Aurora Theater Shooting

Aurora theater shooting: Fund for victim Farrah Soudani gets busty boost from theCHIVE

On Friday, July 20, the day authorities say James Holmes opened fire during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, John Resig posted a note theCHIVE.com, the wildly popular photo website he founded with his brother. "If any of the victims or family members of victims are Chivers (or simply know somebody affected, Chiver or not), feel free to contact us here at theCHIVE with any special needs or requests and we will mobilize the Chive community immediately," he wrote.

And mobilize they did.

Six days later, Resig posted the story of Farrah Soudani: 22 years old, uninsured and severely wounded in the attack. Resig included this message, along with a link to a fund set up for Soudani by a family friend: "The goal is $100,000. I'm told Farrah's medical bills will easily exceed the target amount, which is fine; we all know the Chivers see financial goals much like a lonely stop sign on an empty country road -- something briefly regarded before hitting the accelerator."

In an hour and a half, more than $100,000 poured in.

"We have this sort of flash mob charity model where we can raise tens of thousands of dollars very quickly," Resig says. "It's a credit to the Chivers because they're a very activate-able audience. They're very charitable and they want to give."

It's not what you'd expect from a website whose content is mostly adorable animals and half-naked ladies. (Recent photo posts include "Cat Saturday" and "Hot girls in the middle of nowhere.") But Resig says to dismiss theCHIVE and its sister sites theBERRY, theTHROTTLE and theBRIGADE as all boobs and no heart would be a mistake.

"At a glance, they're just sort of humor sites that aggregate all of the funny content on the Internet and compartmentalize it into categories and put it on one long scroll, and that sounds really boring," Resig says.

But in reality, he says, theCHIVE is a "very kind underground social network." Visitors to the site interact by leaving comments ("Cat Saturday" currently has 92 of them) and Resig says they're rarely mean-spirited. They interact in real life too, recognizing each other by the site's popular slogan-ed T-shirts. "The battle cry is 'Keep Calm and Chive On,'" he says. "Don't stress too much, don't sweat the douchebags, just stay the course."

Adds Resig, "People who don't understand theCHIVE will say it's funny pictures and sexy girls. I say, 'Go on the site for three days and tell me if that's what you think.' We don't post nudity and I will always stick to the idea that there's nothing wrong with cleavage."

Continue reading for more on how theCHIVE started, and its future.
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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar

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