On December 2, I logged into Facebook to learn that a friend of mine and dad of four (ages 10, 8, 6, and 6), Matthew Gallagher, had gotten into a serious car accident. His wife Tiffany posted the story, and you could almost hear the panic in her typed words:
"Today was one of the most terrifying of my life."
Matthew was coming home from work when his car was hit by someone crossing the highway. Matthew's car rolled three times and he was suspended upside down for about 45 minutes. He was trapped in the vehicle and they had to cut him out of it.
The car, of course, was totalled. And Matthew will be out of work until at least January.
Matthew and Tiffany are not wealthy people. Before the accident, they already lived paycheck to paycheck. Matthew works for a local bank as a transactional risk specialist. He will be getting 80% of his salary while on short-term disability, which amounts to a pay cut of $500 from his usual salary. Tiffany applied for and received a forbearance for their student loans due to his disability, but the other debt is inflexible. They do not have any consumer debt, just utilities, mortgage, car payments, and insurance.
Tiffany works very part-time as a lactation consultant at Hennepin County Medical Center - and her hours have reduced lately due to staffing changes - and on the side has a private practice where she does home visits to support families with feeding their babies, whether that's breastfeeding, pumping, bottlefeeding, or whatever other help they need. She needs a vehicle to do home visits, which will be difficult once Matthew goes back to work in January unless they can buy another car.
Tiffany and Mathew are asking (only with me urging them to do so) for $2000 for this Go Fund Me, which is the amount of money they are underwater on the totalled car's loan. Once they have raised this money, they can take out another loan for another car. Without this money, they can't make that happen. Any additional money raised here will be used to pay bills on which they are behind. One in particular is their school lunch account; as Tiffany's income has decreased she hasn't been able to keep up with it and needs to pay what they owe before they can order lunches again. In addition, starting in January, the family will have to meet their $2500 health care deductible before health insurance will completely cover Matthew's anticipated medical care needs.
Tiffany and Matthew have little family resources or support, and have been trying to juggle the usual chaos of life with four children and two jobs and this accident threw a horrible wrench into everything. As Tiffany posted on Facebook last week, "The brain train is now pulling into Overwhelm Station. This could have been much worse, but it sucks."
So how can you help? Any amount you can contribute is appreciated beyond what you can imagine. In addition, if you live in the Twin Cities, especially near Robbinsdale, a friend of theirs has also set up a Meal Train, so meals are always appreciated:
The family also needs some help around the house, such as snow removal assistance, some furniture moving, and would love it if anyone had a working small microwave they could donate (which would help greatly heating up those Meal Train meals). If you're able to help with those things, please contact us through this Go Fund Me or reach out to Tiffany directly.
Thanks in advance for your help. It takes a village.
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