I woke up this morning, packaged my bagel cream cheese and peanut butter then headed to the Canal and Lafayette station to board the uptown 6 train to my favorite Starbucks. I exited the 42nd St. Grand Central Station, grabbed my free AM New York paper from the familiar face of whom I have collected this paper from for the past week and head to kill some time on a java that I really can’t afford. I open the paper, read about yesterday’s NYC Marathon and admire the competitors. As a runner I draw the line at 2 hours! I turn the page and force myself to read about the politics in the area, because I NEED to be AWARE! Then I read an article titled, “New Domain for Rent,” by Sheila Anne Freeney. It discusses the humble approach of residents in NYC who have turned to GoFundMe to pay their back rent so they do not become “…homeless…again,” exclaims Yvonne Fitzner. This sentence not only strikes a nerve, but causes me to continue reading with sheer desire.
A year and few months ago I turned to GoFundMe to raise funds for my business venture. I quit my retail job and started a sustainable, philanthropic based children’s clothing line, Lamb ER Kay. To raise the funds I decided to create “Clothes For a Cause” which funded 90% of Lamb ER Kay via GoFundMe. I consider that a major success so when my soon to be ex-husband made strategic decisions towards a divorce which effected my livelihood I debated turning to GoFundMe again, but this time reluctantly. Clothes For a Cause was a different mission but this time I wasn’t on a “mission,” I was, I AM trying to save my life. I am trying to put FOOD in my MOUTH and a ROOF over my HEAD. How much information do I divulge? How much information breeches the line into embarrassment? Could I affect my career negatively? These are all the things I thought, trying my best to keep my life private yet all the while seeing homelessness approaching faster than a speeding bullet and not sure if my supporters would realize the difference in my current needs from Clothes For a Cause.
I then created a page that markets my business ventures as a model and entrepreneur but honestly that generated one generous donation. Unlike the people in the article I read I was not able to just put it all out there. Part of me was still being respectful to my ex-husband as some of my current supporters know him as well. Why? Why could I not just say,”I don’t have a place to live and I NEED help?” All the while my ex-husband is enjoying the condo WE shared that HE PRETENDED to MOVE OUT OF SIMPLY TO KICK ME OUT. Wow! Even as I say it as simply as it occurred I am schocked. I am shocked at the cruelty of today’s human conditions, I am shocked at the hearts of man, I am shocked at myself.
In so few words, in so many ways I put myself out there. I figured that my supporters would be more likely to support someone pursuing their dreams versus an attempt to panhandle in a sophisticated manner via social media. At least that is how I presumed my supporters would view it. Perhaps I should have simply stated, “Help me not be homeless…again,” like Fitzner and I may have received the help I needed to prevent where I am now. I admire her approach and perhaps it is not too late for me. I mean it is NY, and it seems I am not the only one….
Photo Credit: http://www.wbez.org