Social Media supports Ventura, CA

Edit 12/20:17: GoFundMe works diligently to ensure that all campaigns especially those surrounding natural disasters are legitimate. I am happy to answer the following questions that GoFundMe asks campaign creators to answer:

Who you are and where you’re located: My name is Deanna Silverman. I am a Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I also am the creator behind the social media account @HilariousHumanitarian on Instagram, in addition to the podcast show the Hilarious Humanitarian Podcast. I live in Ventura with my family. We had to evacuate due to the Thomas Fire that started on 12/4/17 but we were fortunate enough to return to Ventura with our home still standing.

Your connection to your beneficiary/ies: Ventura is a relatively small beach community and the actual city of Ventura in Ventura County is not large (in terms of square mileage.) Therefore, most, if not all of the residents in Ventura know at least 1 family that lost their home to the Thomas Fire that started on December 4, 2017. I will be purchasing gift cards and gifts for holiday stockings to give to as many families and children as we can who lost their home to the fire. Starting December 23-25th I will also be working with local businesses and charities that are hosting Christmas dinners and I will be donating a bulk of the presents so that the beneficiaries have something special to leave with. Due to privacy reasons, I won’t be posting pictures of the beneficiaries but I will be keeping record (pictures included) of the receipts from all my purchases and pictures of the gifts.

How the funds will be spent (be specific as possible): 100% of the funds will be spent to purchase gift cards for gas, groceries, meals at local restaurants, Build-a-bear workshop, various local retail stores, Costco cash, Amazon and Target. I will be purchasing basic necessities, gift baskets, stockings and stocking stuffers and age appropriate presents for the children and teenagers.

Your withdrawal plan to get the funds from the campaign to the ultimate beneficiary/ies: Due to the nature of the fire (it started on 12/4/17 and the threat of the fire lasted for 2 + weeks) I will not have a ton of time to fundraise & collect all the gifts before Christmas (roughly 10 days.) Due to the time restraint (fundraising + waiting for funds to release) as donations come in, I will be making daily trips to local stores to spend within the budget so I can start collecting and organizing the gifts to get them ready for distribution. I will be spending my own money upfront to purchase the gifts as I wait for the funds to be released, I will be keeping all receipts for my personal record and once the funds are released, I will be able to reimburse those funds.

Original post 12/13/2017: With the holiday season here in full swing and the community of Ventura trying to rebuild & heal from the destruction caused by the Thomas Fire, I along with other social media leaders and their amazing followers are raising money to provide Holiday Stockings to those impacted and displaced. While many hardworking charities and nonprofits continute to do an incredible job providing food, temporary emergency housing, clothing and more, we want to offer our love & holiday cheer in an effort to bring a sense of normalcy & spirit during an undertsandably very tough time for so many. 

A little about me to provide total transparency to this cause: My name is Deanna Silverman and I am a mother, wife, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist and I am a resident of Ventura, Ca. I work in the Mental Health field by day and by night I run the Instagram account @HilariousHumanitarian. My account is well known for bringing people together to share love, compassion for others, laughter and healing. 

100% of the funds we raise through this GoFund Me campaign will be used to purchase holiday stockings that we will fill with basic necessities, gift cards to local restaraunts, gas stations, Amazon, Target & more. In addition, the stockings will be stuffed with holiday cheer, goodies & toys for the children. 

We will be passing the stockings and gifts out to families & children, local nonprofits and businesses who are hosting events for those impacted no later than Christmas Day. Our goal is to fundraise as much as possible in the next 7 days and then start to fill the stockings so that they are ready to be passed out on the weekend leading up to Christmas (Dec 23-25th.)  

This fundraiser absolutely means the world to me. I am so proud of the fundraising efforts my @HilariousHumanitarian Instagram family of 320,000 people have already been a part of in support of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, the Santa Rosa Fire, various KickStarters and individual GoFund Me campaigns we all backed and rallied around when our fellow human being (s) needed help. I have no doubt that this could be an incredible success too. 

Countless fellow Humanitarians have reached out to me when they knew my family and I were evacuated due to the Thomas Fire asking how can they help so here is our chance to bring moments of hope, love, smiles and happiness to so many who are facing so much during this holiday season.

I’m going to kick off my own campaign by donating $500 to this cause. Please join me and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all for your kindness and compassion for others. We are truly stronger together. #VenturaStrong
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Organizer

Deanna Silverman 
Organizer
Ventura, CA
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