Keep Me Off the Streets!
Dear Family, Friends, and other Compassionate people...
It humbles and saddens me to ask others for help, but I find myself in a situation where I am in dire need of financial assistance.
I understand that some may not have the means to donate and others may need to make small donations. Whatever you can do to assist me will be most appreciated....even if it's just to share this request on Facebook.
I am so blessed to have an awesome family and dear friends in my life. Thanks to my talented daughter, Heather Haze, her partner, Bobbie and her musical associates, I have great music enhancing my life. Music and dance are gifts the Universe bestows on us, if we're lucky enough.
Yes, I am truly blessed, but yet I find myself in a very perilous situation.
1. UPCOMING HOUSING CRISIS:
In 1987, after my divorce, I fled Iowa from an abusive husband, to resettle in the DC area. I virtually started my life over at 40. After some help from a dear friend and his family, I found a one-bedroom condo to rent in Fairfax. It's been my home for over 30 years. My landlady, who is now elderly, has informed me recently that she needs to sell it soon to move in with her daughter and she wanted to give me a heads up.
Time flies.... I have always dreamed of owning a home, but it's been an elusive dream for me. Life often gets in the way of our dreams. Now I find myself, as a Senior citizen on a severely limited income, which is going to make finding a decent place a real obstacle. Rents are high in Fairfax with most one bedrooms starting at $1400-1700 per month and 2 bedrooms $1700 plus.
Also, I have 3 furry friends (a 7-year-old dog and 2 cats - One is 10 and the other 16 years old.) They are my babies and my forever friends, so they must be part of the plan. I am truly concerned about them even beyond my own concerns of relocating. I will NOT let them down in anyway.
It's my hope to get funding to cover moving costs, security deposits, pet fees and at least three months rent to give me time to get settled. In the meantime, I'm working through 30 years of accumulated stuff. You know the saying, “When one door closes, another opens” (that is if you don’t have too much junk in front of the door…) It’s time to reorganize and keep only those things dear to me and are practical and useful in my life. Not an easy task - emotionally or physically.
Ideally, it would be so wonderful, not to worry about my income for a couple of months. I spend so much time trying to supplement my Social Security, it leaves me with little time or energy to get everything else done.
2. ONLINE ACTIVISM:
When I lost my 5 year job on an Army contract, due to a workforce reduction in 2009. I needed to regroup and didn't like what I saw was happening within the Tea Party.. Having served as an Online Communications Consultant for such national services as: America Online, The Source, AT&T's Interchange and CompuServe, I felt I could make a difference in America by using these skills on Facebook. I've used my own resources to fund the many hours a day that I've devoted to changing messaging where the need arises. I would like to see this thru the Mid-Terms and possibly thru the next presidential election. Any funding that goes above my housing goals will go towards my activism. I'm passionate in my belief, that thru online activism, we plant seeds that can grow and spread - much like the "Johnny Appleseed" effect. The photo below was taken at the Supreme Court during a protest to try to encourage a recount in Florida during the Bush-Gore fiasco. This was really my "awakening" toward how much politics affect our lives. I was an Independent most of my adult life, however, I made the decision to register as a Democrat and get off the fence. I never looked back.
This is the question I mulled over a long time before creating this Go Fund Me Request. My dear sister responded with the answer, “Why Not Me!” To be honest, I know that there are many people who struggle with life situations that go beyond mine. I’ll try to make my best case of why I am worthy of this funding. Then I’ll leave it to you to decide.
I am a caring individual who is loyal to close friends and family.
When significant people in my life developed terminal illnesses, I was there for them 100% even when others turned away. Care-giving was one of the most physically and mentally demanding things I’ve ever done, but also very gratifying and some of the most meaningful experiences in my life. Anyone who has gone through the experience knows they are changed forever.
1. In 1995, my parents, who lived in Denver became critically ill. My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s for several years, but her condition deteriorated and she was placed in a nursing home, prior to my father collapsing and being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. I flew to Denver to assist my family with my father's care. He was placed in hospice care and was able to return to his home of 60 years. I became his hospice caregiver assisted by my sister. My brother continued to work. My father was my night and day for two months. My mother's condition worsened quickly in the nursing home and she died in June and my father followed in July. We were devastated. I stayed in Denver for six months to assist my family with the estate.
2. Then in 2000, my ex-husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. He lived in Bradenton, Fl. When we met he was a handsome 28 year old radio newsman and I was 17-year-old dancer, so at one point in my life he represented fairy tale love, until I realized he was a frog, not a prince. We were married 21 years before we divorced. He was a recovering alcoholic and had virtually no one significant left in his life by the time he got sick. Although, my daughter and I had stopped communicating with him, we both agreed that this was a chapter of our lives we needed to finish the right way, so we decided to care for him. Again, I became his hospice caregiver and he was able to stay home during his illness. I had my own business then, so I had to arrange it around my trips to Florida. I would work Tuesday through Thursday and fly to Florida to care for him Friday through Monday. Of course, as he got sicker, my daughter and I spent more time with him. After going through chemotherapy and radiation, he died on January 22, 2002.
