Upon returning to the Keys, we realized that the destruction was far worse and much more widespread than TV or social media could describe. Our mobile home was indeed still standing, surrounded in debris, but with every hurricane shutter intact.
However, our hopes sank once we entered the structure and realized that the giant twisted pile of aluminum in our side yard used to be our roof. The driving rain had compromised the entire living quarters. Only four days had passed since Irma left her mark, but already mold was widespread; the walls and floor were buckled and the ceiling collapsed.
The outpouring of sympathy and offers of assistance has been beyond anything we've ever experienced or even remotely expected. To say it's been overwhelming is an understatement.
We are opening this GoFundMe account with reluctance and humility. It's an emotional barrier that both Brittany and I have struggled to break through - to say the 3 words to our friends, family and loved ones, "We need help." So many of you have already offered assistance that we decided this was the best tool to contribute to our immediate needs.
We wanted to leave the fundraising goal blank, but the site does not allow you to proceed with a "$0" in that field. We would be flattered to raise $100. Or $1000. Or just enough to buy our friends a round at the Green Parrot. But, the reality is that we're homeless and are struggling to figure out a long-term housing solution. This whole process of evacuation, returning, procuring emergency supplies, and trying to triage and rescue what we can has been very expensive.
So many of you have already helped us and for that we are eternally grateful. For the countless others that have offered we'd humbly accept whatever amount you could comfortably contribute to our process of rebuilding our lives in the Florida Keys.
Dave, Brittany and Gator (the cat)
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