Month: May 2011

No (Change) -Updated 5/19/11

Update: I have been a bit frustrated that I haven’t been able to raise more money for Isaiah and his mom for his medical and care and living expenses. I know times are tough. I know I keep asking a lot of from you but please, please, please, go to http://www.giveforward.com/teamisaiah and make whatever donation you can. Then again, when I am nice, like I was in the original blog below, there are fewer donations. However, when I am a “bully” and I “guilt-trip” like I was accused of after writing “Watching the Wreckage” I raise more. Or maybe it is just people donate more to us because they feel, either through the TV episodes or this blog or both, that they know us better, while I get that you don’t really know Isaiah and his mother, or Kelly and her daughter, Briana.

If that is the case, I am asking you to please trust me. The only difference between us and these other two families is that we got a Discovery Health Special. That’s it.

 

-Original Blog

I will update on Jani and our situation soon, but I can’t right now. I am not ready to share. Jani has been struggling lately and right now I guess I don’t have the courage to face those emotions. I am also trying to finish the book, which is my main focus because when I do I am going to set up a financial co-operative for families with mentally ill children. Every one contributes when they can and anybody can take when they need it.

In the meantime, I want to thank my readers who have contributed money to Team Isaiah but more is still needed. Click here for more information and to donate.

Another support group family, the Schaffers, are facing getting the electricity turned off. So are millions of other Americans, I know. But the Schaffer’s daughter, Briana, has what Jani has. She has schizophrenia. And the darkness will send her into a psychotic tailspin.

Please, if you can, call BGE (Maryland power company) at 1-800-685-2210 and make a “Gift of Energy” donation to account number #3093132590. Briana and the Schaffers need $557 by May 27th to keep the lights on.

This is what I do because I have to do it. Most of us with severely mentally ill kids once had pretty good careers, but eventually we had to make a choice: keeping our children alive or working. We chose the former, which means, yes, we have to beg. We do what we have to do.

I keep getting comments that ask me “What are you going to do? You can’t keep begging for money forever. Something has to change.”

But that’s just it. It won’t change. Ever.

It won’t change for us. It won’t change for Isaiah and his mother. It won’t change for Briana and her family. It won’t change for Pickles and her family. It won’t change for Alysha and her family. It won’t change for Maddox and his family.

It won’t ever change. These children have a severe mental illness.

This is our life now.

And it always will be.

I know I ask for a lot.

I have to. Until I can take care of these families myself, I have to.

 

 


PS: I must also thank everybody who contributed to us. Not thanking all of you (I don’t have the exact number but MANY, MANY, MANY people donated, from one dollar all the way $250) Many want to remain anonymous but I thank each and every one of you. I also want those who criticized me to know that the number of people who donated far outstripped the negative comments by a HUGE margin. We made rent and were able to pay our own outstanding electric bill and gas bills, as well as buy badly needed medication for our dog, Honey. Thank you again.


Watching the Wreckage

I want to share something interesting with you.

 

“The Road Not Taken (When You Were Young)” blog, where I express our financial difficulties at the end, was published on 4/27. Since then it has received 1331 hits. The total number of those 1331 readers who donated?

 

13.

 

Amelia (twice)

Laurie

Lisa

Melissa

Jacqueline

Cassie

Jennifer

Susan

Stephanie

America

Claire

Sara

 

The amounts range from $10 to $160, with the average being in the $20-$30 range.

 

On May 1st, I published “Standing on the Corner with a Cup in My Hand,” stating that we had enough for one apartment but not the other. Total hits in the brief time since it was published (today is May 2nd)?  493. 493 hits in just over 24 hours. Out of those 493, how many have donated?

 

2.

 

Sara and Tom.

 

In that same blog, I also published a link to “TeamIsaiah.” Isaiah is an 8 year old boy with the following (taken from the following link: http://www.giveforward.com/teamisaiah

 

– Pervasive Developmental Disorder, A Typical Autism

– Psychotic Disorder NOS

– Mood disorder NOS

– Anxiety disorder

*Scitzoeffected and Bipolar *(Diagnosed by Psychologist – has not been formally diagnosed by a Psychiatrist as of today) His GAF score is 30 (Global Assessment of Functioning) “30-21 Behavior is considered influenced by delusions or hallucinations OR serious impairment in communications or judgment OR inability to function in all areas.” (e.g., sometimes incoherent, acts grossly inappropriately, suicidal preoccupation) OR inability to function in almost all areas )

 

The Rivers family live in a small rural community with very little resources for treatment. Since the family is on Medical (state public insurance) there are very few doctors that will treat such a serious case under such limited insurance coverage. Without a vehicle, the family’s only alternative is walking and busing. While this may not be an issue for another child, in Isaiah’s case it is a an issue that is overwhelming. The medical facility where he should be seen is a 2 hour bus ride away. Not an option. These facilities being UCLA and Loma Linda Hospital. Isaiah must be held onto and guided while walking as the “voices” (hallucinations) tell him to hurt himself and run into traffic etc.

