Danielle pinches pennies for the bare necessities while raising a 9-year old boy and 7-year old girl, alone. She helps them with homework. She is a good homemaker and mom.
Danielle is not a drinker or drug user. She is not mean spirited. She is not asking for handouts. She is not trying to get over on anyone.
Danielle is a warrior. She is strong and graceful. She works harder than the hardest worker. She is generous.
Although her children needed them, Danielle did not ask for coats. She did not ask me to raise any money for her; nor does she know that I am initiating this fund.
Danielle is on the verge of homelessness. This would not be the first time. She promised her children this would not happen again, but she finds herself at the mercy of the housing authorities who are threatening the dissolution of her rent voucher program.
Though she faced many obstacles in her youth, grew up in shelters, was a victim of domestic violence, has PTSD, is a single mother of two young children, trying to survive in New York, she has not abandoned her education. She is on her 3rd year of her bachelor’s degree. She hopes education will free her from the cycle of severe poverty.
This winter my husband and I were offered some super cozy, cute coats from Moose Knuckles. With the temperatures dropping, a closet full of coats, and a clear conscious, I could not accept the coats without thinking of someone else who could benefit more.
I proposed an idea to Moose Knuckles. Instead of gifting us two coats, gift me four. I will find a family in need, film the journey, and supply the company with organic content. I am still acting as an "influencer." We are helping a New York family. We are spreading the word about the brand, but, most importantly, we are paying it forward with love.
Thanks to my wonderful connect at Moose Knuckles who believed in me and the idea, the proposal was green-lighted.
My journey to find a sincere and deserving family began. After failed attempts of trying to go through shelters and nonprofit organizations, I reached out to people I knew. It was my mentor who finally linked me up with Danielle.
Danielle is a poet, an activist, an artist, a full-time student, and a single mother. Danielle seemed like the perfect candidate...but would she allow me to share her story?
I set a date and time to meet with her and her kids. My talented friend, Nick Sethi, agreed to film and photograph Danielle's story. We packed up the equipment, then headed to the Bronx with the coats.
Danielle was alone when we got there, so we spoke with her about her life. It was hard to listen to the details without getting teary-eyed. Life can be so unfair.
As she told her story, she never lost faith of what could be. She stayed positive, knowing things would work out. Her strength and resilience inspired me.
When we went to pick up the kids from school, I was taken aback even more. These bright, energetic, kind, intelligent, imaginative children were awesome! You would not know they too had been homeless—moving from shelter to shelter over the past 4 years—generational homelessness.
Looking at Danielle, you could not see the parental worry that was so deeply buried, but I knew that their housing was in jeopardy and she would have to uproot them once again from normalcy and stability, from all the comforts of home and friends, from this neighborhood that they now called theirs.
Her dreams to put her son in karate and her daughter in singing and dance classes would have to wait. She could not afford it. She could barely afford food.
There is so much good in Danielle, so much positivity that will slowly drain if we don’t take action. I felt obligated to ask my amazing community…YOU…to help me, help Danielle.
With the money raised…
· I want to make sure karate and singing/dance classes are paid for a year (maybe even two)!
· I want Danielle to be able to afford train rides to school and better food from better grocery stores as she lives in a food desert.
· I want Danielle to be relieved of stress as she figures out her next living situation for her family.
Most of us are so very blessed. Please answer this call to action. I cannot do it alone. Danielle cannot do it alone. None of us can.
When you open your heart to giving, you open your heart to receiving.
Thank you in advance.
Who I am - Marz Lovejoy
Where I'm from - Originally born in Minneapolis, raised in Southern California, residing in NYC.
My relationship to the parties I'm raising funds for - Danielle and I became friends after our mutual mentor, Rocio introduced us.
How the funds will be used - Danielle and I will sit down together to come up with the best distribution plan, research and select both an afterschool karate/martial arts program for Judah (age 9) and a singing/dance program for Ziona (age 7). Metro cards, a cell phone plan, toliet trees, basic grocery necessities, and a plan to set aside money in a savings account for Danielle and her kids, will be apart of costs covered.
How I plan to send the funds to the parties you're raising money for or use the money on their behalf - As you can see in the comments on this page, Danielle is well aware of the fund and estatic with the outcome. Danielle and I will work together to figure out a monthly payment plan, so the money will not be squandered away or act as a burden.
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