Counting on Community

Hello Friends, Family and loved ones we haven't met. 

I am creating this fund today to ask for help in getting back on our feet.  

As most of you know I have been working day and night and weekends for the last three years to finish my master's degree all while bringing two beautiful girls into the world.  The past few years I have been blessed with wonderful and supportive tutoring clients which have been my primary source of income while finishing my degree, supplemented with being a graduate student teacher.  

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What you might not know, or realize, is that I don't have pay stubs from my tutoring work.  I do claim my cash income and as a result, I owe thousands in taxes and I am on a payment plan.  Being self-employed makes getting loans more difficult, even those horrible high-interest payday loans are out of reach without pay stubs. 

What you might also not know is that teaching in college pays a stipend per class/semester, I don't have a regular yearly salary that comes split up into paychecks every two weeks.  Almost every teaching job I have had pays once per month at the end of the month.  It is a stretch between checks, and an even longer stretch over summer. 

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Knowing this stretch is coming for the past few years I have managed to save enough throughout the school year to get through the summer, however, August is always hard to get through, and sometimes I don't get my first check until late September, which is the case this year. 

This has been our cycle for years, however this year with Raquel coming so close to graduation  I was not able to adequately save for the summer, but with my degree in hand, I tried my best to get full-time work that would support a one income family.  No luck, but to be honest it was difficult to focus with two little ones and the pressure to find something quick. 

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While I was job searching over the summer I have maxed out all of our credit cards, I have borrowed from friends and family and  I am behind on the rent and I still have that IRS debt too. 

If nothing opened up, which it didn't, plan B was to fall back on teaching and tutoring and that is where we are now. 

However, my teaching income won't be enough to cover our monthly expenses.  I plan to find tutoring work to bring our income up to our monthly needs, however that won't help us catch up.  With night classes I don't have enough available hours in the week to fill with tutoring to make MORE than we need each month, and as of today I still need a few more clients just to hit that target to maintain our monthly expenses. 

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I was hoping for my first paycheck from teaching yesterday, however, once again I won't be getting paid until the end of September. It wasn't going to be enough for rent and a month of childcare anyway, but I was still looking forward to something because we are approaching absolute zero resources quickly.  

I came home last night, no paycheck in hand, feeling absolutely defeated and wrote a check to our new nanny and said "thank you" knowing that was nearly half of the money we have left. 

I stayed up until 1 am twice this week and applied for traditional loans and even those horrible payday loans and all are denied.  This is my absolute last resort. 

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The goal amount is 3 months of rent and enough to return a short-term loan someone was kind enough to offer but needs me to make good on. 

If we can catch up on rent and even get one month ahead that will give us the space to catch up on life in general.  We need a lot of support with things like assistance with laundry and errands and taking Barack out for some playtime so mommy can shower or send an email, but that is an entirely different single parent struggle...   

One I can't focus on because I am so preoccupied with our financial situation, however, I have been reaching out to my local community for that support as well.  

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I hate to ask for this kind of help but I promise, I am doing all I can to find more and better-paying employment and I am also looking in cities that are more affordable every free moment I get, but free moments are so rare now.  

The reality is wherever we live up to half of my check will go to a babysitter until these girls are in school.  

I can't afford any more help and without it I can't get any free and quiet time to make a life plan for us.  I am doing my absolute best for these girls, but I went into this knowing it takes a village and knowing we would be counting on our community for support.  I'll do whatever it takes to give these girls the life they deserve, even learn to ask for help. I need to do a better job of reaching out and letting you know we need you.  So here I am.   
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Organizer

Amy April 
Organizer
San Leandro, CA
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