Heather and I have been friends for 20 years. We met our freshman year of college and have been close ever since, even when life took us to different states.
We've visited each other, helped each other through our kids' various illnesses, made homemade gifts for the holidays when money was tight, listened and encouraged through lost jobs and unexpected car repairs, and comforted each other when loved ones died. Her kids (especially Alli, who is the same age) loved Elli as much as we did, I think. They still remember her birthday.
Heather always seems to know when to send a hilarious card or a heartfelt note, and we look forward to twice-a-year meet-ups.
Three years ago, everything was looking really good. Her husband, Dave, was assistant principal at a school, and they had bought their first house. With 4 bedrooms and a yard, they had space for their 6 kids, plus the ability to take in her brother when a roommate situation went sour and he needed a place to stay.
But it all began to crumble when Dave lost his job. It took almost 2 1/2 years for him to find another full-time position, while he and Heather worked jobs wherever they could find them (usually minimum wage or a few cents more). They tried to keep life as stable as possible for the kids. In spite of scrimping and pinching and stretching their dollars far better than I could ever dream of doing (Heather is a whiz at maximizing WIC and SNAP while working around her kids' health issues), they lost their house last fall.
It isn't easy to find a home that will work for 8, but they managed. In October, they moved into a rental house. And in November, Dave started a new job managing a home for adults with special needs, helping them live independently. It's the kind of place we would have loved to see Elli move to, if she'd lived into her twenties. His salary is quite a bit lower than the principal's job, so after benefits and taxes, they are still barely making it. But it's a job, and it looked like they might finally be able to climb out of the hole they've been in for the last 3 years.
Until they got the news that their landlord is selling the house and needs them out of the house in 30 days. They can't get a loan to buy it (modest 4-bedroom homes run around $130,000 where they live in northern Indiana) because they haven't had enough stable time. Finding a new place to live and moving again 7 months after the last move is a crushing blow. Heather is terrified that they could become homeless, and worried about how another move could disrupt the medical care her kids need.
Let's help this beautiful family get back on their feet. Help me raise the 20% down-payment they need and get them into a house. We have until June 8 to keep them from losing their home.
Thank you so much for reading, and for thinking about how you can help. None of us gets through life without a little help now and then. No gift is too small -- every little bit will help this family get back on their feet!
MAY 15 UPDATE:
A donor has stepped up to cover the down payment!
We have a house.... sort of!
The last two months has been a wild ride with highs and lows. It's a long story, but the bottom line is that an anonymous family is buying the Pierces a house and renting it to them. Whoa, right?!?!?
BUT the family has to move across state lines. So they still need our help.
I talked with Heather this week to see what they need for the move. They need to rent a moving truck, pay for gas, and buy those usual setting up-in-a-new-house things like paint, toilet paper spindles, and window treatments. The house may need some significant repairs and we think they may also need appliances. The home currently under contract is still in negotiations, so we may be hosting them in our house for awhile if the house isn't move-in ready in time.
Will you please consider helping? Every little bit counts. While we've got someone who can buy a whole house, they can't do all of this alone. Moving a family of 8 is no small task. Even $5 will help as we count down to moving day.
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