I have been reading about your situation and my heart goes out to you and your family. I have a family member with a special needs child and I know that the need goes beyond what you might think to discuss. I suggest that since you are laying it all out there, that you might really lay it all out there and be really specific with your need. I am talking about everything from your home, to your vehicle, utilities and specific needs for you and your kids. The reason I say this is because sometimes people can't give financially but they do have connections in which they can give in other ways. I know in my family members situation they needed a recliner for her son because of a breathing situation and someone had a brand new recliner that they just gave them. He also needed Ensure and someone went to Walmart on their behalf and they donated a case a month for the year. I realize that you need financial help, but with that help if you had help in other ways it might keep you afloat and help you to get on your feet permanently.
Here are a list of things that I think you should address. You never know who has what connections or who has what you need.
Tell about your house. Is it handicap accessible? Do you have the furniture, clothes and basic needs covered? What about your bills? Do you have certain bills that are harder to pay than others? Does your son need certain things that you either can't afford him or that are a siphon on your finances? What about your vehicle? Is it in good working order? Does it suit the needs of your son? How about you as a his caretaker and the caretaker of your entire family, what do you need? Are your needs being covered to keep you healthy and both physically and emotionally well? Finally, what about fun? Do you and your family ever have fun? What do you like to do and what could someone do for you to make your day a little brighter? Also, not to be nosy but have you ever looked into Make-a-Wish for your son? I am thinking that you guys are long over due for a family vacation.
Please do a blog and be specific in your need. Along with the financial donations that I am sure you will receive, heck if I had a lottery win it would be yours, I think there are a million other ways that people can help and make your life easier too. Here's to making 2014 the start of a great and much easier life for the Elam family.
I was kind of overwhelmed when I received this. I guess since I have let it all hang out so far, I might as well shoot the moon and go all the way. So here goes:
My house was built in 1962 and is not handicap accessible. The halls and doorways are narrow and barely fit a wheelchair. This is why walking is so important for David. Our foundation is poor and the basement floor is gradually developing deep cracks and a westerly slant. My kitchen is the only thing though that I take issue with and that is only because of its size. When I am making cheesecakes there is not a lot of elbow room, but it is doable. We do have a ramp that was built for us that is in my garage and without it getting David in and out of the house would be almost impossible. I think if I had a wish list of things I would like changed/fixed/added to my house....it would be new doors and windows. Ninety percent of my heating/cooling issues in this house are because of my old windows and doors. I make sure that all the kids basic needs are covered and as far as furniture goes....we are fine. I also have a few concerns about asbestos and mold, but I try really hard not to think about those things as I have no way to fix them if they really do exist. I pray alot about those things.
When doing my bills, my two greatest money eaters are my electric bill which combines water and sewer too and my grocery bill. In the summer time my electric bill runs anywhere between $300-$600/month. I have tried going without but David can't deal with it and because my windows and screens are so bad, when the windows are open we invariably end up with wasps in the house and David is deathly allergic, so you can see it is a Catch-22. In the winter months my electric bill stays about $200 but then my gas bill makes up for the other $100-$150. There is just no break there. As for my grocery bill, it is so high because I try to feed David fresh fruits and veggies which the doctors say he desperately needs. David is also a huge eater and by the time I buy as fresh as I can (or frozen) and get him fish, chicken and as little pre-packaged as possible I never walk out of the store under $200-$250. You do that two or three times a month and it adds up.
As for Davids needs, the things that add up out of pocket are Ensure, vitamins (he takes several) and Assurance pads for men that I put in his diapers to help keep him dry. (Sorry David for the TMI). All in their own right add up quickly. The other need for David is our pool. We have a 10,000 ga. above ground pool in our back yard. It is basically his physical therapy in the summertime and it does wonders for his muscles and legs. Our issue is that it is expensive to keep up (chemicals and such) and because of cost it has not been kept up as it should and I think the pump maybe on its last leg. That is definitely something I want in working order especially this upcoming summer as David will need every second in the pool he can get.
My vehicle?! Well it is a 2007 Town and Country. It has made many trips back and forth to St. Louis and so far it is still going. It is nothing fancy and I am sure now that the warranty is done it will start falling apart in pieces down the high way, but fingers crossed it has a few more trips in it. It is not wheelchair accessible and it is rolling up on 100,000 miles fast and badly in need of new tires. Gas is the killer though. It takes $60-$70 to fill it depending on gas prices and sometimes we have to fill it a couple of times a week when David has a heavy appt. week.
As a family we are good I think. We seem to do fine. Most of our activities are home based and we are good with that. The only thing for me that I can really think of is a new mattress. I have a queen size bed and both the mattress and bed were given to me. The mattress is a posterpedic I believe and it was used but in decent condition. Now....I have used it for about 2 years. It is on its last leg and my back feels it. I think it is why I wake up with neck aches and headaches all the time and I simply don't sleep well. Yes...a mattress would be on my wish list too but pretty far beneath the windows and doors. LOL
What would make our lives brighter? Knowing that I could go to sleep at night and not worry about providing for my kids. Knowing that I am not going to get collection calls or be served with court papers on past due bills....that would make my life much brighter. Finding a job that I use my talents, work from home or at least be able to keep David as a priority and be able to pay all my bills and support my kids.....now THAT would make all our lives much much brighter!
So there you have it. I thought I had bared my soul the other day. Boy was I wrong. Thank you Jeannie for the email and the suggestions and now.....as promised I will go back to being just emotionally needy after today.
And by the way.....thank you so much for the Make-a-Wish idea. I have no idea if David qualifies but I will check it out. I think we could all use a bit of a vacation if that worked out!