some of my earnings to charitable causes. This post will hopefully raise some money I wouldn’t have otherwise made that can make his life a little easier after he got robbed.

          • Amazed

            How are you making his life easier when he said HE DOES NOT WANT/NEED IT. You’re assuming quite a bit and disrespecting his wishes. I hope you donate it all to a charity of his choice after ignoring what he asked for and promoting your blog using his name.

          • Jasper

            You’re being incredibly obtuse. He didn’t say it wouldn’t help him. Matt was being humble in saying that others deserve the help first.

          • Matt J

            JT is doing what he feels is right. A nice person doing good for another nice person. If you don’t like it, don’t donate…. it is that simple! Stop condemning good things people do and go piss in your own cereal.

      • adjw pjdawndw

        Dude, he said he didn’t want it.
        And why can’t you just make a donation page instead of whoring out your blogg.
        You seem like an defensive asshole.

        You should really talk to them before you start this. Now i will leave and never return to this site.

        • baal

          Excellent job sticking the flounce. I don’t see how this is whoring – JT is diverting 1 post’s revenue to help a friend. It’s not a huge thing. When JT is being huge, he makes a much bigger deal of it (skepticon 5 upfront costs for venue change come to mind). It’s bizarre to give JT flack for this.

        • Brad1990

          We’ll get over it.

  • http://rowthree.com Andrew James

    I don’t know you or who Matt is. But all these people saying you’re being hypocritical or trying to profit off the misery of others can politely piss right off. Sheesh! Try to do something nice for a guy and the internet jumps all over you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Pretty much my thoughts. :P As I said on the reddit thread…

      “You want me to re-examine my impulse to compassion when your message seems to be “I’m sorry. I’m going to need one of atheism’s best people to suffer a little more before it’s worth a click to help alleviate his shitty circumstances. Not that my apathy will help anyone else, but…y’know…principles.””

      Fortunately, most people seem to be able to reach the elementary conclusion that someone doesn’t need to be in the absolute worst shape on earth for you to do something nice for them, and a lot of those people are clicking through and helping, which I hope pisses them right off. :P

      So far we’re at 9,767 hits, which is $39.07 for Matt. Keep ‘em coming.

  • David

    Why NOT help him out? Even if he says he does not want the help, i am sure he will be thankful for it.

    • Chakolate

      Yes. This.

  • David

    Sounds like God was punishing him. Lol just saying

    • Jasper

      Because nothing bad ever happens to Christians

      • http://manojpontificates.blogspot.com/2012/10/rape-abortion-and-god.html Manoj Joseph

        Which would of course be Satan testing their faith or a demonstration of FREE WILL!

  • John-Henry Beck

    Sounded to me like Matt said it wasn’t a cause of great need and so not to make a big deal of it.
    Which means I think JT’s response is a pretty good one. As he said, money he wouldn’t have made otherwise, and it’s not asking for donations from anyone. The money comes from the advertising budgets of various companies who are getting their expected value out of the money – the page views of us looking at the page with their ads. In the end we (JT mainly) get to say we did a little something for a friend, for someone that’s done a lot for the movement, to make a bad event a bit better.
    And, heck, if Matt and Beth -really- don’t want -any- help at all, the money can be donated to some other charitable cause quite easily.
    So, good work, JT.

    • Matt J

      well said J-H B

  • DustyKnuckles


  • samantha

    I think you and Matt are awesome, JT. Thanks for helping him out.

  • Isaac Shur

    Just wanted to say I think this a good thing to do, and you shouldn’t listen to the people saying that your spring-boarding off Matt, those are the type of people who just like to argue.

  • RuQu

    He has said it will take months to replace. Any donation shortens that time and is helpful.

    If you really think he would be upset by a donation, you can always send a note that says, “I was going to send you a monetary donation to assist with recovering from your recent burglary, however your passionate case that others are worse off is very true. So, instead, I sent a donation in your name of $X to http://www.nothingbutnets.net/ which, for every $10, can save a family of 4 from malaria for 3 years.”

