Enmei Tan is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Joe Furman.
Hi. I'm Amy Tan. My husband and I live in California, far from Hurricane Harvey. But Joe Furman-- artist, documentary filmmaker, herpetology geek, critter tracker and good buddy--lives in Houston, Texas. He and his 15-year-old daughter, Sadie, and their two cats, are among the many whose homes were inundated by Hurricane Harvey. The water has receded and it left behind warp, rot, toxins, and destructive and fast-growing mold. Basically, anything that touched water has to be removed and replaced-- rugs, furniture, books, a drum kit--everything. The house needs to be gutted and will require new sheetrock, floors, baseboards, roof, and exterior repair. The appliances are no longer working: no fridge, washer and dryer. So there are many big expenses that hopefully will be paid for by insurance--eventually. But there are also many immediate expenses that will not be covered. Joe has been stoic in saying he's fine. After all, this is a guy who would be happy sleeping with venomous snakes on a slab of rock in the desert. But I also know that things are going to be tough for him and Sadie over the next year. There are a lot of out-of-pocket expenses as they jerryrig a new life. For example, Joe's car was damaged in the flood and is kaput. Money needed to repair: at least $1000--with a $2500 deductible. He's been off work since the hurricane hit and likely will not be able to return for another week, so there goes two weeks' salary lost. There are no rental cars available, and while he can bike to most places now, when he returns to work, he may have to take a taxi. They saved important personal belongings and put them in a rented a storage locker, where they will remain for about a year, which is when they house may be ready as a contaminant-free zone. Cost of storage is $1700 for the next year. Because the fridge died, they have had to eat out a lot. Without a washer and dryer, it's hard to stay fresh with just a few changes of clothes, and right now, he needs to buy Sadie clothes for school. With no money to rent an apartment while their home is fixed, Joe is toughing it out and living in his gutted house. (We need to buy this man face masks to protect him from mold). Many of Joe's friends have asked how they can help. He has brushed them off. But reality is settling in. I think gifts of any amount from friends will go a long way to raising their spirits, especially Sadie's. So if you can, please chip in and send along your good wishes. If you want to help Joe and Sadie in other ways, you can let Joe know directly via his Facebook page @Joe Furman. Thanks.