We always think we have more time. Time to finish what we've started, time to get where we want to go, time to set things right.
That was something our friend James surely believed as he fell on hard times and one of his great projects – his house – eroded into chaos around him. It was to be his retirement, and ultimately, a gift for his daughters to help them pursue their dreams and live fuller lives. He must have believed he had all the time in the world to pull out of his dive and finish what he started – after all, he was a comparatively young man.
But he never got a chance. One Sunday morning in early September, underlying health conditions had other plans, and pulled him from us with terrifying speed. He left behind not only shocked and heartbroken daughters, relatives, and friends, but a house in terrible condition that would take both time and money to set right.
That’s what this GoFundMe is about: taking the baton from James for the last leg he never had a chance to complete: getting that house fit to sell and setting up his girls for the best possible future.
It’s no small task: A leaky roof destroyed ceilings, walls, and floors, as well as a tragically long list of possessions and family mementos. The entire property had gone to seed in a jungle of blackberries and bamboo.
Sadly, the amount of money it would take to fix the house enough for the daughters to keep and live in is nearly impossible. But a massive community effort is already underway, spearheaded by Barb (James’ ex-wife and mother of their daughters), to get it in good enough shape to sell it for a price that’ll give the daughters the nest egg James would have wanted for them.
Friends, family, and neighbors have already been pitching in with cleanup, sorting, and waste removal. Several contractors have reduced their fees for the fantastic work they’ve done. It’s been amazing and inspirational. You can see how far we’ve come:
But even though some of the work has been done by volunteers, there have also been significant costs – and Barb's come to the end of her financial resources. And there’s more to come.
To put your contribution in context, keep this simple equation in mind:
Total sale price of the house
– (minus) any and all costs/expenses
+ (plus) any GoFundMe proceeds we can generate
= money James' daughters receive
This GoFundMe is about tweaking that equation so Barb can continue the work ahead and her daughters can thrive once it’s done.
- Help repay Barb for expenses she’s already incurred. It’s true that once the estate settles and the house sells, the proceeds would pay her back. But that’s far in the future, and the financial need is flashing red right now. And again, since these are ultimately all the estate’s expenses, your contribution is still changing the equation above so the daughters net more.
- Help fund the many expenses that remain in closing the house for sale, which will probably total around $6,000.
- Help defray the overall expenses in closing the estate, which all told could reach as high as $50,000.
The math is simple: the more of these your generosity helps fund, the more James' daughters will net when all is said and done.
So many of you have asked how you can help. This is how. We can help turn an overwhelming liability into an asset for James’ daughters and set them up for the financial future he would have wanted – maybe helping fund college, putting a downpayment on a home, or simply keep as a safety net for the future.
We still have time to help James set things right. Can you pitch in? Any amount is welcome.
- Chris Hallstrom
- Christine Hagerbaumer
- Matthew Halperin
- Jessica Dubey
- Jeneva Stone
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