Our story: In 2011 when we were put into foreclosure, and our story first aired across the State (and in some cases, country!) in two major newspapers. That is when many of you first heard about us. We were a lobster fisherman's family in Maine, who'd just overcome a high-risk pregnancy (unfortunately a premature birth as an outcome) and then had a new baby who'd spent weeks in the NICU. On top of that we were in a colapsing lobster industry and profession. Our house was in foreclosure, we had to sell our boat to get out of a very expensive boat payment, and we were at rock bottom. That is when YOU first asked if you could help us.
We really wanted to just help ourselves, so when donations came in voluntarily from SO MANY great and caring people, I gave them all back. That was the year Mother Shuckers was born. A business I created as a stay-at-home mom whose initial plan was to shuck clams and sell her husband's lobster catch. I'd sell direct to the customer saving YOU money and helping US save our livlihood. We instantly got the support from our community, our friends, our families and perfect strangers from across the country. A new business was born out of a hardship!
If you've ever been here, you'd know we refuse tips and we don't accept donations. This was OUR hole, and we wanted to dig ourselves out by working our way out. Many of you have been chased out the Lobster Shack doors with the change I owed you from your purchase as you'd attempted to say "keep the change." I didn't WANT your tips, I simply asked everyone to buy lobsters from us, and THAT was all the help we needed. We were doing it, and that year we saved our house, things were looking up! I felt great...
However, running a business without any business loans, any bankers help, and any other help can be more costly than it seems. Everything we do, we do with our own hard-earned money. After our near-foreclosure, our credit score dropped and banks could no longer invest themselves in us. Call us naive, but we thought we could easily keep this business going on our own. It proves to be a struggle for us in this already-struggling economy. But we push forward, and we work hard every day to keep this boat afloat. We've been open for three years this season! We are grateful in so many ways. Thank you to all who've given us their business and their support... we appreciate you so much!
However, this year, the winter in Maine was very harsh. More harsh than years past that I can remember. We found out this Spring that it's going to be quite costly for us to get back to work, and well, I just don't have any extra money saved for added expenses that we hadn't planned on. It's either pay my house payments, or get my business up and running. I fear without a push, we'll go backwards, not forwards.
What I plan to do with all donations? Just keep going forward. I have a business to support now, and the business supports our family. We don't go on fancy vacations, we don't spend unnessesary money. I have many ideas for Mother Shuckers and great long term plans that will take years to accomplish. I want to eventually have a live lobster tank here, which would make it easier to keep more lobsters on hand. I would like to help Chad keep good traps to fish, because without good traps, we can't catch good lobsters. I plan do use every nickel of it for our business, and our lobster fishing profession. You won't see a penny wasted. It will all be put to great use! And we can really use your help NOW to help this business (which is begging to thrive) succeed!
I don't expect ANYONE to feel obligated to help us. This isn't an emergency, and this isn't a life-or-death situation. You might need the help yourself in a more urgent way or can't afford to help someone else right now. I want to tell you that that's okay. I think many people are holding on tight through this time in our lives and I know we're not alone. Someone you know might be in a worst situation, and to that I'd say "help them, not me" as I'm a giver, not a taker. I'd help anyone who needed it if I was approached, and have done so. However, if you can find it in your heart, and in your OWN finances to help us, we could certainly use it, and we'd gladly appreciate every nickel donation you gave. I think I've got a good life, and a good thing going here. I'm grateful for everything we have. Thank you for your consideration to our fund, and if you are able to donate, know that I consider it a blessing to us and trust me, it will be a BIG help. Just like every lobster we sell is a big deal to us, every penny given to help us keep going strong will be a great deal too. No donation is too small! Help to better our business and keep us afloat! Someday we'll pay it forward... you can count on it.
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