“Dashing through the snow”

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By: Raquel Williams

Clarksdale, Ms. – Ryan Shaw is homegrown and has a soft spot for those in need. Unusually low temps and the dangers of being out on the icy roadways prompted this civil servant to act on an idea that took off like wildfire. Ryan and his friend, Vernon Saffold, started a local social media phenomenon and called it “Shaw Dash.” We are all familiar with delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash; well, Ryan’s story is quirky and full of fun if you follow his commercials on Facebook.

When asked what made him decide to risk his own safety for others, he humbly replied, “I honestly thought of a ‘Do Boy’ concierge-type service for all errands. I thought of this months ago. I said to myself, Clarksdale needs this. I gave an elderly woman a ride to church by mistake months ago. That’s what sparked the thought. Shaw Dash came about from just sitting around being bored, and I wanted something to do. The fact that there was ice on the ground just made me take advantage of the opportunity. I second-guessed myself, worrying what others would think. Then I just posted it on Facebook; a person commented, told me to do a video, and it took off after that. I’m really just thankful that people would trust me to help them.”

Shaw Dash has gotten rave reviews from all ages on social media, and Ryan has been busy all week. Clarksdale is a small town, and people thrive off of word of mouth. With temperatures steadily rising and falling, the roads are an unreliable mess. Black ice, white ice, and inexperienced drivers make for the worst driving conditions. Ryan assures those who call him with constant contact and transparency.

Ryan’s grandmother is Ora Shaw, who raised him in St. James Temple. His grandfather was a past school board president and has the school in Riverton named after him: Thomas E. Shaw Jr. School of Excellence. With a spiritual and educational foundation, he is no stranger to morals and values. Being the son of a retired police officer, he has a history full of community service and a 12-year background in the Army Reserve, Former Fireman/EMT in Starkville and Southaven. Even though he has no biological children, he has no reservation about being part of the village.

Quiet as it’s kept, his Aunt Michelle was very influential in his life. A part of his personality that people love the most, he claims he got from her. He refers to his mother as a very strong alpha woman because she would encourage and push him to be a better man! Ryan accounts that his father always took him everywhere with him, which caused him to develop a charismatic personality and a helpful spirit.

During our short interview, I wanted him to share what he wanted the citizens to know about him, and Ryan declared, “Of course, GOD. Over the past year, GOD has put me in positions to realize that love is the way of life. So I’m just taking advantage of the love that people give me by trying to be a positive influence. Hopefully, that trend will become cool, and the youngsters will stop killing each other and love on each other.”

My curiosity about the driving force behind him pushed me to probe about the wind beneath his wings, which he boldly shared that his significant other has been his backbone. “We came into each other’s lives as a surprise, and she has pushed me to be what you see today. She stays on me tough, and I cannot show my appreciation enough. I really do thank God, and things do happen for a reason. Why? I just was in the spirit to help. Eager to give back to my community. It’s a passion of mine to see Clarksdale as a safe and welcoming place for others to come. Clarksdale has always been home to me.”

During the midst of ice, inconvenience, and inactivity, a guy and his Facebook profile have added humor to timelines, faith in humanity, and warmth to people’s hearts.

Unconventional Services Offered 
Grocery Shopping & Delivery
Rideshare-pick up, wait and drop off
Triple A services- battery boost
Take & sit with boys at the barbershop for the single moms

Picture provided by Ryan Shaw: Ryan Shaw provides delivery and pick up services to Coahoma County residents.

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