Avett Brothers fans show support worldwide

By BETH BUCH,

The Avett Brothers are a favorite of Jenny Maul. 

Her favorite lyrics are from their song, Down with the Shine –

 “I would voice my pain, but the change wouldn’t last. All that comes, it comes here to pass.”

So it should come as no surprise that Avett Brothers fans are doing what they can to support the Maul family following Jenny’s devastating car accident on Saturday.

Michael Ganz of Houston, Texas, is one of five administrators of a Facebook group for fans of The Avett Brothers called “Rejects in the Attic,” named after one of the Avett’s songs. The group was formed in January 2015 and has approximately 2,200 members in 49 states, and several other countries.

“We refer to each other, affectionately, as “Rejects,” said Ganz Tuesday night. “The group’s members are quite close. We support each other. We care for each other. We celebrate each other’s victories and are there for each other when tragedies happen. We’ve done it time and time again. It’s just what we do. Being fans of The Avett Brothers is a big reason why we behave this way. The message in their music is engrained in us – “We came to leave behind the world a better way.”

Enter The Maul Family.

On Saturday, Ganz said he became aware of the car accident that Chris Maul’s wife and children were in. 

“I shared the information in our group, asking for prayers/mojo/support, which were needed for ‘one of our own.’”

According to Ganz, The Rejects took it from there. 

“Almost instantaneously, the post was bombarded with people asking, ‘What can we do to help?’” 

A Wisconsin Avett fan was one of those people. (And yes, Brett Favre’s autographed portrait may just hang on her basement wall).

She describes the closed groups as “bound by love for The Avett Brothers, but it has turned into so much more than that.”

“Their music professes love for each other, and leaving behind the world a better way (See lyrics to Salvation Song),” she said. “This group takes that to heart. There are innumerable examples of members coming together to support each other through trials and triumphs, whether that be emotional support, financial support, small gifts to lift one another’s mood, offering a place to stay or transportation when convening in a city for a concert, etc.

She describes it as a beautiful community of people, a combination of those who have met and those who never will. 

“I chose to support (the Mauls) for a few reasons. I was moved by the story. I am a physical therapist and formerly worked in inpatient rehab with trauma patients like Jenny - I know the journey their family has ahead of them.”

The fan now works with children and can sympathize with what the Maul kids are going through, suffering this trauma alongside their mom.

 “I have a friend whose kids have been through the same when their car wreck left their mom a paraplegic. I have never met Chris and Jenny. I only recall a couple of posts that Chris was on when their daughter met a member of the band. But I gave, a little, because I can and because this group has been so good to me. 

“We all have a story of what this group of people and what this band means to us, and I am no exception. It feels good to help in whatever small way I can.”

Ganz said the decision was made to send donations directly to Chris, via PayPal, to help offset whatever costs he was about to incur. Later, after working out the details with the hospital, an account was also set up with the cafeteria, so that the family wouldn’t have to pay for meals while there. 

“There were also, of course, countless prayers made, and copious amounts of mojo sent,” Ganz said. “I don’t know how much has been raised to date, but I do know from where it came. Chris asked if there was a way to track that information, so that he could show Jenny, Charlie and Ruby someday.”

A map was created, where members could check in when they donated. Donations have come from as far away as Amsterdam, Newfoundland and Sheffield in the United Kingdom. In the United States, donations have been received from Alaska, Green Bay, Wisc., Norman, Okla., throughout California, Washington, Massachusetts, New York and the list goes on and on.

One of those donating was The Avetts’ manager, Dolph Remseur, who has also been in touch with Chris. The Love in Our Hearts map shows 362 views.

Read more about the Mauls' Saving Grace.