Linley and Bryson

If you’ve read my blog or followed me on social media for some time, you may know that each year I dedicate my birthday to raising money for cancer non-profit Grind for Life. This past birthday, December 2021, I sat out the fundraiser because we’d just lost my mother-in-law to lung cancer. But just a few weeks later I’ve found new motivation to fundraise again. This time, to help my friend Linley Hollywood of Chattanooga’s Your Local Seitanist travel to see to her son while putting her business on hold for a month.

In the handful of years I’ve known Linley, I’ve come to admire her huge heart and endless generosity so much. At the beginning of the pandemic when so many were facing food scarcity, she raised funds, and spent quite a bit of her own money to make huge grocery runs to open her own free community pantry. When a manufacturing facility in North Carolina suddenly closed, leaving employees without their vacation pay or benefits, she personally sponsored a number of them and helped others to find folks who could sponsor them too. Linley uses her talent and creativity to turn vegan chicken and biscuits into a lifeline for other people whenever she can. 

So now it’s time for us to help the woman who helps everyone else. Linley’s 12-year-old son Bryson has rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that forms in the soft tissue. This type of cancer tends to spread, as it has in Bryson’s case. Side effects form the cancer itself can be quite severe and painful, and we’re all familiar with the side effects of chemotherapy. It’s taxing on otherwise strong adults, and absolutely exhausting for a growing child. Bryson lives in Florida, while Linley and her business, Your Local Seitanist, are in Tennessee She’s made the long trek several times, each time having to close her business to do so. COVID has been especially tough on independent restaurants like hers, and despite the struggles Linley has managed to keep a small team employed. Closing her shop would mean not paying her staff, and losing out on revenue that they need to pay rent. It’s a choice no parent should have to make – your child or your livelihood and that of the folks who depend on you. Please help us to raise the funds necessary to cover rent, and to pay Linley’s loyal staff, so she can close up for a bit and be with her son.

We’re hoping to raise $5,600 to cover payroll, utilities, and rent for one month. If you can donate, please do. And if you can’t, sharing this fundraiser would help enormously, too.

About the Prizes 
I’m pausing prize donations at this point and will be choosing winners on Friday, Jan. 28th. Thank you to all our donors – please check out their sites and give them a follow on social media! Update: Winners have been chosen & contacted, names below unless anonymous donors.

– A variety pack of vegan products such as Ch’eesy Mac, canned soups, Jackfruit, and free item coupons for Seitan and Updogs from Upton’s Naturals    Anon

– A Nooch crewneck sweatshirt  in your choice of size from Herbivore Clothing Jennifer Y.

– A copy of “Vegan Yack Attack On The Go!”  by Jackie Sobon Mohammad Ali K

– A tote bag  from Vaca’s Vegan Creamery Amy T.

– One vegan Jerky of the Month  package (2 x 6oz vegan jerky) from Herbivorous Butcher Kristen G.

– A unisex medium Richard Minino-designed Golden Dinosaurs shirt (VNM 2.0 Gold on Black) from Golden  Dinosaurs Cassandra P.

– An autographed copy of Think Like a Vegan  by Emilia A. Leese and Eva J. Charalambides Anon.

– Two winners will each receive the full collection of The Vegan Roadie Cookbooks (3 books each winner) from Dustin Harder Elizabeth C. & Corey E.

– A prize bundle including a t-shirt, sticker pack, a patch, and buttons from Rock Roll Repeat Ashley L.

– A “Nah Dogs Nah Masters ” t-shirt from Nah Dogs Anon.

– Chicago offer: A $50 gift card to Sundae Stop for homemade ice cream and other treats (vegan options available). Charles A.

  • Chattanooga offer: A $25 gift card to Lupi’s Pizza Pies (vegan options available). Virginia M.

Donate here, and if you can’t donate, a share would help a lot too!