Erin and Henry are our friends and neighbors, and two of the kindest, most giving people you could hope to know. Erin is a healer - a gifted counselor who has helped so many of us to find purpose and meaning in our lives. And Henry is builder, crafting the structures and support upon which the family lives, grows and thrives.
Recently this family has been struck by repeated blows causing great hardship - but with the support of friends, family and community, we can prevent this from becoming disaster.
The first hits came this last winter, with the extreme rains. Erin and Henry have a small home in Felton Grove, with Erin's therapy office in a loft above the converted garage. It's a charming and enchanted place, a tranquil and serene sanctuary next to the San Lorenzo River, much of which has been crafted over the years by Henry. This is where Erin works as a psychotherapist, their primary source of income, and all of their savings are invested into the property. Together Henry and Erin have put their all into improving the property, with major upgrades over the past year, all working toward refinancing a second mortgage coming due in March.
And then came the floods. Three of them - bad ones. As the river jumped its banks, it climbed five feet up the walls of both their home and the waiting area in Erin's office, destroying walls, furnishings, books and so much work. More than a year's worth of improvements were ruined. There is so much damage ... everything needs to be ripped out, replaced, thrown away. Henry has been trying to do most of this work himself, but each day has found himself growing more exhausted, only able to work a few hours each day...
Finally this July came the next blow - after a long series of tests at the VA, Henry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He is responding well to treatment, but this brings radical changes to the family. Henry needs to focus on his healing, and can no longer do the major construction work himself. Erin, who has already been working many more hours than usual, now needs that time for Henry's healing - take him to doctor appointments, coordinate care, work on a new diet and the ever essential moral support. And because Erin is self-employed, she doesn't have access to sick leave, PTO, and those other resources many of us can turn to in times like these.
These new pressures are overwhelming. But with your support, both emotional and financial, Henry and Erin will survive and thrive!
WE WANT TO RAISE THE FUNDS THAT WILL HELP OUR FRIENDS THROUGH THESE CRISES:
Our target is $16,500 - and every penny will help. Right now Henry and Erin have very limited available savings - everything is invested in their home and business. This request will go toward:
$9,000 - immediate out-of-pocket expenses to address the flood emergency.
$2,500 - help to cover the second mortgage on the property for two months, until they can get a refinance in place.
$5,000 - to help cover bills and expenses (both health and construction) while Erin reduces her work hours to help with Henry's treatment and recovery.
Our friends have a long and difficult road ahead, and there are no easy solutions to these challenges. This financial help will be key to getting them through these immediate challenges, so they can heal, rebuild and continue to give back to all who love them.
Erin and Henry are givers and healers, and they have done so much for so many of us. Now it's time for us to give back, and help this wonderful family through their immediate need. Please hold Henry and Erin in your thoughts and prayers, donate to the best of your ability, and share this appeal far and wide so that the community can return the love they've always given so freely to us!
- Megan McGrath
- Crystal ORourke
- Sheryl Bailey
- Laura Monnig
Organizer and beneficiary
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