Well, you are probably wondering why you haven't seen anything from us in a few months regarding the house project. There is a reason for that"¦ and it is NOT good...
Our general contractor (GC), Ranger Construction, walked off of our project in mid-February. We have paid Ranger 98% of our contract for a job that is, at-best, 60% complete, and Ranger has failed to deliver thousands of dollars in paid-for materials. Why did Ranger decide to do this to our family? We're not entirely certain, but we know they made the decision immediately after learning that they were not going to be able to get a tax write-off for the "discount" they were giving us on the project. Apparently, despite knowing that the money to fund the project was coming from the GoFundMe campaign, Ranger thought they could get a receipt from the Chive Charities that would permit them to take a tax benefit from "discounting" the cost of the project. In any event, at the end of Valentines' Day week, Ranger walked off the project, got a lawyer involved, and told us that they would not come back to the project unless "we restructured our agreement."
Under attack by Ranger, we had to go get counsel for ourselves. Unfortunately, we didn't know how we would be able to afford it. Fortunately, one of our best friends is a lawyer, who now lives in Florida, and he put us in contact with a partner at his old firm Clark Hill (Jordan), and told him about our story and what was happening. Jordan and Stu at Clark Hill agreed to take our case pro bono! This was a miracle in itself, as we certainly didn't have the money to pay for a lawyer to defend our interests, while trying to finish our house project so we might eventually return home, especially considering that Ranger took nearly all of the money we had set aside for the project.
So, back to the house. February essentially saw no work on the house, except that done by us. We got a new contractor who graciously helped us during the drywall party and is now helping us resurrect the project as best we can. We are finishing the process of determining what materials are still needed, what work is still not completed, and (even worse) what work was done incorrectly. As if this story is not enraging enough, the list of items not done correctly is significant and will need to be fixed, on top of everything else. This included having Ranger complete Griffin's handicapped-accessible bathroom!
So here is where we are"¦
Ranger has nearly all of our construction money, has refused to continue working on the project, has not completed a large portion of the job or delivered a significant amount of materials we already paid for, and has done a lot of things wrong or poorly in the house that will need to be fixed. Making matters worse, since we paid Ranger all of the GoFundMe money we had, we do not have enough money to complete the work to get back into the house. We took out a loan to complete the work that we were originally responsible for and what we have left is tens of thousands of dollars short of how much we need to complete all the work. What this means is that essentially Ranger has now taken our house from us as well.
As you may be able to imagine, we are having trouble, because we can't keep our minds from dwelling on this nightmare. Neither of us has been able to sleep well, and both of us are incredibly stressed. In fact, Krissy recently said she is "no longer happy, because all she can think about all day and night is how Ranger has destroyed what was supposed to be our dream for our family." All I could do was hug her and nod in agreement.
While we are looking at our legal options and trying to mitigate our damages, the important thing is to get our family back into our home as soon as possible, and right now we simply can't do that. We have been trying our best to KCCO for a couple months now, but as you can imagine having the dream that all of you handed to us last Spring taken away by the very company we hired to build it is pushing us beyond our limits. So sorry to share such sad news, but we wanted to share with all of you what has been going on. Hopefully, our luck will turn, and we'll be able to get our family in to the house soon"¦
- Heston & Krissy
For those that were curious how things were going and were not following the Team Griffin Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/jointeamgriffin
), we are nearing completion of the rough portion of the construction of the addition. Outstanding issues left include windows and doors being installed, insulation, and siding. After those we move to the drywall, flooring, painting, and bathrooms. We are estimating being all done sometime in February or possibly into March. We are very excited and can't wait to finally have the house that all of you have given to us! =)
You bet Melissa! I had created a Facebook page to keep people updated on Griffer related items here - https://www.facebook.com/jointeamgriffin.
We have been looking at buying houses but have had not a lot of luck between finding one that meets our needs, is within school districts that keep Griffin in the same program, and staying near Krissy's parents. That said we are still looking, but we have also started looking into expansion of the existing house. We are working with an architect to come up with plans and costs to see how that could work. We are pretty excited and between the two options we are pretty confident we will a concrete plan soon! =)
I spent about four hours going back through 5600 posts and donations as I missed a lot of them, especially early on as they flew by. I wanted to see every single name and message. I saw posts from all over the US, but also from many nations including England, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Afghanistan, Peru, Australia, Canada, Norway, France, the Netherlands, and of course the Chive Nation! The variety of people was just as diverse including 'Bill F@#%ing Murray, a ninja, and Captain Morgan, lol! I also saw people who donated more than once, children who opened their piggy banks, a girl who sent in her birthday money, parents of special needs children, a disabled veteran, and those who were in tight financial situations. I saw brave men and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. I even saw two Mounties from our neighbors to the north. And last and certainly not least, I saw people inspired by Griffin to also donate to the Chive Charity and that was fantastic. All these touched us, made us laugh, made us cry, and gave us joy and excitement for the next grantee who's life is changed by the folks at the Chive, the Chive Charity, and the Chivers! Thank you all!!!
I wanted to once again say a heart-felt thank you to every single one of you. Here is a pic of Griffin in his gait trainer doing his Freddie Mercury! =)
G'morning everyone. Here is a pic for you to see how Griffer is doing this morning. We love you all. Thanks for the t-shirt Preston!
I just got home from work and have read a ton more of the posts. I find myself felling many things, most of which is shock and awe, at the staggering power of the human spirit and particularly how many people have commented on how this story and little Griffer have renewed THEIR faith in humanity. I am just as renewed and feel a deep-rooted sense of gratitude, and a bit of guilt, that I am getting more than a ludicrous volume of donations :) from so many amazing Chivers. And trust me, as a years-long Chiver myself, if you are a part of this story now and didn't necessarily come here via the Chive, you ARE a Chiver and part of a group of people that can do anything. KCCO!!
The love and generosity is still in the overwhelming category for us! Again thank you to everyone! =) I setup a Facebook page for Griffer that we will use to let all his new friends know how he is doing over the next days and months at
I am off to work this morning, but did want to check in real quick and say:
Sweet dreams Chivers. Thank you to every single one of you for changing our lives forever in a matter of hours. =)
100k! As I have told a lot of people today, I am running low on ways to express our gratitude so I will post the pic that Preston from Suburban sent me a minute ago. Thank you everyone!!
Here is a pic of Griffin and how happy all of you are making him!
We are still glued to the laptop watching all of you amazing people and in awe of your generosity! Thank you to everyone! Here is a little pic I whipped up.
Janice Mercieri , the comments are whizzing by so fast I can read one in ten, but I did catch yours and recognized the name immediately. Thanks so much for the kind words, ones we are mimicing about every 30 seconds here in the living room. =) Say hi to Gina for us!! =)
OMG 100% in 44 minutes! We are speechless...
My numerology buddy Marty would say your donation bringing us to 3.33% of our goal and us having three triplets means all the planets have aligned or something else astrological, lol. =) Thanks again Chive!
Griffin loves The Chive and Chive Charities!