 

His mother is no longer able to work, as Isaiah needs full time 24/7 supervision and is unable to function in a classroom setting. He is home schooled by his mom to the best of her ability.

 

While the family has said that they need a minimum of $5000.00, to recover some of the costs, and purchase a used vehicle for transportation. We anticipate that with Isaiah not receiving proper medical care because of funding, and getting worse by the day, the costing will easily double or triple shortly.

 

Please support this family in their dire time of need, to ensure that Isaiah doesn’t become a statistic. With your contributions, they can get the necessary help and create a safe home environment to keep Isaiah at home.

 

Even a $10.00 donation will go a long way!! Let’s give this young boy a chance at some mental peace and stability and put the family back on track.

 

The TeamIsaiah website has gotten 3857 views. You know how many out of those 3857 have donated?

 

14.

 

Of which Susan and I were one. We donated 60 dollars, taken from the donations that came to us from the 16 people above who have donated to us.

 

On the 28th of April, our Facebook friend and member of the support group, Annie, posted this:

 

“Susan asked me to put this out here- I need $400 bucks (my house payment) before the end of the month. My church paid it last month after I was fired for false allegations and was out of work for 6 weeks. I got TWO jobs and then broke my arm. They would not let me work until I got a note, so I don’t have it this month.”

 

We told her she could put up a link to her story and her paypal link at www.facebook.com/janifoundation, which has 2, 686 members. Out of those 2, 686, we have 1, 984 active montly users. I had just received $14.26, what was left after Paypal took its fee, from a $15 donation from Jacqueline (in the list above). I immediately transferred that 14.26 to Annie. Yes, we needed rent money but Annie was facing eviction for nonpayment of her house payment and her bipolar daughter had just returned home and this was no time to fear eviction (not that there is ever a good time). She would be evicted May 1st. We have longer.

 

Susan called her the next day to ask what other donations she had received.

 

Answer? Just our 14.26.

 

1, 984 saw Annie’s situation, just like 1, 984 saw the financial problems that the Rivers are having trying to care for Isaiah.

 

And did nothing.

 

When I found out that Annie had gotten no more donations, I struggled with what to do. We had just received $600 dollars from our FB friend Dawn to help pay our rent. If I waited, Annie and her daughter would get evicted. But if I gave her the $400, it would destroy any chance of us making our rent on both Bodhi and Jani’s aparments.

 

What did I end up doing?

 

I wired $400 of the $600 Dawn had given to us to Annie.

 

Now we don’t have enough to pay rent on both apartments. We will be sued for eviction again.

 

But I don’t regret what I did and I would do it again. We give away a lot of the money that gets donated to us to other families in need.

 

What? You thought we were the only ones?

 

I did it because it was the right thing to do. Sure, you have to put your family first. But what about when you are gone? Wouldn’t you want someone to help your family then? Eventually, we are all going to need help.

 

So what about the rest of you who read my blogs and don’t give?

 

Some people tell me that it helps to get 501c3 status. Except that you can’t set up a nonprofit to benefit yourself. But that only applies to large donations. Nobody itemizes a $20 or 10$ donation. There is no point because it won’t get you over the standard deduction on your taxes to make it worth it. So unless you donate more than 10 grand a year, you aren’t itemizing your donations for the IRS.

 

If all 3857 people who have viewed “TeamIsaiah” gave just one dollar each, Isaiah would have $3857 dollars. If all 1331 people who read my blog gave one dollar, not to mention the 493 who read both, even accounting for what Paypal takes, I would have enough to pay rent on the second apartment.

 

So why can’t you give one dollar?

 

Everybody can give one dollar.

 

I just gave 460$ that I didn’t have.

 

I have thought about changing my block so people had to pay a dollar to read it (even though I have no idea how to do this) but all that would do is just drive down my readership, wouldn’t it? I would go from 4000-6000 hits on average down to probably less than one hundred.

 

So here is what I want. From now on, I only want people to make one dollar donations. Our paypal is on the front page or the address is donations@janisjourney.org. I will wait a week and get back to you on how many dollars came in. Let’s see how many of you really care and how many of you are just the people who watch a car accident scene as you drive by but never stop to help. I’ll be watching “Team Isaiah” too. I can track how many people hit that link.

 

Time to stop your car and get out.

 

Or keep driving.

 

But if you keep driving, don’t bother coming back.

 

 

 

 

 

Standing on the Corner with a Cup in My Hand

Rent is due by May 3rd. We have enough to pay one apartment but not the other. Right now we are about $1100 short (rent is 1250 for each). If we don’t pay by May 3rd, we will get a three day “Pay or Quit” notice by May 6th. Then we get another three days. So we probably won’t get sued for eviction until about the 12th or 13th.

Here is another family with a mentally ill child standing on same corner. It’s a busy corner.