Ashleys Car Smashed In Hit And Run

Hi, thanks for coming here. This campaign is to raise money to buy me a car since the car I have had for several years just died and then the replacement car that was gifted to me was smashed and totaled in a hit and run accident after having it for only two days. I only have liability insurance and having a car is very important for me. I am a single mother and a baker/cake decorator and a ceramic artist. All of those things require me to drive and deliver things to various places. For those of you who don't know me very well and would like to know more, let me tell you. There are a lot of things I have always loved. One of them is driving in cars. Whenever I was feeling impulsive or sad when I was young, my dad would take me on drives. I learned how to drive when I was 14, and have been trying to do it as often as possible since then. It wasn't until I became a single mother when I was a teenager that I got my own car. That car made life possible. I took my daughter to the babysitter and I delivered pizza and whenever I felt trapped (which was often) I would just drive around. I have always and will always offer all the rides, know the best routes, plan the camping trips and road trips, and I can drive all night and never get sick of it. Having a car is so important. Not just for my own mental health but because I need to transport cakes and donuts and bread 5 days a week. I also transport boxes of fragile ceramics back and forth to the ceramics studio each month. I have had a long string of cars, all of which I was the last owner of. A few of them were my mom's old cars that she would sell me on a repayment plan. She always had shitty old cars too. The last car I bought was in 2015. A black Honda Civic. It was the nicest car I have ever owned, even though it was 10 years old. The first person I picked up in the car was Ara Jo. I decided then to name the car Cara Jo. This car took us on so many amazing trips. I drove it up and down California and to Oregon a few times. We camped out of it and drove it on long stretches of dirt roads leading to breathtaking views. In the time that I have had this car lots of bad things happened in my personal life. In the past few years I have felt so much pain, and a lot of tears were shed in that car. My mom has early onset Alzheimer's and it had progressed a lot in the past two years. I drove that car to see my mom so many times and just poured tears into it. That car was my friend more than any car has ever been. Appropriate that it was named after one of the best friends I have ever had, Ara. For those of you who don't know Ara, I'm sorry for you. She was the most amazing person and friend. She died along with lots of other beloved people in the Ghostship Fire. After losing Ara I struggled with grief for many many months. My mom is still getting worse and my teenaged daughter causes me immeasurable heartache. Once when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed I drove Cara Jo to Southern California because I just wanted to hug my mom. I got there right before sunset and she didn't remember me that time. I poured more tears into the car. The hospital my mom was living at was next door to the cemetery where Ara is buried. I ran to her grave and cried for her. That car, my friend, took me there and I always felt better sitting in that car. Another close friend of mine died and I was able to make it to her funeral on short notice because I had my car. I loved that car. In June my car got broken in to. They stole the stereo, all my makeup, some clothing, my personal journal that I had written all my heartbreak in for three years, and my passport two days before I was about to go to an island off the coast of Nicaragua. I was able to figure that out, and I went to the island (the trip was a gift I received for helping a friend). I came back feeling better than I had in a long, long time. I was determined to shake off the sadness that was taking over my life. I wasn't even going to let it bother me that my car had been broken in to. Then it started making a noise. I took it to a mechanic and he told me that my car was unfixable and basically the engine is breaking. With my renewed positivity I told myself something would come along and I would get another car. Days later a friend of mine told me about a friend of hers that was wanting to give away a car to someone in need. I wrote him an email, and he gave me the car. He was the sweetest person too, insisted on paying for the registration and insisted that I get insurance right away because you never know when a freak accident is going to happen. Two days later an unidentified white suburban smashed into my car. The new car. That I had had for two days. The impact made my car hit another car (also lots of damage to that car) and then that car hit another car. Then they drove away. The witnesses told me there were two white women in the car and that they didn't even use the brakes, just ran right into my car. Then backed out, and drove away. So now again, I have no car. And I need one. Please help if you can! I feels so terrible that I have lost some of my newly found happiness. But, I can still get it back. I believe that if I keep working hard and trying to be a good person and create as much as possible that I will be able to repay you all one day. Good stuff is going to happen for me soon. Thank you for reading. And thank you to all of you who have been my friend, I wouldn't be here without you.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Ashley Shotwell 
Berkeley, CA
Joanna Morrison 
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