Due to a work-related "accident" - unknown hazardous chemical remnants in the workplace - a few years ago, I've in the last three months run into the situation that it's difficult to take up new work, for health reasons.
I get chemical allergy reactions to the offices of the work I've found. Thus my saving are wiped out, and I could use a bit of help.
I’m a designer and web developer, who’s worked on government insight/transparency projects*, as well as other sustainability related projects.
I've previously been able to work remotely of my employers. Now, however, the four available jobs I've found, has required my presence in offices, where I get numerous chemical allergy reactions rapidly. ( Due to the toxic exposure, I now have a lot of chemical allergies to (mostly modern) buildings.
So I've been unable to assume them, and thus my savings have vaned.
Help to either find some remote work, or provide me with some time to either find more work, or somewhere like an organic farm, to provide me with basic necessities in exchange for work, until I get on my feet again, would be greatly appreciated.
In the 'worst case', any time spent used waiting for anything, will be spent developing pro-sustainable-society software.
Slightly longer explanation :
As a consequence of working in ex-factory style offices, which had heavy metal chemicals remnants, I developed high degrees of chemical allergies and a destroyed immune system, seven years ago. This causes problems in most aspects of life, yet as the country (Finland) where I got the problems doesn't recognize chemical allergy issues, I don't get any special help, and just have to try maintain work, to keep swimming, even if one incurrs lots of extra expenses with these problems.
This has sort of worked out for years, with some occasional hiccups along the way, including three occasions of me getting ill from workplace environments and losing work.
Now the situation is more serious.
While I've been offered four jobs, the employers' requirements that I work from particular offices, that happen to give me chemical allergy reactions, has meant I've been unable to assume new work. Thus my savings are now exhausted, and I'm a few seconds from ending up living on the streets.
I’m asking for money to keep me afloat for 1.5 months - though 2 months would be more ideal - for :
- rent ([phone redacted]e/m)
- alternative workspace costs ( ca. 300e/m ) ( it’s rare to find a home good enough that I can spend the whole day there, due to the chemical environment ).
- minimal medicine costs** ( 200-500e/m )
- public transport card ( 90e/m )
- mobile subscription ( 30e/m )
( Mobile internet is sometimes my saviour to sort things out, when I can't work from specific places, so it's rather important )
- clothes repairs ( ca. 150e )
- laptop power adaptor repair ( ca 90e )
1.5 - 2 months funding should either give me enough time to find new work, or to find an organic farm to work/live at and from. An organic farm should at least not have as many chemicals causing chemical allergy responses.
As thanks for help, I’m happy to write a personal thank-you card, offer some design advice, promise to spend future spare time on pro-sustainability/society projects, and develop guides for people new to chemical sensitivity issues.
Alternatively, as I spend a lot of my spare time on public good/sustainability related IT projects, one can think of this funding appeal as a means of funding initiatives in this space.
* You can see the organisations I've worked for here http://miska.org/aboutMe_page02.html
( ** - Of course, if someone wants to help me fund the medication that could help me recover from Chemical Allergies, that would also be nice. But then we’re talking ca. 500e per month, for three years. ).
Chemical sensitivities and my situations are complex phenomena. Thus, below, I’ve written a longer explanation:
The medium length explanation :
I have, in short, chemical allergies ( multiple chemical sensitivity, MCS ), since seven years, due to a workplace that had heavy metal residues, greatly impacted my body’s immune system and ability to function. Besides numerous health and living complications, this puts a lot of restrictions on where I can work from. Being unable to assume work positions due to specific work locations triggering chemical allergies, I’m out of work, and now savings.
I’ve worked on numerous pro-society/sustainability NGOs and research institutions, as a web/data visualisation designer/coder. As a volunteer, in my spare time, I support efforts furthering citizen insight into government work, as well as “civic tech” developments in the Nordic sphere.
However, I ran out of projects three months ago. Despite having hunted work during the last eight months, and gotten four good offers, I’ve been unable to assume these as I get chemical allergies from the offices I’m supposed to work from. Though I’ve suggested ways of making things work with me working remotely, this has not been accepted by the employers. And so I’ve had no work :(
Chemical allergies lead to a lot of expenses, so I’ve lived with narrow margins since getting the problems. Now that I’ve been without work, I’ve exhausted my savings, and will be facing a budget breakdown in the next two weeks.
What I’m looking for is funding for one or two months. During this time I would like to pursue two plans, with one of them working out hopefully :
- Plan A : find some work that I can do from the location of my choosing, and try get myself into a position where I’m covered by state social welfare programmes should I run out of work again.
- Plan B : look at finding work at an organic farm. Organic farms have a higher chance of being free of chemicals that give me problems. This would provide some housing, food, and more time to find remote work, and otherwise try solve things.
The money I’m asking for doesn’t seem that little, but alas, chemical allergies involve numerous extra health related expenditures compared to “normal” lives.
Besides looking for food, medicine and rent money, it would be nice to be able to repair clothes and computer hardware that has been fallen apart, as I’ve tried saving money.
Adding to usual expenses is that it’s really difficult to find somewhere one can be 24 hours a day. Thus one spends some money on places one can sit and work from, and other money for where one can sleep.
A quick breakdown of monthly expenses :
- Rent : [phone redacted]e/m
( how I wish I could live in just any odd building… )
- Nutrient supplements which work as medicine for me : 200e ( minimal ) - 500e ( max )
( I.e. probiotics, spirulina, algae, vit D, vit B12, Magnesium, Selenium, etc… to hep recover from the toxic exposure at my former workplace, that caused the chemical allergies.)
- Workspace costs : 300e/m
( Rarely can is a home so good I can spend the whole day there. Similarly, public libraries often are constructed with materials producing chemical allergy responses ).
- Laundry costs : ca 50e
- Mobile phone subscription : 30e/m
- Transport card costs: 80e/m
And currently I also have the following expenses :
- Broken Macbook power adaptor : ca 90e.
- Repair and replacement costs for broken clothes : ca. 150e.
Chemical allergies are alas not recognized by the authorities in the country I got them, Finland. So I don’t get any health related help, regardless of the affliction affecting almost every aspect of my life. One’s only chance is to try maintain a job, save up money, and stay clear of things causing reactions, in a landscape otherwie full of chemicals that can cause problems.
The upside in all this is that I do in fact have skills that enable me to work remotely. I design and write web software So, it’s mostly a matter of time before I will find some work, where I can work remotely.
Besides naturally being very thankful, what I can offer in return is, a handwritten thank you note, help on design questions if you have them, promising to continue to use my spare time for pro-society projects ( as I have for years ), and in the best of cases, that I will at some point in the future earn enough money that I can return your money ;)
- Thomas Kvist
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