help our boys

Derek & Alex at Gators Game.

Derek and Alex King were on their way out to Estrella Vista when they got stuck in Roanoke VA.

I still don’t know exactly what is going on, but between Kathryn Medico and me, we have sent them hundreds of dollars (and it is questionable where the money has gone), the boys are separated, and each is friendless and on the verge of mental disintegration.

I am spending most of the day trying to untangle the spaghetti while accessing Roanoke’s social service infrastructure to provide a modicum of stability for the brothers and to help me in getting our boys home. I have no illusions that their problems will suddenly go away, but I do know that Derek and Alex will be safe here—if we can get them to Estrella Vista.

Here’s what I know. Derek’s and Alex’s bus tickets are dated for April 11th. Derek’s marriage to Donna and his fatherhood of the couple’s four children is being interfered with by the state of Virginia, whose agencies have taken away the children and demanded that Derek and Alex not live in Donna’s home. Derek is confined in a mental hospital somewhere near Roanoke, but the facility will release no meaningful information to me—yet they have said “if Derek is here, we will get him to sign a release.”

Alex is presently staying at a Day’s End motel in Roanoke at $61/night—too much—but I have learned from the manager that they do have a weekly rate (but won’t take my credit card information over the phone). He spent most of last night being observed in the mental ward of a hospital—a fact I have confirmed with the hospital—having been taken there by rescue after being contacted by police. Why he was taken into custody is being ascertained by a police Supervisor Harrison, despite a call I made yesterday afternoon to the Roanoke PD dispatcher, who told me that no officers were at Alex’s motel demanding that I transfer $2,000 to him immediately—I was being “scammed,” she said. Now it appears the police were in the lobby of the motel, but not at the door of his room as I was told. It appears that Alex’s problem was with the motel’s staff, not the police.

Anyway, I am thinking “carrot-and-stick.” I’m thinking we should have a nest-egg waiting for Derek and Alex when they get here (and just small amounts of money released to them in the meantime as their circumstances change). I shared this strategy with Kathryn Medico, Alex’s mother/mentor, and she has just sent me $250.

As long as the boys are on the road, such a rudimentary nest-egg will disappear very quickly. I won’t see an infusion of cash until the middle of next month, so I am turning to you for help.

Will you please help me get the King brothers out here? I haven’t asked you for money for a long time now. I have been preoccupied with my own situation, which I have been able to change materially through the sale of a painting I owned. I used the proceeds to pay off the mortgage on Estrella Vista, which will free up the pressure on future revenue. I know that you don’t want to support my lifestyle and choices, but supporting our kids is a different matter.

Will you please help me create a nest-egg for Derek and Alex today? A link for your generosity is below.

Any amount will help and be appreciated.


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To make a contribution to the Redemption Project, please use the link at the top of this page or click here. Thank you!



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20 Responses to “help our boys”

  1. 1 Ronnie Savill
    March 29, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Hi Dan.

    Alex and Derek just never seem to get a break. It’s a shame they aren’t in the uk. Everything would be done for them here to help them start new lives. They’d probably have been sent to Australia years ago and given new identities.

    Me and my family have had a family tragedy. Cousin Bill killed himself on st Patrick’s day. He shot himself. There was no warning and didn’t seem to be any problems at all. That I know of. We have started a ‘go fund’ thing for Bills 17 year old son Ricky. So far family and friends have raised about $6000. In a week.

    I hope you do even better for Alex and Derek.


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. March 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you for all you do for Derek and Alex. It truly means a lot to me.

  3. 3 angelina
    March 30, 2016 at 5:26 am

    You know what. I can’t speak for Derek but Alex is a lost cause. He had been given so many chances. He has been given free places to live and he’s messed them up over and over again. He has been offered free help and support only to spit in people’s faces that have tried to help him.

    • March 30, 2016 at 6:22 am

      Yeah, what you say is true. The last time he was here was pretty much of a disaster, yet he is coming back.

      So what does that say about me? That I am a fool? A sucker for “lost causes”?

      Everybody needs a place to come home to, a place where they can come and be accepted, no matter what. I don’t particularly like the guy, but I do love him, and I won’t give up on him.

      You can say anything you want about the guy, but you won’t be able to say he is the way he is because I have slammed the door in his face.

  4. 5 Penny
    March 30, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Dan – admire your courage on taking on what appear to be lost causes. However, as a taxpayer, it’s even harder to watch us pay prisons that clearly don’t work.

    Thought this was interesting from 2002:

    “Initially, the defense attorneys wanted the children sent to Girls and Boys Town in Omaha, Neb., whose executive director had offered to take them in.

