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Help Pauline Anna Strom

$7,630 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 212 people in 1 month
Created May 6, 2019
RVNG & Friends
on behalf of Karisa Senavitis
We're writing on behalf of a friend: musician and remote healer Pauline Anna Strom (Paula). Paula is visually impaired (blind since birth), elderly (in her 60s), and lives in a rent-controlled apartment in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco with her two reptiles, Little Soulstice and Miss Huff. Since the 70s this apartment has been the center of Paula’s universe, and is the very place where Trans-Millenia Music , a collection of her sound explorations from the 80s that RVNG released in 2017, was conceived and recorded.

Paula recently fractured a part of her hip after falling over some furniture on her apartment balcony. She crawled, with her twenty pound cyclura iguana in her arms, back into the apartment to call for an ambulance. Paula was admitted to a hospital where she had a successful surgery followed by almost a month at Jewish Home & Rehab Center, but was returned to her apartment last week when her appeal for additional rehabilitation time was rejected. She is slowly regaining her physical faculties, though is in an immense amount of pain. This pain amplified by the sudden / shocking passing of a close friend and caretaker.


Paula is essentially - and fiercely - an independent person. Her insurance covered a part of her rehab, but now she is contending with the cost of additional hospital billing, in home physical therapy visits, and general living expenses. While Paula would much prefer to cover accumulating bills through her healing practice fees, her condition, recovery, and the (necessary) professional assessments / disruptions do not make that an immediately solvent solution.  


Just before her accident, Paula was composing new music for the first time in decades. We are anticipating some of that music to arrive to our Brooklyn headquarters soon, and depending on her comfort level, offering some of it immediately on Bandcamp to help raise some financial support and awareness to Paula’s predicament.


We are also looking for volunteers in the Bay Area who may be able to contribute some time to her mutual care calendar. Almost more pressing than financial aid and in the absence of her trusted friend’s passing, Paula needs help with lifting / carrying dishes and groceries, feeding the reptiles (we’ve met them; they are sweethearts), sorting the mail, reading digital displays on her synthesizers and phone. It would be any day of the week after 2 pm. Paula is a reiki master and is able to offer sessions in exchange for help around her apartment.


Thank you so much for consideration. It means the world to Paula, and to us.
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Apologies for the silence last week. I’m so happy to report that Karisa Senavitis' hard work coordinating a community care taking program for Paula commences today with a first volunteer visit. We’re taking this nice and slow for Paula while she becomes accustomed to having new energy / energies in her sacred space / apartment and around Little Soulstice and Miss Huff. We are so thankful for everyone that volunteered their time, and likewise, a financial contribution.

Speaking of those financial contributions, Karisa is a friend of Pauline’s trusted to take care of online tasks (Karisa is also part of Will Work For Good, our lifelong design studio / friends + family at RVNG). Paula doesn't have an email address and, prior to his untimely passing, John, Paula’s friend, took "care of these sort of things." Paula has given Karisa her banking information so that the funds raised can be transferred directly to Paula's account. So, if you see “Karisa Senavitis” attached to a GoFundMe withdrawal on your bank statement, this is the protocol that we have put in place.

We have a message from Paula that she recorded on Karisa’s voicemail last week. I realize it might be a little hard to hear this, but Paula is very hopeful despite the tone:

https://soundcloud.com/igetrvng/thank-you-pauline-anna-strom/s-CgVOG

We are still very grateful for any contributions toward Paula’s GoFundMe campaign. Thank you for your consideration + compassion!

Lots of light ~

Matt / RVNG Intl.
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I am (almost) speechless - what an overwhelming, inspiring show of love and care for Paula. Meeting our goal for her in 24 hours goes well above and beyond the support we imagined. Thank you so much to everyone that answered our call. Your support provides a basis for Paula’s recovery that was otherwise unimaginable.

I spoke with Paula last night to let her know of the initial response to the campaign, and she wished to convey her utmost gratitude to all those who provided financial support, offered to volunteer care taking time (Karisa is sifting through the dozens of responses now to compile a volunteer schedule), and sent positive vibrations. I think she was a little shocked to learn there is a community that has been so touched by her music or presence, but grateful for this reality.

Paula is still quite immobile. The “damn screw” that “they lodged in her hip” (very Paula) is taking its time cooperating with her body. She’s moving slowly and awkwardly around her apartment, and still unable to feed her lizards (a friend is coming by once a day to help with that). The shock of losing her good, trusted friend has subsided a bit, but I sense that she is struggling to envision “what’s next.” That said, she is determined to jump back into her revived music-making / sharing mode, and I think this spirit will compel the healing.

I will check in with another update this time next week. In the meantime, here is a picture of Paula with Little Soulstice taken while I was visiting San Francisco last winter. Little Soulstice may look a little scary, but is sweet as can be. I got to hold her for a little while during my time with Paula.

Really, I am so grateful for all of you! Extra, extra special thanks to Karisa for her for kindness and support, too.

Matt / RVNG Intl.
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$7,630 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 212 people in 1 month
Created May 6, 2019
RVNG & Friends
on behalf of Karisa Senavitis
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