Help Carlos and His 4 Children

We have reached 50% of our goal.  And I need everyone to know that I am beyond moved by the donations that have come through.  But I am still hopeful that we can raise enough to reach our goal.  I know many of you have said you believe in what we are doing and want to donate, but I understand we all get busy.  Please take this quick second and do all that you can do.  I'm counting on certain people that I know can make a difference.  Again, since I don't typically ever ask for help, I will personally never forget those of you that help make this happen for Carlos. This is extremely important to me...and you will be giving a family the opportunities they should have never been stripped from this past October. Love, Amy

(Original Message)

I am looking for your generosity and prayers in helping a single father and his four kids. Carlos's oldest son is 16 and he has three beautiful girls (7,12,13). His son also has special needs.

Over the last 8 months, Carlos and his children’s life have drastically changed, and unfortunately not in a good way. Carlos had worked hard all his life with the dream of becoming self employed, and that dream became a reality 2 years ago. But as recently as this October, two unfair situations took all that away from him, and the people behind it didn't care what that did to him and his family.  He doesn’t know I am trying to do any of this, but after reading this, I hope you will get a sense of the type of person Carlos is, and how these situations came at a top that were neither deserved or warranted.  One day he was literally living his dream, and within 3 weeks, he was out of work and financially empty. I know we all hope to find and live out our own dreams, but Carlos never wanted anything more than a stable business where his work demonstrated the level of quality he wanted for his customers, and his ability to mentor and support his children. He is very simple in that way and extremely reserved and quiet at times. He is such a good person, inside and out, and he deserves a NEW start. If I can reverse the events of last Fall like they never happened, I know that Carlos can do anything he wants again from there. He is the most focused, determined, passionate, and hardest working person I know.

Before you read below, I want to share how I met Carlos. About a year ago, I met Carlos while we were both volunteering our time on a community project. He was instrumental to the project’s success, because of his skills in construction and craftsmanship. About 2 months later, I bumped into him again on another volunteer project, and he was donating his skills and time again. I then learned from other volunteers that Carlos is a regular and donates his time nearly every weekend.

When I reconnected with Carlos this Spring, I was very disappointed when he told me he was no longer in business for himself. When I asked how that could be possible, he shared two terrible situations that occurred within 3 weeks of one another that wiped him out completely; both financially and physically.

This past October, Carlos was hired for what was one of his largest single jobs to date. I think we can all agree that starting your own business takes guts and a BIG step forward.  So Carlos has been relying on his quality of the trades and his experience for people to build a business slow and steady.  But it takes a long time.  So you can imagine that this was exciting when He and his team were asked to lay over 5,000 sqft of custom tile in West County. With 25% down at the beginning, when the job was finished, the developer who hired him skipped town and didn't pay any of the 15 + subcontractors on this particular project., with one group being Carlos and his guys.  In one day, he was financially turned upside because if you can do the math, this was a major loss based on the size of the project. The cost of the material alone destroyed him, but now he was out wages to pay his team, let alone any source of funds to cover his bills and have income for his family.

But I wish that's where the pain stopped.  Just 3 weeks later as he was still dealing with the repercussions of the Tile job , Carlos was just days away from finishing a full rehab in the city.   When he approached the property one morning, he opened the house to find that the building was completely empty.  The whole property had been robbed yet there was no forced entry. Police still have no arrests, though they feel it is someone possibly associated to the owner of the property that gained access and wiped it clean. But as of today, the detectives don't have enough evidence to prove. Forget about all the losses from the tile job, because now Carlos lost every piece of his business that allows him to be a contractor: Carlos lost every tool, fixture and accessory he had for his business and his whole crew… a lifetime of savings and purchases over time to get him to where he was today. He estimates it is over 25-35k in tools and more.

I know no one here knows Carlos personally and we all read tough stories from time to time. But though he had two extremely unfortunate experiences, the next decisions Carlos made just shows the type of man and character he possesses.

Even after those two events, Carlos didn't wallow in self-pity, and didn't sit around, as he had a family to take care of. So he instantly searched out a crew position where he works 6 days a week, 12 hour days. He also took a personal loan so that everyone that worked with him on the West county tile project was paid what they deserved, as he believed strongly that they needed to be paid for their work.

But with having a huge loan to pay back and now doesn't even own a single tool, Carlos's options are fairly limited. And with his reduction in wages, he is struggling to find enough to provide for all 4 kids and himself. I am looking to even help find them a new place for the 5 of them to live as we speak.

Which brings me to the purpose of this campaign.

My goal is to reverse time and make both of these incidents like they never happened. My plan is to replace as many of his tools and try to pay down any of his current loan that is a large burden that he can't afford.  But the tools need to come first.   
Carlos has had a hard but amazing life. He has been on his own since 13 and has fought hard to be all odds and become the man and Father he always wanted to be. He only wants the best for others and his biggest love in life is supporting his own children so they too can grow up to be successful, respectful and caring individuals. Carlos has worked in the trades all his life, and as I mentioned, had the American dream of one day opening his own business.  And he has learned first-hand that that your attitude, work ethic, and never giving up can make anything possible.  Carlos is a devout Christian, and sets an amazing example for his children. And though I have no political agenda, I understand that right now there is a lot of focus in this country about citizenship, etc. And I don’t want anyone’s views to hinder their support here. So though I shouldn't have to say this, Carlos and all his kids are legal citizens and he is someone that is very, very proud to be an American.

Of course he knows none of this that I have posted, and he isn't one to go around sharing his hardships.  But there are special people in this world that deserve their faith to be restored in the universe, and this is our chance with Carlos.  Too many people and communities will benefit from Carlos's generosity alone just by him being able to work again on his own.  But as I mentioned, his current job will never allow the necessary means for he and his kids, the time to take on side work, and the ability in ever going back to being self-employed.

You generosity will change Carlos's life for the better in a way that we will never truly understand   And that's why I need your help.  

I appreciate anything you can do, and know that none of this goes unnoticed with me.

Donating is quick and easy, and if anyone has any questions or needs help using the site, please don’t hesitate to ask. I will be collecting the funds and withdrawaling them to purchase the tools for Carlos to surprise him. Thanks so much for your support!

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Amy Schoen 
St Louis, MO
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