    But Eddins said Florida Department of Department of Corrections officials provided valuable information on prison programs for young offenders that seemed to provide hope.

    The inmates at the Hillsborough Correctional Institution in Tampa and the Indian River Correctional Institution in Vero Beach are mostly younger than 18, although some inmates are allowed to stay an additional three years.

    The prisons offer educational and vocational programs. Medical and mental health treatment also are available 24 hours a day.

    Defense attorney Potter said the prison might provide the first stable life the boys have ever known.

    “Maybe they have a chance at a life now,” Potter said. “It will be hard for them, but maybe they’ll have a chance. Maybe that is the best you can hope for, given their lives up to now.”

    • March 30, 2016 at 10:02 am

      It’s surprising how often states have turned down Boys Town on my cases. Full scholarships paid for by Boys Town, not the taxpayers, have been offered and rejected. I am convinced that no state will relinquish its control over kids once they gain it–despite the fact that they cannot prove their youth prisons do any good whatsoever. And the courts will not admit that they are part of a broken system.

  5. 7 Mage Tig
    March 30, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Im really glad Alex and Derek STILL have a place to go. And for the ones who said Alex is a lost case, can you even imagine the kind life he had, and how hard for a child was to live and grow on the other side of the fence. Don’t judge before you put yourself on his shoes. Alex is a very smart guy and I am sure If he had a normal childhood things would be different for him. Same for Derek. They are very nice people, which I know in person and they deserve the same respect as anybody else. Dan you are the best! Love you ❤
    ps. sorry for my English.

  6. 8 matt
    March 30, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    If these young men are no longer the playful, laughing innocents of their youth, perhaps the years have taken that from them. If they no longer trust, perhaps trust brought only pain. If they cannot feel what you feel, perhaps they have been denied the opportunity to learn and feel as typical humans do. If they seem to always take and never offer in return, perhaps experience taught them to look out for themselves. And if they seem isolated and detached, perhaps they learned to conceal their emotions out of necessity.

    I do not defend rudeness or ingratitude by anyone, but these young men are hardly unique in such ego-centric behaviors. Having spent years trying to survive a turbulent life full of negative influences, they are now faced with trying to survive in our convoluted world without benefit of many of the critical life skills that most of us take for granted. For those with little education, no job skills, and no family support mechanism that must be a confusing and daunting process. Personally, I’m pretty amazed by all that Dan has done and will do for all these young men.

  7. 9 angelina
    March 31, 2016 at 5:32 am

    yes all of that is true but giving them handouts will teach them nothing at all. they dont appreciate the handouts. its not handouts that they need. they need someone to hold their hand and walk them through and show them how to be productive. not someone like kathy that writes them a check and sends it off for any story they come up with. as long as you keep doing that, the less they will do for them self because its easier.

    • 10 Matt
      March 31, 2016 at 5:48 am

      I agree with you, but the system won’t do that, and if they have no family willing to do that, then who? Some write letters of support to entertain and teach, some provide books that they may teach themslves, some provide cash that may support them while they learn, but few, such Dan and Ms. Medico, have or will open their homes and hearts to these young men.

    • March 31, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Are you willing to “hold their hands” or are you just spouting off? And what “handouts” are you talking about? You sound like a right-winger railing against welfare cheats, but I don’t see you paying any “taxes.”

      Who are you, anyway?

  8. 13 angelina
    March 31, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Like I said they spit in the face of the one’s that help. Good luck Dan Dailey.

    • March 31, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Angelina… You sound like Donald Trump answering a question. It’s really hard to take seriously what you say.

    • April 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Angelina, I believe in a previous comment you said you couldn’t speak for Derek, yet your last comment referred to “they”. You do not know my husband and therefore have no right to speak of him in such a way. And for the record, he does not receive handouts from anyone. We both work to support our family. So next time, know whereof you speak before you type. I will defend my husband with my last breath. He takes nothing for granted and is grateful for the second chance he has been given.

      • 17 matt
        April 2, 2016 at 9:35 am

        Though I’ve had very little correspondence with Derek, I’m not surprised that he married into a ready-made family. One of the common traits I’ve noted among many of the young men with whom I correspond, is a heart felt desire to positively influence the lives of children. That doesn’t mean that they are prepared to do so, but at least they have the desire. While this may be an added source of stress in their lives, it appears to be one they are willing to accept.

  9. 18 Steve
    March 31, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Best of luck with Alex and Lone Heron I hope that the two of them connect as I suspect do you. You have been a steadfast support for the Kings as well as the other park idea you are supporting. It’s not much but I will try again to do regular support. Thanks for all you do. If I ever do my road trip would love to meet you. Pax. Steve

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