I'm Asking For Some Aid In A Time Of Severe Need

Update:  We have raised enough monies to get about the 1/2 of our roofing replaced. Today they delivered the materials for the work to begin. If we can get raise enough funds we will be able to get the entire roof replaced but I decided that to damage is being done to the back side of the home to wait until we secured enough monies for the entire job. So I contracted K&R Roofing who agreed to repair that section of the roof for me starting next week.  I would like to thank everyone who has donated to this noble cause, especially my fraternity brothers from Beta Phi Omega Graduate Chapter, my fraternity line brother Reggie "Round" Williams, my cousin Esther Johnson, and everyone else. Please read my story and if you can please send in a donation to THE BLACKMAN WHO READS ALOUD so that I can get this work fully completed and sell this home this summer.

Eight years ago my financial situation changed dramatically. I was on my way to an appointment for my job. At the time I was the Director of Educational Partnerships for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. While I was driving my company car cargo truck's back doors opened and a rimmed truck tire came out from the back of the truck and collided with my car.  I had severely injured my back again. This injury forced me to retire from my job. I filed a worker's compensation claim but for the past 7 years, I have been unable to get any funds from the commission in Maryland for this accident.  Since the operators of the cargo truck didn't stay at the scene of the accident. Once they saw that I had collided with the truck tire ejected from the back of their vehicle they left the scene of the accident.  For the past 7 years, I have managed to provide for my family only because I had monies saved for my eventual retirement as well as a Social Security Disability check for permanent disability and a small retirement annuity check.

I had assumed that because I was injured on the job I would get an additional check from the Maryland Worker's  Compensation Fund. It seemed to be an open and closed case but nothing is open and closed when insurance companies are involved. Initially, when I went to the Maryland Commission for the injury claim the Commissioner accused me of looking for a tire to get out of work. This was an appallingly racist statement coming from a legal representative of the State of Maryland. Of course, this Commissioner rated that I was not injured from the accident. Now understand I had already been rated by the Social Security Administration as being totally disabled by not according to this Commissioner nor my former company's insurer. For the past 7 years, I have lived in financial limbo living on monies that I had saved for my retirement and the SSID check. When I was forced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company to retire. Human Resources told that I couldn't take any pain medication that masked the pain but didn't completely eliminate and drive the company vehicle. They also let me know that my performance on my job required me to be out in the field 5 days a week and driving to my appointments. This meant that I was no longer going to get any future accommodations to support the pain that the accident created.

So, in August of 2012, less than 9 months after the accident date of November 28, 2011, I retired/left my job after 22 years of service. It was an extremely hard decision to make because I still had to raise my daughter, Skyler Rose, who was 10 years old at the time and provide support for my wife, Robbin, we have been married now for 22 years in July 2019. Being 58 years old and no longer capable of working was disheartening for me primarily because I was excellent at my job. I had numerous awards for achieving sales goals for this company. I felt that they should have reciprocated my commitment to them by being committed to ensuring I would be taken care of when I needed the company's support the most. However, that was not the case and once litigation started in 2012, I haven't heard from them at all.  The cruelty of the American corporate system is totally validated by what has happened in my life for the past eight years.

Now, fast forward eight years, I managed to keep a promise to my daughter and my wife that I would provide for them in good and bad times, through sickness and health. I've done this to the best of my ability considering the circumstances that confronted for a life experience beyond my control. In the next couple of months, I want to sell my home but in order for that to happen, I need to put a new roof on my home. I simply cannot afford the price for putting this roof on my home.  I truly don't want to come to GoFundMe with my hat in hand asking for this support but I need to sell my home now. It will not pass inspection without this new roof.  For the past three years, I have tried not to collapse under the financial pressures that have burdened me. I started a campaign to uplift my community by creating a read-aloud project called the Blackman's Read Aloud Hour. In addition, I started a blog also. These were done to keep me from going crazy so that I indeed been helpful. What I need now is for anyone who is capable of supporting my effort to sell my home to provide me with the funds to get a roof on my home in order to sell it. Our money problems won't end with the selling of our home but now that my daughter is on her way to college. I can focus on building income sources in other avenues or ventures. I am 65 years old but I refuse to allow corporate America to collapse my positive belief in myself and others. I have attempted to return to work but the pain that I have hasn't diminished but gotten worst.  Please assist me in my goal to put a roof on my home by the end of April 2019, so that I can sell my home it May 2019 and move back home in June 2019.  Thanks to all who will be engaged enough to donate to my cause. The full $10,000.00 will be utilized to do whatever is necessary for my home's roof in order to sell my home this summer.

I just want this madness to end if only that black couple had not driven away in that cargo truck on November 27, 2011, after they both saw what damages they did to my vehicle and consequently to me. I guess they didn’t have insurance so they left me twisting in the wind of gaining true financial relief. Yes, we can I was minding my business until this couple put my entire family in a precarious situation. They destroyed my professional life that day but I could’ve died so that’s the blessing. I have been able to raise my baby girl and love my wife throughout this depressing situation. I would never ask for this aid if I had other options. I simply don't have the options I had prior to getting in my company car on November 27, 2011.

Thanks, again


Joseph Shelton Hall 
Chesapeake Beach, MD

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