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  • Writer's pictureJoe Riley

Inner Visions Tattoo Hurricane Harvey Donation Drive in Las Vegas

best tattoo shops in las vegas, inner visions tattoo

This last week I had the chance to do one of the most challenging things I've ever set out to do to help others in need. Sunday night on the drive back from the Hell City Tattoo Convention in Phoenix I was struck with the idea to do a donation drive at Inner Visions Tattoo. I didn't get home until 2am that night, but Monday morning I woke up and put my ideas into action.

The first thing I did was put a couple of posts up on Facebook about the donation drive we were doing to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I'm not sure how many shares that post got but I know its in the hundreds. The media caught wind of the donation drive, and on Monday night Inner Visions Tattoo made the 6:00 News on Channel 3 and the donations started rolling in! By Tuesday, the Las Vegas Review Journal contacted us and wanted to run a story as well.

With all the media attention, donations started flooding in and I knew I was in over my head. Luckily, a woman named Robin seen the news and contacted me to volunteer. She had worked on similar projects for Hurricane Katrina in the past and really helped coordinate everything. What I originally thought would be a handful of boxes that I could ship to Houston quickly became more than I could handle on my own and I knew that I had to reach out for more help.

When the weekend hit, I emailed Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos. Their headquarters is located in Las Vegas and I know Tony has done a lot to help the community and is a very helpful guy. The only problem was that it was a 3 day weekend and I knew I wouldn't get a response until Tuesday if at all. Over the weekend, the donations kept rolling in. All the while I was tattooing my regularly scheduled appointments and every time I looked up, somebody new was dropping off truckloads of stuff. By Saturday, the shop was packed. The only clear spaces were in the lobby and my tattoo station. There were bags of clothes, diapers, water, dog food. You name it and it was there! The people of Las Vegas really stepped up to help out!

By Sunday Channel 3 News came back to do a follow up story and they were even amazed at the amount of donations that had come in. Luckily, Walmart was nice enough to donate all of their used boxes and packing tape so we could get everything separated and boxed up. Other volunteers stepped up to help out with that part too. Complete strangers were coming together to help people they've never met, and that was a great gift of humanity to witness.

On Monday, the last of the donations trickled in, and we worked hard on getting everything boxed and ready to ship. The only problem was that we didn't know how we were going to get it to the people who needed it the most. I have to admit that a little bit of fear set in, looking at the shop, stacked with wall to wall boxes and wondering what I was going to do, and what if I was stuck with all of this stuff that was supposed to get to Houston to help the flood victims.

On Tuesday, when I got to the shop, I checked my email and Tony Hsieh from Zappos had responded and left the name and number of someone from Zappos to contact. I made the call and within an hour they showed up with a truck to pick up the donations. It took two truckloads plus a bus to get all the boxes out of the shop. Tony and Zappos really stepped up. They even started their own donation drive for Houston and are shipping our donations along with theirs. I'd like to thank everyone who stepped up, from those who dropped off donations, those who volunteered, and definitely to Tony Hsieh for taking care of the shipping!

Things are back to normal now at Inner Visions Tattoo in Las Vegas and as always, we are ready to take care of all of your custom tattoo needs!

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