    See? Problem solved and you don’t even have to be an asshole about it!

  • uros

    2 laptops? a tablet? netbook? damn boy, i cant even get 70 euros for new harddrive for pc.

  • gavin

    pay up :)

  • UsingReason

    I would hope Matt has insurance for this type of thing, like most of the more mature crowd and we can give him a bit of help with the deductible. The real loss is the work on the laptops, sometimes you just can’t replicate a moment of inspired writing no matter how hard you try. A bit of advice for Matt off he sees this, if you are a PC and android guy you might want to set up DropBox in the future. You can always retrieve your important document from any machine via the website that way.

    • Psychopomp Gecko

      Not sure which company he has, but I know I have some experience with theft claims, though I am in another state as well. Where I am and with the company I know, it’s standard to have a recorded statement done and pictures taken partially to help determine what happened and partially for underwriting purposes. There will also be a form with information such as a brief description of the items, where they were purchased, when they were purchased, how much they cost then, and how much they would cost to replace now. This list will have to match up with the police report. Then, there’s documentation. Owner’s manuals, boxes, receipts, or even just photographs showing the item in the insured’s dwelling or with the insured.

      Some things that determine how much you get are your limit on certain items, usually jewelry. No matter how much jewelry was stolen, you still might only get $1,000 back. On top of that, it also depends on some endorsements in your policy. You might have a policy that only pays you back the depreciated value of the items rather than the cost to replace them.

      On top of that, you won’t actually be getting any of this money for awhile. Give it anywhere from a week to a month just for the adjuster to do their part and send it in to the company.

  • Floyd de Corbet

    Her PISTOL!?!?! So much for having guns – now the bad guys have it. I’m sorry, but I was going to donate as I have had many hours of enlightenment and hilarity from Matt, but I can’t donate money that will go towards the replacement of a gun. Nothing but nets will remain my charity of choice.

    • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

      Okay, I read the Reddit thread but this comment takes the cake for stupidest reasoning ever, since you acknowledge knowing of and appreciating Dillahunty’s work but have refused to help him and his wife out because she’s a gun-owner. Or was. Or might still be. Or might be again.
      Truly breathtaking.

  • Sam

    Beth is also missing jewelery–I believe mostly costume and handcrafted. Still a big loss to her though. Would love to send her a few items!

  • Floydecorbet

    Hi Gretchen:
    I said I can’t donate to replace a gun. Very simple. Guns have no place in society except to kill. If I knew the money was going to replace a computer or such, I could donate. Guns? Never. Sorry that you can’t understand. I’m Canadian, maybe that explains it.

    • http://freethoughtguide.com Mark Vandebrake

      It is about perspective Floydecobert. Donate to not replace a gun if you will. Donate to help those who contribute lots of time to our efforts. Tell them it is not for guns. There you may have it.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp Martin

    I thought a lot of Canadians were gun owners.

    In any case, if people want to help but are uncomfortable just donating random cash, Beth makes these charming spiders out of colorful beads. They’re like $12 including postage. Check her profile on Facebook if you’d like to know more.

  • Noah Simoneaux

    Boy, from reading some of the mean-spirited responses on this thread I get the impression that the old joke about SOME people online having no friends might be true. For those questioning the motives of people wanting to help Matt, maybe you should go out in the real world and find a friend. Then maybe you’ll learn that friends like to help each other(yes, that even includes times when their friends say they don’t want or need help). Friends sometimes just like to do things for each other. It often benefits both the giver and receiver.
    BTW, does anybody know if Matt had an IPad? If they get stolen you can remotely shut them down and locate them.

  • Noah Simoneaux

    Not trying to derail the thread, but Floydecorbet should learn a bit more about guns. Now that we have the Internet, learning the truth is a it easier. ;)

  • John Horstman

    Well, the trolls are certainly out in force over this.