Help Nth Recover From Harvey
Hi, I'm Nth Bar-Field (Nathan Bar-Fields), and as a veteran, nonprofit worker, and sponsor I'm used to helping others, not asking for help. So forgive me if this comes across as clumsy. My family and I got hit. We got hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. My little town of Dickinson, TX made it to national news in a way I wouldn't have expected. Seeing my bank under water, hearing my grandmother rescued from the truck after it flooded...The only way I can describe this is as surreal.
I'm the main breadwinner for my household of three (my mother who has MS, and my grandmother live with me). It's been...a challenge trying to keep the business running in order to make sure the bills continue to get paid, while also trying to figure out things like where are we going to live now? Food? Clothes? Funiture? Transportation? The list just doesn't end. And to my surprise, I still have to pay the mortgage, even though the house was feet deep in water until today, and we're told we may not be able to stay there, as a health risk (mold).
So I find myself doing something I've done for others: I'm asking for help to help me stay afloat and get back to normalcy. I can take it from there. I've talked to insurance companies, FEMA, etc., to get an assessment for what will and won't be covered, and a lot that is covered will take months to get the companies to pay for. In the meantime, we're in trouble. A lot of what I am posting is still speculative, until the water subsides and we can get back to inspect. The real cost is probably closer to three times what I'm asking for, but below are all of the things I can confirm we're going to need, and will need them, like yesterday.
I covered a lot of this on Facebook.
As for costs:
Decent used vehicle to replace the one that is gone: $2500
Replace software/hardware that isn't insured: $5000
Clothes from Goodwill for us: $600
Furniture from Goodwill or other thrift store: $2000
Food until my next paycheck comes in: $400
Unexpected costs the first month (e.g., electrical repairs,): $1,000
09/01/17: We do in fact have to find housing due to mold, so I am adding 3 months' rent. We have a place to stay for 3 months without paying. ~$3,150, plus security
GoFundMe's commission (~7.9%): ~$1148.00
Donations from PayPal -$200
Donations from outside this campaign or PayPal -$400
Total: $10,808 (since increased now that we have a better estimate).
As more data comes in, I am getting an extensive appreciation of what all financially we will need. It is going to be quite a bit more than originally estimated. However, instead of caving in, I see an opportunity to provide for my family in our time of need and also extend something that is more than just a “thank you” to those who are donating and have donated already. I emphasize the following offer applies to everyone who has donated already and who will donate in the future. If you have already given to help us--whether it is through GoFundMe, PayPal, or something else--there is nothing more for you to do. I will contact you in the coming days. This is what I am offering:
“Thank You Service” for your donations
$500 donation -- I will be a grant writer for an organization, individual, or cause of your choice for one week. This is for every $500 donation up to $2000. So a maximum of four weeks for one cause or charity, or a maximum of four charities and causes for one week.
$100 donation -- I will edit grant applications for an organization, individual, or cause of your choice for one week. This is for every $100 donation up to $400. So a maximum of four weeks for one charity or cause, or a maximum of four causes or charities for one week.
There are some clarifications that I need to make now, so that there are no misunderstandings later:
*I can only work on these projects between November 1st, 2017 and November 1st, 2018.
*While you can choose the cause or charity, I have to decide the week on the calendar that I can work on them. I want to give each cause I sign on to my very best work.
*I can only do a limited number of these “thank you projects," so I will be closing this campaign once I have enough donations to cover my family’s costs.
*I do work for two amazing organizations, Elysian Trust and Empyrean Trust. Both do fundraising (among other things), but these “thank you projects" I am offering have no connection to either organization. These are solo projects you are hiring me for or assigning me to.
I find missing people for a living via a wonderful organization called Find Me Group. I am also a grant writer/program evaluator for:
--a nonprofit school
--a nonprofit therapeutic riding program for people with disabilities
--numerous students and social entrepreneurs to help fund their tuition or get their humanitarian businesses operational.
I am most certainly going to continue working to help these clients and causes, and many more. If anything, this hurricane has made me more hungry to do so. I just need a little help to continue. For that, you have my gratitude in doing something to help.
P.S., If you need to verify anything I've written before donating, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I won't be offended. But again, I do indeed need some immediate help, and that's incredibly hard for me to say.
We've had a lot of service techs coming and going (a good thing), including surprise cancellations other people had that worked in our favor, and that is largely thanks to you all. So many donated, but others even made phone calls.
Still no luck on getting a replacement vehicle. All the ones in the $2500 to $4000 range in the area were gone in a blink of an eye. That's not really a surprise, I guess. There is also a significant waiting list for car donations. But honestly, if that (and the garage, and some of the wiring) are the only things we have to contend with we're fine.
By the way, the mold issue was much worse than we thought. I've attached pictures for you to see. It turns out that it may have been there for a while, but the hurricane exacerbated the growth.
All three of us have been suffering medical issues that were assigned to other things, but ever since the mold was removed (or we've been away from the mold), the high majority of our symptoms have gone away. So, in a way, the hurricane was a blessing in disguise.
With all that being said, I am raising the amount sought again. But hopefully after this, there will be no need to a third time.
Thanks again, to everyone.
"A special message from GoFundMe's partner, the Direct Impact Fund:
Dear GoFundMe user,
You might be wondering: What's the Direct Impact Fund, and how did a $1,413 donation end up on my GoFundMe campaign?
Nearly 10,000 people donated over $750,000 to the Direct Impact Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Fund selected several GoFundMe campaigns to receive a portion of those donations. Your campaign was one of them.
Currently, the donors to the Fund don't know you. Let's change that.
Will you shoot a short video, introducing yourself and thanking the strangers who helped you? They'll be grateful to hear directly from you and know that their donation to the Direct Impact Fund made a difference."
This is...surreal. It happened so quickly, I thought it was a joke or glitch at first. If I had waited just ten minutes more to turn it back on I'd have had to pursue other strategies to fill the financial gap. Obviously, my thanks to Direct Impact Fund and ordinary people who've helped; but also thanks to perfect timing, or intuition, or coincidence, or divine providence, or whatever you want to call it. I'm still a little stunned!