(After I returned to DC, I started working again. I was working on a contract to the Department of Labor then. I was blessed because others believed in my capabilities.)
4. In April of 2002, my neighbor, Alice, who I knew for 17 years and was a mother figure to me, announced that her pancreatic cancer had taken a turn for the worse. My heart sank…I loved this woman. Her sister from New Hampshire visited her and assisted her with her initial care. The day before her sister left to go home, she and Alice made the decision to sell her unit and move to an assisted living facility. Alice called me that afternoon quite upset. She told me that she sold her unit. Being from New Hampshire, Alice was a very stoic woman, however, she could hardly speak between her tears, when she told me about selling her unit. After we hung up, all I could do is cry. I knew that I had the skills to help her, but it was just too soon after my ex-husbands death to consider it. As I worked through my tears, I knew that I HAD to help because of my love and respect for her. I called her and told her that she wouldn’t have to move, and I could care for her. She was touched but called me that night and said that she had made the right decision after all. I told her that when the time came, I would be there for her. Her sisters, who were in there 80’s, lived out of state. To make a long story short, her conditioned worsened in August and I began to stay the night with her at the request of her sister. Her sister flew back to help with her care in September. She slept on the sofa, I slept on the floor with a baby monitor, so that I could hear Alice. She passed in late September.
Then last year, a dear friend and neighbor, Bob, who I had known for over 15 years, succumbed Parkinson's Disease. His care took an all-out effort on the part of his family and they asked if I would assist with his care since I lived so close. For four years, we were a close team working to care for him. I wanted my role as a friend, to help him enjoy his life up to the end. We had a lot of laughs along the way. I miss him.
Being someone who had to take care of herself, I worked hard and with passion since I was 17. Here are a few highlights from my work journey:
After literally starting from scratch with a high school education, I founded two businesses, one lasted 20 years and the other 15 years. My first business was a mission of my love of dance and that passion led to my own dance business in Iowa. I loved every minute of it and it grew to three studio locations. I had to leave it all behind when my life was at risk, if I stayed in Iowa.
Starting over in DC, was humbling to say the least, but I knew I had to work hard to succeed and thrive. I learned every software application possible and became proficient enough to start teaching software classes. One of the more significant opportunities, offered to me, was with a Government contractor teaching software applications to thousands of students at the Pentagon. During this period of time, I was working five jobs: Technical Training, teaching online classes and hosting a regular chatroom shift on America Online, DJing at Weddings and teaching dance at a local studio on Saturdays. Needless, to say I wasn't home much. I was promoted to Manager of the Training Task before I yearned to be independent again.
I started a computer consulting business in 1991. It was definitely scary, but exhilarating, too. For the first year, I supplemented my earnings by teaching computer classes at Microcenter. I built my business one client at a time and it grew and lasted 15 years.
Some highlights of that period, were working at the White House performing technical writing services-first for the Y2K efforts, and then to assist with the transition efforts from Clinton to Bush. I also worked on contract to the Department of Labor assisting the People Power Team with obtaining their Exhibit 300 funding request.
I take pride in the effort it took to achieve so many milestones, however, here I am... I did everything possible to have some security as I aged, but unfortunately life has other plans.
Here's a great example of life's "interruptions "...when I started the job on the Army contract, my 12 year old car's transmission went down, so I decided to buy another better used one. Soon after I bought the car, I had to be rushed to the hospital with a severe Diverticulitis attack that almost killed me and required emergency surgery, then in 2 months I needed another surgery. Shortly after surgery, I caught a nasty, dangerous infection from my previous stay at the hospital which put me back in the hospital for another 16 days. During a 4 year period, from 2006-2010, I had 4 surgeries, and a 16 day stay in the hospital. I continued working each time I recovered until 2009, when my employer decided to let me go due to a "workforce reduction.” During that period, my dear daughter, who was helping with my care, drove my new car, more than I did.
I will be so grateful and humbled by any assistance you deem me worthy of. Depending on my Landlady, my present housing could change rapidly, so I need to prepare myself for a stressful few months. I haven't received a formal notice yet. I'm also having trouble paying my bills, so the stress is constantly there. I've been doing freelance PowerPoint work, to supplement my Social Security, however, it's sporatic. My energy and ambitions have changed as I've aged. I was hoping to have a life beyond work before I die. In Trump's America, I'm not sure that's possible any more. That's why its so important to me to continue to resist.
After calling this place my home for 30 years, as meager as it is, and although I'm looking forward to a new adventure, it's still hard to leave. Knowing that I have everything covered, such as moving costs, deposits, pet fees and time to get settled means so much to me. That's why I opened my soul to a GoFundMe Campaign. Not an easy thing to do...but sometimes you just need to give it up to the Universe. Any small donation will make a difference.