I don't even know where to begin. This will be quite long because not everyone knows me or my situation, and background is important so you know why I'm asking for help. But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read this in its entirety so you know exactly where I'm coming from and what I am asking for. Because I'm ***NOT*** looking to be supported by others. What I need is a hand UP so I can get out of this hole.
I need help. I hate having to admit this, but I really do. I've been lucky enough to have generous friends and strangers help me with the Mercy for Beni campaign, etc., but I'm still in the deepest hole I've ever been in and I can't claw my way out of it on my own. That's always my goal, to do things by myself so I don't have to feel guilty about accepting help or having to repay someone, because I HATE having to ask for help for ANYTHING, especially money, and especially lately (because I just asked for Beni, but that was my son and he needed for his suffering to end).
But sometimes you have to admit that you can't do it all alone.
Here's the deal: I'm currently unemployed and desperately need some kind of income, but what I need even MORE desperately is a way to fund my job hunt in the first place! While I do earn revenue from my blog, it's nowhere NEAR enough money for anyone to live on, and only disbursed once a month, making it difficult to pay anything anyway. On average, I only get about $150/month from the networks I work with. That's it. That's what I'm living on. That is the ONLY steady income I have right now. I don't have credit cards to go into further debt with, or family that can help me (my mom is in an equally precarious situation, and she's 70, which makes things worse). Anything else I end up with throughout the month comes from random reader donations to the blog, or from selling recyclables. That's it.
I was getting unemployment benefits and then there was an issue with how I filled out a form, so now I'm pending state disability interview determination. Without the money to even go visit my doctor (because the county has yet to process my MediCal application), I don't have a chance of even getting that. So my only choice is to find a job that will work with my health issues, or try to find something from home. I've looked a LOT for telecommuting opportunities, but many of them have huge waiting lists (for transcription), or just don't get back to you at all. So when it comes to that, I AM trying. (Oh, and because of the up-in-the-air status with EDD, I am considered ineligible for SNAP benefits (food stamps), a lovely little thing I just found out about. Nice of the system to kick you when you're really down.)
Because all I have to work with is $150/month and the Dept. of Human Assistance won't assist this human due to the EDD's shenanigans, I am in a really difficult spot when it comes to trying to even GET a job. I don't have a car, so I take public transit. A monthly transit pass costs $100. I used to get the semi-monthly pass (at $50 2x/month), but even those aren't an option because again... there goes 2/3rds of the only steady income I have. Since I'm not working and not really going anywhere, I haven't been able to justify buying one for the past few months. Unfortunately, without a pass, I'm unable to get to the interviews that I'm starting to get. A daily pass is $6, and I don't always have that available in cash. A monthly pass is desperately needed in order for me to get around and find/go to work.
Other things I need in order to effectively job hunt/survive: a phone that is actually on and has minutes I can use. If I'm sending out resumes and a company wants to interview me, I definitely need to have a phone that I can count on (my device itself sucks, but I'll replace that some other time once I have a job). Some of my friends have been super sweet and have helped me out with that a few times, but I can't always be begging for phone money. It's embarrassing (trust me, it's killing me to have to write this at all). BUT... I need a working phone line so I can get the call from the job that will hire me so I can get a paycheck to pay for my own damn phone. :)
Electricity & internet: Yes, I can go to a library or a coffee shop and steal their wi-fi. But when I get home, what happens? How do I charge my phone so that the jobs can call me? How do I continue the job hunt from here when the library is closed or I'm sick and unable to walk to a coffee shop because the pain is so bad? Not to mention... how do I get everything turned back on if it gets shut off and my ENTIRE past due bill becomes due? I need to be able to pay according to the arrangements that have been made so I don't end up in an even DEEPER hole that will require MORE money to get out of.
Interview/work clothes: Over the past couple of years, I've worked hard to lose a lot of the weight that my hypothyroidism and PHN/shingles made so easy to put and keep on my body. I feel (and look) a LOT better, but that means most of my wardrobe is gone. I have a couple of things I can wear to interviews, but almost everything that was too big has been donated to charity. I have absolutely NO problem going to a thrift store to get new interview clothes and shoes (though I do dream of the day when I can buy new clothes again), but again... that still requires money. My current wardrobe is made up of jeans, yoga pants, shorts, and plenty of tee-shirts: great for working/writing from home, but not so much for the office.
The only thing I'm not including in my fundraising goal amount is my rent, even though that's what I need help with the most. Why? Because I'm backed up and that would make the goal amount TOO big, and I'm afraid no one would want to donate. The only reason I'm trying so hard to get a job even though I'm sick is just to keep a roof over my head. That's it. (And no, living with my mom isn't an option, as that would take even MORE money to get her out of a studio and get me back to the Bay Area.) I am a writer with a great reader base, new fans coming on board everyday, and SOOOO much more to give. I have several projects I want to launch in relation to my blog and the new blog I'm working on, things that can help me become financially stable again. Unfortunately, those things not only require money to get off the ground (amazing how huge $40 seems when you don't have it), and the stability of having a roof over my head.
All I want is help getting back on my feet. I don't need a complete bailout (though that would be very helpful), just a way to function somewhat normally again. Access to transportation, rent and utilities paid on time and in full, and food on the table are all I'm looking to have again, which is why I need a steady income. I need a bump so I can get to the point where I can job hunt properly. I don't need to be rolling in it, I don't need to go on wild shopping sprees; I still have hope that someday my life will be better and I can afford to do and have enjoyable things in the future. I just need a way to survive right now, and without help, I'm slowly sinking to a point where I might not be able to. All I need is to have my phone, electricity, and internet (and of course, rent, but that's a pipe dream) ON for the next 2-3 months so I KNOW I have a way to get a job. I'll have find a way to figure out what to do about rent, but hopefully a job will help that. Leads to legitimate things I can do from home that will pay me a living wage are also greatly appreciated, as itwould help me immensely health-wise to work from home.
In short, all I want is a hand UP, not a hand OUT. Once I have regular income that can support my basic needs, I have NO problem bailing myself out of everything else, because I'm good at that and pride myself in being independent. It's just that right now, with everything that has happened and all that has been taken from me, I need a boost to get back to that point. I just want to feel somewhat normal again. Being able to have a job and a roof over my head will do wonders in that department.
Thank you for taking the time to read this novella.
PS - the wish list is for gift cards of ANY denomination and doesn't just have to be for Target or Trader Joe's. Goodwill gift cards would also come in handy for interview clothes shopping! :)