Help an Abused Family of 4 Girls

Dear Ladies in my Life....

Where do I even start? About 3 months ago, you all may have seen my post about a young woman who PM'ed me & informed me that she had found my husband's wallet.  I thought it may be a scam, but after looking into the matter, it turns out that Doug did in fact lose his wallet.  Instead of going shopping, instead of buying whatever the hell she wanted,  this young woman did the right thing & found us & returned the wallet.  I sort of marveled at the guesture.  She owed me nothing & yet this 15 year old girl, did something truly kind & selfless.  I definetly had the gnawing feeling that I now owed her.  We became FB friend (Lawd help her, LOL) and I assumed my biggest role in her life would be finding her a babysitting gig or two.  I was wrong.  So. Wrong. 3 weeks ago she posted a gofundme page that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  I can't even repeat the stories she shared, but they were raw & painful & included words like rape, abuse, control & help.  I cried at my computer.  I marched over to SPARCC & gathered information to figure out what I can do to help.  No sooner do I text her, then she informs me that the prior night, things came to a head when her dad attacked her mom (again) & this 15 year old finally summoned up enough courage & strength to call the police.  I was relieved & worried & elated all in the same breath.  Now DCF was involved & apparently they were threatening to send the 3 daughters (ages 15, 11 & 8) to foster care unless the mother (who is 33 years old) can get out of the house & become independant.  But how? How can a woman who was impregnated by the age of 17 by a controlling & abusive husband (who was 54 years old at the time) stand up & take control of her life? 
She is fragile & broken & I'm at a loss at how I can help her.  She just weeps & I'm trying to remind her that she needs to stay strong for her girls.  She's scared & I can't blame her.  She's never had a driver's license, a cell phone or a job.  She has been alienated from her family in Hondurus. The girls have never been allowed to stay after school for tutoring or have friends over.  They have no sense of normalcy.  
What else? They have a car with 150,000 miles on it that overheats any time it goes further than 5 miles.  It cannot be driven at night because it doesn't have any lights.  The irony is witnessing the cycle of poverty on speed loop.  She needs a car to get to work.  She needs a license to drive a car.  She needs a car to take the driver's license test.  The car she owns cannot drive more than 5 miles without overheating so she cannot use it.  So, she doesn't have a license & instead, drives illegally because she has no choice.  

I have witnessed that cycle repeat so many times today it's almost laughable at how sad it is.  Exhibit B: They don't have a cell phone.  They always relied on a home phone.  But now they can't live at home (they're sleeping on a blow up mattresses at a friend's house).  So, they have these subsidized phones (aka: Obama phones, LOL) they get 250 minutes a month, for a family of 4 women. Well, needless to say, DCF has burned through that in 2 weeks with their phone calls.  Now, I have no way to reach them to even make sure that they're ok & DCF is demanding that they can get a hold of them. 

The worst part is that if this happened a year ago, I would help them financially, but as many of you may or may not know, The Testerman Tornado has hit their own financial bump in the road & I have no business helping anyone financially.  

The list goes on & on.  The 8 year old owns one pair of shoes & i can see her feet through the sole.  When I met them at Target to try to set up a game plan, I realized that they LITERALLY don't have a penny to their name.  NOT ONE!! So, I asked them if they needed anything from Target..... I gave them free roam of the entire store. I finally managed to get them to admit that they needed a box of pads & a few pencils for schools.  That's it.  They weren't milking me.  They were humble & appreciative.  

Ya'll may not know this, but I cannot count how many people have helped me through my life.  I am sincerely thankful for every last one of them.  When my family came here from Poland we didn't have a pot to piss in.  People helped us & now I feel obligated to help others.  Sadly, this time, I can't.  So, I'm reaching out to you all... hopeful that maybe a few of you can donate just a few bucks to help get this woman & her 3 daughters on their feet.   I'm not asking for vast sums of money, but if everyone could come up with even $5 each it would help.  We spent 8 hours getting her paperwork done today.  Food stamps, medicaid, section 8, SPARCC, social security, bank accounts.  I'm exhausted at the sheer volume of beaurocracy we endured.  
But... the good news is that she started her new job this week.  Her first job.  It looks like her Section 8 housing may be transferable too.  She opened her OWN bank account today & has been skyping with her mom & family in Hondurus.   I'm hoping that if we collect enough money, that i can add her to my cell phone plan ($20/month), that we can get a down payment for a used car & that it gives her some sort of financial & emotional support... because after... we women, can get shit done for one another.  Thanks ladies for your time.


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Paulina Testerman 
Sarasota, FL
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