Help Dustin

Friends - Our friend Doug "Dustin" Freeman is in dire straits.  Please take a moment to read about his situation in his own words.  He could really use our support.

Hi Joe,               

I realize a festive day like New Year’s Eve might be an odd time to bring up this situation but sometimes desperate times require desperate measures.  

One of our Ohio Xi brothers is in real trouble…financially, health, relationships…you name it.  He has been hit by the “perfect storm” and it has been going on for over four years.  

This brother lost his long-time career job late in 2010 at the age of 59 in the middle of the recession.  He quickly discovered companies were not looking for 59 year old men.  His industry was hit particularly hard by this financial downturn and was shedding employees left and right rather than hiring anyone.  It must have been shocking and humbling (as well as scary) to be turned down time and time again for someone who had worked some rather significant jobs over many years.  After going through the “emergency fund” this brother and his wife had to tap resources set aside for retirement.  He did pick up some odd jobs while looking to resume his career.  He went door-to-door for ADT security, tried to sell cars and worked in a couple of call centers.  None of this provided anything more than, essentially, minimum wage income.  Now, the retirement funds are gone and this brother and his wife are facing possible foreclosure proceedings on the house they have lived in for 23 years.   

This brother has been battling diagnosed anxiety disorders and depression going all the way back to the mid-80s.  For the most part medication was able to manage these issues well enough until the past couple of years but the pressure of seeing 30+ years of work financially slipping away has taken its toll so now the medication is no longer effective and this brother is close to being absolutely debilitated with panic attacks and the depression is crushing.  One possible outcome of all the stress was a full-fledged heart attack this brother suffered in March 2013.  The doctors said he was “fortunate” to have survived since they found one artery 100% blocked and another 90% blocked.  He has two stents in those arteries now and requires meds since the heart itself suffered damage.  

If all this was not enough this brother’s wife was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer during the fall of 2013.  Naturally, this is a woman who never smoked anything during her entire life.  Even with an incredibly expensive private health insurance policy her diagnosis further devastated this family from a financial standpoint, as well as emotionally.  This woman is this brother’s best friend and the light of his life.  She is doing well being a woman with a deep faith but can no longer add income to their situation.  There have been other health issues that have piled on over these past few years.  A knee problem resulted in the loss of the car sales job and he can’t go door-to-door on a hobbled leg.   

A flicker of light came into this brother’s life this past June when he was offered a job selling Pella windows and doors for a distributor/contractor of Pella.  This involves in-home sales and has great income potential.  The problem is it typically takes roughly a year to get to a point where the income begins to build into anything that is livable.  Until then this brother is receiving a draw against commission and that is a very small amount.  This brother and his wife now has a “For Rent” sign in front of their house and if the house is rented she will likely need to go in one direction and he in another.   

Suffice it to say this is one big and horrific reality for one of our brothers who never saw the train that ran over him until it was too late.  So, who is this brother?  You have probably already guessed it is me…Dustin.  As a result of all this I am having to set aside any pride I might have left and approach anyone and everyone I know with hat in hand.  I would have sent this out to the entire Ohio Xi e-mail list but I don’t have it.  I thought you might have it so I am asking you, Joe, to please forward this along to all the brothers, or edit it into your own words.  Yes, I am asking for financial assistance from anyone who feels led to help.  This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do but I have to do something.  I can’t say to anyone that any funds will be repaid.  I don’t think there is enough time “on the clock” to pay back everything, but I will try.  

 By the way, if anyone has wondered why I have not been showing up for all these various reunions and gatherings, well you now know.  No one wanted to be able to see everyone more than me.  I am still holding my head as high as I can (no one wants to see a depressed replacement window sales rep) and trusting in God.  I love receiving Ohio Xi e-mails.  My time with everyone at O.U. was such an incredible part of my life.  I really don’t think I have ever had friends like my Sig Ep brothers.  Truly.  

So, here I am with hat in hand.  If anyone would like to send any amount of money to the Dustin and Mary fund I can assure you it is needed beyond even what I have written here.  This is the real deal and no attempt by someone in Indonesia to fleece anyone out of money.  If anyone wants to call I would love to talk with anyone anytime.   

I realize everyone has life issues going on and this may not be something everyone can, or wants, to do.  I get it.  I just have no choice but to ask.  My family consists of one brother and he is pretty tapped.  Mary has a large family but her siblings are all older and on fixed incomes, etc.  I have gone to the church we attend but there is a limited amount of resources there.  PLEASE don’t think poorly of me for reaching out like this.  I have held this off everyone’s radar screen until I simply no longer can.  

 Dustin
Sig Ep Rah, Sig Ep Rah…Rah, Rah Sig Ep!!

 

 



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Organizer

Joe Focke Flanagan 
Organizer
Virginia Beach, VA
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