I was let go from my job in July of 2008. I've had no work outside the home since then. I say "outside the home" because I am getting some money coming in from acting as a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) for Ericka, my partner of 20+ years. This has been enough to pay the utilities and phone, put food in the refrigerator, keep gas in the van and like that. It hasn't been enough, sadly, to pay the mortgage on top of that.
I received a letter from my mortgage company saying that they're referring my mortgage to their lawyers to begin foreclosure proceedings. Like so many others out there, I'm without a job and in danger of losing my home. I'm lucky that I'm able to keep the lights on, but it is looking grim all the same.
Ericka has multiple, chronic, life-altering diseases and I am her primary caregiver. Her Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) makes it impossible to breathe without taking steroids every day. Her MS keeps her muscles weak and plagues her with nerve pain frequently. The steroids have caused diabetes that requires her to have an insulin pump. She is basically bed-ridden.
Despite her challenges, Ericka leads a full life and anyone who takes the time to get to know her can't help but love her. We have modified our home over the years we have lived here to make it as comfortable as possible for her to continue to live here.
You can see why losing this home would be a devastating blow for both of us. That's why I need your help.
And from Ericka:
jbru and i are in danger of loosing our home.
there. it's out. shame, pride, anger, fear, worry, terror- it's all there. so, i am asking for help- ideas, prayer, cheerful notes, and yes, cash.
as many of you know, i have been disabled for over 15 yrs, and bedridden for the last 2 yrs. we have modified our home to handle my medical equipment and power wheelchair, etc. things like the added and increased voltage electrical system, the ramp, the bathroom, the enlarged doors and added bedroom door (so the wheelchair and ambulance gurneys can get thru) are just some of the things that have been adapted so that i can continue to live in my home with my dearest jbru and our family. now due to my lengthy inability to work and jbru's continued unemployment, we are getting desperate.
These are good people. They are loving, kind, and generous friends.
You all know the starfish story. There's a lot going wrong out there in the world, and there's no way, you, I, any of us can save the world. But we can make a difference in this one case.
There is a PayPal button on this page. You can use that if you want to make a contribution right now. If you don't want to use PayPal, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (an address used only for this project) and I will give you contact information for sending a contribution. Gift cards for grocery shopping at Target are also welcome; any money they don't have to spend on groceries can go toward mortgage payments.
Participate in our auction to Save Peter & Ericka’s Accessible Home!
List an item, a service--whatever (legal!) you think someone might pay for:
1. To post an auction, you need to become a member of our community first. You can do so at the profile page and clicking on "Join".
2. To list an item, please use the following format, so that all listings will be similar in style, and bidders can easily make their way through: name or title of item; description; ending date; minimum starting bid; buy-now price (recommended, but not required); shipping arrangements (who pays, where you will ship, etc.--please see “Shipping” below).
3. You may choose the ending date of your auction. If you choose not to specify a deadline, it will end one week from the date of your post. If there are no bids by that time and you agree, it will end on April 25, 2009. If any auctions would normally run past April 25, 2009, they will also end at that time. All auctions will end at noon, Minneapolis local time, on the date stated, unless otherwise stated in the listing.
4. "Buy Now" (if you include it) will be in place until the first bid is placed. Once bidding has started on an item, it can no longer be bought with "Buy Now." If this occurs, you may wish to edit your entry and use the "strike" tag to draw a line through the "Buy Now" price.
5. When posting your auction, please put all the tags you can think of to help people find your item. Please be as thorough as you can, so that your stuff is easy to find. For example, an offer of cookies would have: offer, food, cookies. An offer of a signed book: offer, fantasy (or whatever genre), book, signed. More information about LiveJournal tags can be found at http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=226.
6. If you're a published writer, an artist, or someone otherwise known by your name rather than your LJ UserName, you might want to consider putting your name in the auction as well. This community is attracting a lot of people who might not recognize you otherwise.
7. When your auction has ended (either by deadline or "Buy Now"), please edit your entry by adding the tag "ended" to the tags portion of the entry.
8. If you're auctioning more than one item, please make a separate post for each item (or batch them into a lot). This makes the bookkeeping much easier.
Bid on goods and services our community members offer!
1. The overall auction begins on Monday, March 16, 2009, and runs until April 25, 2009.
2. Individual auctions end one week from the time the post was made OR until the end of the fundraiser. See point 3 in the "List an item" section above for details.
3. To bid, comment to an offered post with the amount of money you wish to bid. If more than one item is listed in the post, please specify which item you are bidding on. If someone else raises the bid in a reply to your comment, bid again by replying to their reply with a higher offer. This will continue until the auction closes and the highest bid wins.
4. When you bid after someone, put your bid as a reply to the person with the highest current bid. That way, they get a notification that they've been outbid and everything is right neighborly.
5. When you bid, it may be wise to use the "track this" feature in LJ for the post itself. That way, you still get notifications even when people are too distracted with the excitement of the auction to be following point 4.
6. If there is a "Buy Now" option, it can be exercised with the first bid on an auction. Once "Buy Now" has been exercised, further bidding will not be allowed. If the auction already has bids, you may not buy it outright with "Buy Now".
Paying is just like donating, with a tad more bookkeeping.
1. Either the winner or the seller comments with an email address. (Once you have your email addresses exchanged, delete the LJ comment with this information; it's safer for everyone that way.)
2. Discuss shipping arrangements, if applicable. (See Shipping below for details.)
3. Make a donation for the winning amount. (a)Using PayPal. Make the donation through PayPal to email@example.com. Then email your PayPal receipt to the seller. -or- (b)Through the mail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request Peter and Ericka’s home address; then send a check or money order made out to PETER HENTGES. When it is received, he will notify your seller. Be sure to clearly indicate what item the payment is for!
NOTE: To make sure that all payments are processed and in Peter’s hands by the time they are needed in order to save the house, please note these deadlines:
Any payment made by check or money order MUST be mailed by April 20 (if mailed in the U.S.--if mailed outside the U.S., allow more time!).
After April 20, payments MUST be made through PayPal.
PayPal payments MUST be made by April 30.
4. The seller will then ship your item or perform the service.
5. Bask in the glow of having helped Save Peter & Ericka’s Accessible Home--or bid on something else.
Shipping is between the seller and the winning bidder. The simplest thing is for the seller to pay the shipping, considering it their own donation to the cause, but this is not required. The seller can specify that the bidder send them a separate payment of shipping costs. PLEASE do not send shipping costs along with the donation payment and expect us to pass it on!
Internet auctions can be confusing due to shipping issues. It is best for people posting auctions to state to where they are willing to ship things and whether or not shipping fees are included in the bid amount. If they don't, and you live somewhere where shipping can be complicated or expensive, please discuss it with the seller before bidding. (While the shipping arrangements are between the buyer and seller, we will note that in cases where it's more expensive to ship than planned, it's often fair to just split the cost between the two of you.)
If, after an auction completes, there is a disagreement about shipping, please resolve it between yourselves--and remember, the important thing here is helping Ericka and Peter.
Let's make this happen!
(Many thanks to guppiecat, without whose help I could never have put together these instructions!)