As some of you may already know this has been a roller-coaster year for me starting with the hospitalization and near death of my son in February. Between the subsequent hospitalizations, (July marked the first calendar month he didn't get admitted to the hospital at all!), a pretty bad car wreck that left me with a concussion and associated post-concussion problems, and then additional extended family issues (one sister-in-law nearly died of a mix-up with prescriptions she was given at the ER, another sister-in-law lost all 4 of her children to foster care but that's an extended story below) it's just gotten to the point where my wife and I are just trying to catch up and breathe to get everything sorted out and we're rapidly running out of money ourselves.
The sister-in-law who's children we took in, has at this point essentially abandoned them and us. We bought her a bus ticket to come down here from Scranton, PA after she took care of some things she needed to and were ready to welcome her into our house to get a new start down here. Her ex-husband had never been good at paying child support and she wasn't getting any help up there so we stepped in to try and help her. That backfired on us the other night when she walked out of the house saying she was "going back to Scranton" and eventually she made her way to the bus station and caught a bus. Not sure how she paid because she left her purse, wallet, ID, everything in our house. None of us have heard from here since despite repeated attempts to reach her.
We were very fortunate that our local church donated bunk-beds for the 4 kids we took in. They also donated a lot of food. So now that their mom walked out we're left asking South Carolina Children's Services for any kind of help and their answer is simply "Send them back to PA". Not exactly the answer we were thinking we'd get from a place that is supposed to have children's interest at heart.The PA Children's services folks have been as helpful as they can be but they're not technically responsible for those children anymore.
Because of this I'm turning to the geek/dev community at large knowing that there are a ton of really great people out there who might just be able to get this family through this after all. All the money that's donated is going to go towards paying down medical bills from my son's hospital stays, paying down unpaid bills that were missed and run up with late charges during the hospital stays, more food since our family doubled in size from 4 to 8, new clothes for the kids (the 4 came down with basically a suitcase and not much else), and also to help pay for other costs associated with providing for such a large family on such short notice. Most of our prior emergency savings were wiped out during previous hospital stays due to increased fuel costs (driving back and forth between hospital, school when it was in session, and home) and food costs (eating out a lot since we weren't home) and direct medical costs.
As for our part, we've contacted our bank to ask that they suspend our car payment for 6 months, and I've contacted my student loan company to ask them to do the same. We also took our 7 year old out of the private school she was in and put her in public school. Even with those changes we're still running short of cash. If it so happens that all our needs are met and more we're going to donate the excess to both the church which has so graciously helped us out and the children's hospital playroom where my son has spent a good amount of time when he wasn't on contact precautions at the hospital. In the event that my sister-in-law returns to us we'll gladly give her the excess also towards her new start at life.
I couldn't figure out how to get the PayPal donate button to integrate into the blog entry so I've posted it on my skeleton of a web site at http://www.brainthump.com
There's basically just the "Donate" button there and it's all handled through SSL on PayPal. I didn't set a minimum amount because truthfully I'm grateful for any amount anyone can give.
Thanks in advance to all who are able to help in any way.