1/13/11

If You're Looking for a Good Cause...

I have one for you. I know as bloggers and writers and individuals we're used to giving to large charities. But I just wanted to post a link to this family chip-in page if you feel moved to go there, read their story, and make a donation. Even a small one would help. This was originally brought to light by my sister-in-law Dana on Facebook and you can see her note below.

I should mention that Dana has spent a huge portion of her life rescuing animals in need. Abused animals, neglected animals, animals with medical problems. It's times like this when people like her, someone who has given so much of her own time and money to worthy causes, should be supported.

I guess I also feel somewhat helpless in times like these, so I wanted to use the only real avenue I have to help as a writer...my words. I asked Dana's permission to share this and she said "yes". Below is a link to the chip-in page (that was originally set up for Dana's dog rescue organization Iron Underdawgs) and a copy of the note that Dana originally posted on Facebook asking for help...which I know must've been a hard thing for her to do. You will note, what Dana is really asking for help with are jobs for her dad and brother. Not just charity, but some way to equip them so they can get on with their lives and be happy. But a monetary donation certainly won't hurt at this point either...








"The Backstory....



(I posted this on my Facebook page a few days ago and was touched by the outpouring of concern, helpful suggestions, and offers of prayer)

I spend so much time on the internet sharing stories of dogs in need of rescue due to circumstances beyond their control, that now I find myself reaching out to my compassionate network of friends with PEOPLE who need a little rescue networking. I'm looking for anyone who might have some ideas that might help my Dad and brother improve their very difficult situation. It's kind of a long story.... When my Mom passed away in June of 2010, the loss left our family reeling emotionally. But as the weeks went on, it became apparent that losing her would have a devastating effect on my Dad and brother financially as well.

Mom was the main breadwinner in the home, working at BSU for many years and retiring just 15 months before her death. She retired a little early so she could spend more time with the family, and devote more time to the care of my Grandmother, who lived with my parents, and my brother, who suffered a brain aneurysm a little over a year ago. She really had no retirement fund left due to the economy, and what she did have she just took in one lump sum to make some improvements to the house. She and my Dad were basically living on their social security, and my Grandmother's retirement money was also helping with some bills (but mostly just covering her own medications).

My brother has been unemployed since his brain injury, but has worked factory jobs off and on in the past. He has a high school education, but never did all that well in school. We now realize that his learning disability in school was most likely due to the arterio venous malformation that caused the aneurysm. Parts of his brain were never receiving enough oxygen because the bloodflow was impeded by this tangle of blood vessels that had been that way since birth. So he grew up not thinking he was suited for higher education, and found himself pigeon-holed into whatever temporary "Manpower" jobs he could get at various factories. Now he has trouble with his memory and carries the risk of seizures (and is supposed to be on medication forever for that problem).

When Mom was around, she was glad to just have Damon at home to help with Grandma. So that was basically his "job." After Mom's death, Grandma's health began to decline. She went into the hospital for a kidney infection and had a heart attack while in the hospital. She was incontinent and often immobile, plus she was a major fall risk. The family decided the best thing for her would be to move into a nursing home in Dayton, Ohio, where the rest of our family lives. But with Grandma moving, another contributing member of the family was gone, and the income decreased further.

My brother has applied for disability 3 times -- the third time using an attorney that specializes in disability applications. They were shocked when he was denied, and said they have seen MANY people with much less severe health problems be granted disability. Of course, as soon as he was denied, his medicaid was cancelled, and now he cannot purchase the medications he is supposed to be on for the rest of his life.

Sooooo... Dad is locked into a ridiiculous car lease with Honda that he entered into when Mom was around and still working at BSU. They will not let him out of it even though he is now operating on a fraction of their previous household income. They are in danger of losing their house. They are unable to keep the propane tank filled so they have heat and have been living with a kerosene heater. Damon is getting food stamps and they are utilizing local food pantries for groceries. They are looking into low-income housing. BUT in this horrible economy-- what they both really MUST FIND right now are some kind of jobs.

My Dad is a 65 year old man who used to be a truck driver. He's extremely creative -- used to be a graphic designer many years ago, who LOVES classic films, the internet, photography and photo editing. He cannot really type -- just kind of "hunts and pecks." He also has sciatica, and cannot be on his feet for long. This is a guy who retired because his body was just not in any shape to work anymore. But now he simply has no choice.

And we have my 40 year old brother, who has some degree of brain damage which affects his memory and his ability to do certain tasks in sequence. But he is extremely personable and is very knowledgeable about the outdoors (he's a bowhunter.) He has four rescued/adopted dogs that he LIVES for, and is great with animals. He's pretty strong except for a bad shoulder (an injury sustained during seizures while he was in a coma), and he's willing to work... often helps neighbors with projects around their houses, and seems to make a friend of everyone he meets!

These two simply CANNOT live on my Dad's social security alone, especially with no health insurance and an outrageous car payment (and it's impossible to find work with no car when you live in the boonies of Hartford City). Assuming they have about 9 months for the foreclosure process to actually boot them from their home, they have GOT to find something, even minimum wage jobs, and affordable, pet-friendly housing.

 If ANYONE has any ideas, please send me an FB message or email me at danadee74@gmail.com Or feel free to pass the info on to anyone you think might be able to help!

Thanks! --Dana"