Thanks for stopping by. This is extremely difficult for me to do, but my family has fallen on rough times lately and we really need some help. I'm usually pretty private with this stuff, and I might be telling too much, but this is our story (most of it, at least) and I have to tell it for the sake of my family.
Who are we?
My name is Tyler Jacobs and I'm an experienced graphic designer, animator and creative director who has worked in children's television, fashion, telecommunications and consumer products. I've been nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards and have been lucky enough to do some really fun things throughout my career.
I'm husband to Marylynn, and father to four wonderful kids: Cricket (15), Buster (13), Oxford (8) and Duke (6). Marylynn homeschools two of our boys and is always trying to encourage out-of-the-box teaching. She is such a devoted and creative mother! Despite her Celiac Disease (and other health issues), she is fun, vivacious and full of spirit. I would have never survived this far if it weren't for her.
Unfortunately, I have been out of work for nine months as of today and we are really feeling the effects. This is why I'm here
Wait, what happened?
First, here's a bit of our history: I've been out of work on and off throughout our 18 years of marriage due to various circumstances (layoffs, freelancing, projects ending, etc.), and we have often struggled financially. Despite our humble lifestyle, we have rarely ever had enough to build any kind of savings. We had to file for bankruptcy a while back (due to our medical expenses) and were forced to cash out our 401(k) twice. We even moved out of state on two separate occasion in search for a lower cost of living - only to realize there was no work for me there, and we had to return to California. We have done everything we could to survive, but we've tried our best to keep our chins up and not let it get us down.
In 2018, I was working as the senior content creator for a certain restaurant chain (which will remain nameless). I handled their social media content, animated short cartoons, shot & edited videos, and so on. I worked hard and enthusiastically, despite the fairly toxic work environment. I had been there less than a year when I was unexpectedly forced to resign during a humiliating meeting. Later. when I applied for unemployment benefits, I was denied. I came to find out that the company had lied to the department of labor regarding the circumstances of my departure, rendering me ineligible. I spoke with a law firm but I was told that I didn't have a case. I was out of luck and had no other choice than to just let it go. Fine, OK, whatever.
So, it's been nine months since then, and I've been focusing on:
A) Finding work (freelance and/or full-time) via job sites, networking & updating my website (tylerjacobs.com). And
B) Trying to start my own clothing company (Heft Tees ).
Nothing solid has come through for us yet, but I haven't given up.
In February, I suffered from an extremely painful shoulder injury (bursitis!) that put me out of commission for several months and required physical therapy. That was a dark time that really took its toll on my productivity and morale. I'm mostly functioning now, but still don't have a full range of motion in my left arm.
How have we survived?
Up until now, we've been able to just scrape by with support from loving families, generous friends, our church welfare system, food stamps and a decent tax return. However, we've now come to the point where all our resources are tapped out. Our families and church can no longer help us, our food benefits are likely to end next month and our funds are completely depleted. We have no savings at all and an overdrawn bank account. Our bills are piling up and I was just served papers for a lawsuit by debt collectors. Yikes!
I'm in a constant state of panic as I try to find ways to support my family. I don't know where to focus my efforts and am always second guessing myself. I'm terrified every day that our utilities will be shut off and how we'll be able to make rent. We don't really have anything to sell, no backup funds and I'm running out of ideas. Our situation has taken its toll on the mental well being of me and my family, and I really feel like I'm at my wit's end.
How can you help?
I know I have a lot of great friends and contacts out there, and if I reached out for help I could definitely find it. Any donations you provide will be considered sacred to us and spent with the utmost thought and care. Like I said earlier, we live a pretty simple lifestyle and aren't like going to buy diamond-plated fidget spinners or anything like that with the money raised.
Your donation will go towards:
- Rent for our home.
- Food (if our SNAP benefits are cut off)
- Utilities - power, water, internet, phone, etc.
- Bank fees (overdrawn account)
- Gas, registration, insurance, car payments, traffic ticket.
- Work-related services (web hosting, iCloud, Adobe CC, etc.)
- Debt collection lawsuit (for a credit card from years ago).
- Preschool costs, homeschool supplies
- Any additional expenses common for a family of six.
Our goal is currently set at $10,000 and that will give us two months of survival (rent, utilities and everything else listed above). However I fully expect things to turn around by then, and with your help, we can get back on our feet.
We are in immediate need for your donations, as we have plenty of places to put it to use. For example, we need gas money to take our daughter to a doctor's appointment, and we're out of paper towels and cat food, because they're not covered by food stamps. These seemingly small and stupid things are huge daily challenges for us. But then there's also the bigger things like our car insurance getting cancelled, or having to miss my grandmother's funeral in Utah. It's all so embarrassing, but this is our reality.
How am I helping myself?
Despite our current situation, I am hopeful and I expect some great things coming our way. I have been taking meetings with Warner Brothers Animation (pitching new cartoons shows), have started doing freelance designs for a clothing company and am picking up several (very) small design jobs here & there. I'm continuing to seek full time employment and submitting resumes as much as I can. I'm also working on an investor pitch for my clothing company.
I'm not above getting a temporary job outside of my profession, but I feel my time and energy would be spent better focusing on freelance designing, doing what I know.
That said, I am open to any job leads at this point and if you might know of anyone that can use my skills, please pass my information along. I truly want to work to earn our way through life. Please visit my portfolio website for my past works and my resume.
Thank you so much!!
Like I said at the beginning, this is extremely humbling for me to come here and ask for help. I know there are many families out there who have much greater need than we do and things are rough for everyone. However, being a provider is my top priority, and I don't take it lightly at all. If providing for my family looks like asking for help, then at least that's something.
Thanks for your time. Anything helps. God bless.
Tyler Jacobs and Family