My family needs your help in supporting my mother in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
For the past 8 years, my mother has lived in a low-income area of Fort Myers, Florida. She moved away from my home in Vermont when I was in late high school, a fact that still surprises me (and her) to this day. In the time since, she has overcome emotional and physical hurdles, illness, and loss, all while working countless hours of overtime to build what humble comfort she has.
Each day my mother (Ruth) gets up and works two consecutive jobs without complaint, committing each dollar to taking care of her family and providing what little she can for me and my sister. This generosity influenced every aspect of her life. Each year on her birthday she would host a party to fundraise money and supplies for our local food shelf. She would ask folks to bring donations, and in turn she would have an entire catered meal available to contributors simply for participating in her request. We would serve hundreds of people out of our small cabin in Vermont, and she (along with myself, my sister, and my dad) would give all of herself to make that happen (regardless of our own stability).
This past week, my mother was barely able to evacuate her home in Florida. The jobs she commits to could not honor an early closure, so she stayed where she was asked in order to not lose her job. Once she was finally able to stop working, she found herself only miles from the eye when Irma struck. Luckily, she was able to stay with a friend in a structurally sound space, so although she was frightened, both she (and her pets) were left physically unscathed. However, predications for her own home were bleak, with a storm surge of 9 to 15 feet predicted, so she certainly lost hope for any sort of life in the aftermath.
My sister and I were thankfully able to maintain communication with her during and after the storm, and she we have learned that she has quite a bit to rebuild and repair. Although the storm surge was luckily less than predicted, her home was still affected by surge of several feet. Much of her home will need repairs, many items will need replacing, and all while she finds way to pay rent. Both places she works were affected by the storm, and it is likely that she will now experience a lapse in work until those places can reopen, but her bills will only grow.
As my mother moves forward with all of the expected and unexpected expenses of this tragedy, I ask that you consider contributing to someone who desperately needs the support. I know she will not be able to recover without assistance, and I fear that my sister and I cannot do enough. I am so proud of how far my mother has come, and hope that you will join me and my sister in helping her.
What the funds will be used for:
-- Repairs to flooring, furniture, outside structure.
-- Tools for repair and clean up.
-- Food and supplies while still living without power and without work.
-- Money for rent.
-- Money to pay bills while she can't work, and while she catches up in finances once she does return to work.
-- Food and supplies for animals.
--Replace all linens, bedding, and some clothing.
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