In tumultuous times, Mr. Rogers famously recounted a story about his mother. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
Sometimes the helpers come in the most unexpected packages, like in the form of a bristly bar doorman.
If you've ever been to Tower Bar, Soda Bar or the Til-Two Club in San Diego, chances are at some point Ryan Foxe was working security, asking for your ID, all while throwing in a little wisecrack or snarky comment just for good measure. Foxe is also the legendary frontman of bands like Fishwife, Ghetto Blaster and the Grids, known for his wild stage antics, boundless energy, karate high-kicks and some nudity from time to time, for good measure.
Music. Community. Culture.
But what people really need to know about Foxe is that he is a kind and generous person and a beloved figure of the San Diego music scene.
And, he is, truly, one of the helpers.
The same guy who wrote in a December Facebook post, “'Be Good, for Goodness Sake.' That’s not really much of an incentive,” is the same guy who posted on March 29, “If you are sick and in San Diego, PM me and I’ll get you what you need, to get you through it.” Like a little hedgehog, Foxe maintains that prickly persona while showing his truly sensitive insides.
Even before state quarantine guidelines were issued, Foxe was collecting goods. Not to hoard but to distribute among friends and family, and even strangers, who were struggling and in need; those with compromised health, people who live alone, people who lost work in the underground economy and may not otherwise qualify for immediate aid or assistance.
"I started reaching out to them and saying 'Hey, what do you need?' you know, I mean I will get it for you because I know there's a lot of people here in San Diego that are transplants that don't have family," Foxe said.
Foxe has used his own money and donations to purchase items like Tylenol, gloves, facial coverings, Emergen-C, Immodium AD, probiotics, thermometers and other items, noting that prices have been 'jacked-up.'
“I guess there is comfort in the fact the capitalism is still alive during a crisis,” he posted to Facebook earlier this week. “I’ve been on quite a crusade since the COVID-19 crisis hit. Since March 11, I’ve been delivering care packages to various people. I’ve had nothing but success stories. Granted, I play a small part in their recovery, but it is rather satisfying to hear that they are recuperating.”
Foxe said his days were soon filled with grocery store runs, pharmacy stops -- any request, big or small, he doesn't' ask questions. He just takes orders and delivers what is needed.
Others have taken notice and have donated funds to help his "crusade."
Local musician Grampadrew shared on Facebook about Foxe's efforts: “If you need it, he'll find it and deliver to your porch, no questions asked, no payment required. He's doing all this with his own money in utter disregard to his own financial health while putting his physical health on the line as well. He is obeying all the ethical and safety protocols he can.... He doesn't buy PPE that should go to medical professionals but anything else you need, he'll find it and deliver it.”
Foxe is just one dude. He's got a car, he's got time, he's got some know-how when it comes to acquiring goods, and most of all, he's got a big heart and is helping out San Diegans, one at a time, as best as he can.