Ray Williams Hurricane Relief

A lot of folks in the Tampa area dodged a bullet with Hurricane Irma. But not all of us were so lucky. Our Drummer Ray C Williams's home has been absolutely destroyed, either due to crazy strong winds or a tornado ripping right through his place. Luckily, he's OK and was staying at a friend's house during the hurricane.

Either way, Ray no longer has a place to live. To make matters more complicated, he's also completely blind, as has been since birth. So he needs to find a living arrangement compatible with his disability. He's also extremely allergic to pets, which drastically limits his ability to stay with friends. He really needs his own place ASAP.

Like many Floridians, he evacuated his home on short notice with nothing more than a small bag of personal belongings, fully expecting life to return to normal after the storm had passed.  Now not only does Ray find himself homeless, he only has a handful of personal belongings left.

To make matters worse, Ray’s only source of income (other than a small monthly disability check) is the money he makes with the band. Three of our gigs were canceled as a direct result of the hurricane, so he lost that income as well. This is money he could have used for a security deposit.

Sure, there is help available through FEMA and the state of Florida. But as you can imagine, the process of getting assistance from national and state programs isn’t immediate, and it’s even MORE time-consuming and frustrating to navigate through government red tape when you’re blind.

Bottom line, Ray needs your help NOW. Any donation is greatly appreciated. Even a small amount will help us reach our goal of getting Ray back on his feet.

Ray is a monster Grammy-Nominated drummer who has played with Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Billy Paul, and many others (And luckily, he's in OUR band!)...and the only thing more massive than his sweet pocket groove, is his heart.

Our band has been trying to get him to move to Sarasota for some time, where he has easier access to more friends who can help him, check up on him from time to time, and so he's closer to the band in general.

Please help us get him an affordable, solid place to stay in Sarasota where he can be around more friends who can help him and support him.

100% of he funds generated will be used to help with his security deposit, first couple month's rent, moving expenses, replacing his personal belongings, but also to get him set up with special equipment that will help him in his day-to-day life.

Many of the mundane tasks we all take for granted are nearly impossible for a blind person, without the help of special equipment & technology. For example, over the last several months, Ray has been forced to eat only food he could heat in a microwave, since his trailer was not equipped with blind-friendly cooking equipment.

Imagine if the only things you could eat were pre-packaged frozen or canned foods made in a microwave (and you couldn’t see the label in order to know what you’re eating)! For a blind person living alone, this is what it's like at every meal, without special equipment to help .

Ray had been saving his money to buy a special laptop computer equipped with accessibility tools for the blind (such as a Refreshable Braille Display), which would open a whole new world of possibilities for him to work and communicate with the “seeing” world.

Your generous donation will go a LONG way to helping Ray recover from disaster, and start a new life in Sarasota, where he can be around his bandmates who can love and care for him. With your help, we can give him a leg up so he can live a happy, healthier, more productive life.

Please donate today. Even the smallest amount helps.

And be sure to share this GoFundMe page on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else you can. You never know who could see this and help us reach our goal faster.

THANK YOU!!

Sincerely,

- Ray's bandmates in Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul

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About Me
My name is Barry Nicholson. I'm the bandleader for Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul featuring the Hellacious Horns, an 8-pc funk band from Sarasota, Florida. Ray is the drummer for our band.

Ray will be able use to the GoFundMe beneficiary tool to have direct access to the funds raised. 

Ray will use the funds to:
- Place a security deposit on a new apartment in Sarasota. 
- Pay the first couple month's rent on his new apartment.
- Replace his personal belogings that were destroyed in the hurricane, including but not limited to: clothing, furniture, food, cooking utensils, appliances, kitchen table & chairs, linens, bed, lamps, chairs, living room furniture, and bathroom supplies.
- Purchase a laptop computer 
- Purchase software for the laptop that provides accessibility for the blind.
- Purchase a Brailliant BI 32 (NEW generation) braille display which will allow him to read what's on any computer screen, and communicate using a special braille keyboard http://store.humanware.com/hus/brailliant-bi-32-new-generation.html
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Organizer and beneficiary

Barry Nicholson 
Organizer
Osprey, FL
Ray Williams 
Beneficiary
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