Firstly, thank you for even visiting Justin's GoFundME campaign!
Asking for help, especially in this nature, is something we're both new at. And Justin has been quite resistant... So, I appreciate you bearing with me as a fumble through this.
There's something about having your livelihood stolen - all the tools you need to create, work and ultimately live - which can make a person feel for lack of a better word, violated. That's what has happened to Justin. He feels like a dope despite his friends and family reminding him to stop blaming himself. Shit happens. It's OK to ask for and accept help.
So what happened:
Late in the evening, several days ago, luggage was stolen, like the little stuff like shirts, socks, toiletries and the bags that carried everything. But the bounty also included his Canon DSLR, 35mm fixed len, 17-40mm f/4, a vintage Yashica T4, XPS 13 Dell laptop, all the memory cards, batteries, chargers, adapters, portable chargers... The list goes on.
These items aren't arbitrary. Like a carpenter losing his tool box or a cabby losing his car, Justin lost all the essential devices which employ him. And that's not to mention the sentimental things that were taken from him, like a hand engraved copper flask which I had given to him to celebrate the year anniversary of our company we launched together. (His father said this was more binding than marriage! Lol)
Though there's never a "good" time to be burgled, the timing on this incident couldn't be worse. On February 1st, we are scheduled to film the very first episode of a series we're really excited to launch - a reason why we're in such a rush to replace Justin's DSLR, lenses, 35mm film camera, laptop, batteries, reading glasses... Among many other less crucial things.
But this incident puts a huge burden on us. While we might otherwise not ask for help - instead, dusting ourselves off, earning it all back slowly - we're afraid that the timing is such that we may lose a great opportunity before it's even started because of this financial setback.
Whether we want to admit it or not, it's been a struggle trying to run our own business. Even when we succeed, there's something waiting to level-out our trajectory, if not take us back to the start. I can completely understand why so many people prefer the security and consistency of a desk job! For this reason or that, in one foul swoop you can lose everything and oftentimes not have the means to get it back. It's a circumstance which (we've learning) can make a person feel really vulnerable. Double that once you let your guard down and, essentially, tell everyone you know about it.
But, as much as we know what it means to need, we also know what it means to give. Neither side is simple or easy and often not straight-forward. We really don't know what to expect from this, but if you've made it this far into our plea, we want you to know that we appreciate you taking the time to consider Justin's - really, our - situation.
Whether you're family, a friend, an acquaintance, or even just a kind stranger, your help (from your condolences to your donation) will be appreciated. Any support will be put directly into keeping our business alive. As well as, since they're pretty firmly tied to our business, our dreams.
Anyway, THANK YOU for suffering my long-winded rambles and considering our circumstance and thinking of Justin!
P.S. Another huge thank you to Donni Reddington and Ralf Hofacker for your rad photos of Justin in the field.