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SmileySharing: A New Beginning

$570 of $6,200 goal

Raised by 9 people in 13 months
Created July 15, 2018
SmileySharing
Here's our story:

Per a VA study, an average of 20 veterans commit suicide every day . Many of those veterans are suffering from mental health conditions that cause them to feel that suicide is the only way to make the pain stop. The VA waiting lists are long, and the treatments are often subpar. Veterans are suffering and dying because they aren’t getting the mental health care they need. 

Enter Michael Mason. Michael is a US Army veteran who feels called to counsel veterans, especially veterans. He is currently finishing up a Master of Education in Counseling degree at UMSL; once he has completed the program, he will obtain his counseling license and open up his practice. Michael’s dream is to open a private practice where he can treat clients, especially veterans, regardless of their ability to pay.

No office can run smoothly without an office manager, and that’s where Rebecca Oaks Mason comes into play. She is currently studying for her Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology at STLCC. Once she has graduated, Rebecca will obtain her CCA, which will show that she meets AHIMA’s standards for medical coders and billers. Rebecca will be handling medical coding, billing insurance companies and private pay patients, accounting, health information, scheduling, compliance, and contacting patients via telephone and/or email as needed for appointment purposes.

You may be asking, “That’s great and all, but why are you asking ME for help?” 

I’m glad you asked. The trouble is that in spite of the incredible need for mental health care professionals, especially for veterans, there is virtually no financial aid for graduate students pursuing work in the field rather than professorship, and the competition for that scanty financial aid is fierce. In Rebecca’s case, she already has a Bachelor of Arts in English, and there is very little financial aid available for someone who already has a Bachelor’s degree, even if she is pursuing a degree in another field. Your donations will enable Michael and Rebecca to complete their educations now, serve as seed money for Michael’s private practice, and enable Michael to see patients regardless of their ability to pay.

When it comes right down to it, we can’t do this without you, nor do we want to. Your investment in us is an investment not just in us, but in our community. It enables us to continue the work we have been called to do and pass the blessings that have been shared with us onto others, many of whom haven’t experienced a blessing of their own in a long time.

Thank you!

(Suicide rate source: . https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/factsheets/Suicide_Prevention_FactSheet_New_VA_Stats_070616_1400.pdf)
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As many of you know, we need to be out of this house by September 30. Michael and I are both working full-time, and we are both full-time students. When we have tried to find places to rent, the places turned out to be unsafe to the point where we didn't think we would be able to get an occupancy permit, or they were rented to someone else before we could even visit them, much less apply for them.

We have been able to prequalify for a loan on a home. The bad part is that we need to raise a down payment of roughly $6200 ASAP if we go this route.

Everything is so shaky, and I am so afraid. I'm doing my best to trust in God right now, but it seems like doors keep getting slammed in our faces and hurdles are up in the stratosphere.

We need help.

Please help us.
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As school gets ready to start up again, our updates may be sparse, esoteric, or possibly both. Please follow SmileySharing.com for our latest blogs.

And look at the picture I've attached again. You are all of those things and more. Thank you!
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After a lot of thought and prayer, Michael and I have decided that we will continue to use SmileySharing for our current rideshare/mental wellness website as well as our future clinic. We feel that it is in line with our overarching mission to spread positivity and give people the tools they need to overcome depression and anxiety and live their best possible lives. Our mission will help us meet the goal of reducing the suicide rate, especially among veterans.

And we've noticed that when people see Smiley in our van, they usually smile, and that gives us a little lift too, knowing that our friendly face in the van has added some cheer to other people's lives.
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Thank you so much for your support! If you want to help in different ways, or you're not comfortable with crowdfunding, but you still want to help us out, there are plenty of ways that you can.

The biggest way you can help is to visit our website, www.SmileySharing.com. We get a bit of revenue from ads and some of the items we recommend on our Amazon page. There are also links to Uber and Lyft there.

Michael drives for Uber, and he is one of the highest-rated drivers in the St. Louis metro. When you ride with him, you ride with the best in a clean and comfortable vehicle.

I also paint, and you can purchase customized digital paintings from me through Fiverr: https://www.fiverr.com/ladycygnet

Did you know I've written and illustrated three children's books that are available in print and for the Kindle? You can purchase them here:
https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Goose-story-Henry-square/dp/1523704845

https://www.amazon.com/Henrys-Tail-Further-Adventures-Square/dp/1539855899

https://www.amazon.com/Fearless-Feet-Oh-Henry-3/dp/1540540669/

I sell Avon as well, and you can visit my Avon page here:
https://ladycygnet.avonrepresentative.com/

Thanks again for your support, and keep on Smiley Sharing!
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$570 of $6,200 goal

Raised by 9 people in 13 months
Created July 15, 2018
SmileySharing
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