My father is the most honest and hardworking person I know. Despite not having him around for the majority of my childhood years due to him being away in different cities and countries to work, these principles were cemented as our family's tenets.
I his later years, working in constructions and having saved a bit of money, he had the idea of buying heavy machinery. "People will always need food, clothes and housing." he would say -- and though he understood that it would be a hard period ahead, until the machinery would be paid in full, he used his savings as a down-payment to purchase a telescopic handler. He nick-named it "Gramps" and started work as a contractor. His end-goal was to pay off the lease, then buy a small patch of land and make a small house for him and my mother to live out their pension years in. At that time he was one of three people in my area who had such machinery.
Fast forward 3 years and he has a lot more gray in his hair. The work was often difficult due to the rules of safety on site being ignored or only partially fulfilled by the employer, but every month under contract would provide him with enough money to pay for the lease bill and a bit on top, to put food on the table. It was manageable. Unfortunately, events took a turn for the worse. In spite of checking each contractor before accepting a job, after a 6 month contract, he got notified that the company leading that particular project had filed for bankruptcy, after its CEO liquidated most of its assets, took the money and left the country. Corruption and scams are, unfortunately, common in my country, which is why a proper check of the contractor was warranted before any services were provided. This particular case shocked everybody involved in the project due to the fact that the company in charge was, at the time, one of the biggest and most profitable construction companies in Romania. For my father and his ability to keep up with the payments this spelled disaster. Effectively, he would not see his payment for the last 4 months of work (around 8000 Euro or ~9000$)-- which not only terminated his contract abruptly, but actually left him in a financial hole, as he had spent his own money on maintenance and fuel during that period. After a lot of pleading with the bank and explaining the situation, they approved an extension on the lease, in which he would only need to pay the interest for 6 months.
It was after that event that I decided to help. He and my mother invested all they had into this venture and after having provided for me and my sister and supported our education/passions throughout our lives, it was only fitting that I do what I can for them now. I decided to keep only a portion of my monthly salary for myself while I would use majority to help him. This has been going on for 1 year and at the moment I am working anywhere between 10 to 14 hours a day, while living off only 300$ /month. The rest of my salary, combined with what he made from the increasingly rare contracts he got went into keeping the bank from taking "Gramps". Until two months ago, by pooling our efforts, we had managed to get from being 4 months behind on payments to being on schedule. But with his and my best attempts at finding new contracts and contacting former companies who he's worked with, there is still nothing new on the horizon. In the years that passed since he bought his telescopic handler, the bigger companies have acquired their own and have less need for contractor help. He even got a few offers to sell the machinery but due to it being a 4 year old model and second-hand, the money offered so far would not be enough to cover the rest of the lease.
After sharing this with an internet savvy friend, he suggested I tell his story on a fund raising site, because there are genuinely good people out there who would be willing to lend a hand if they knew about it.
I'm...not good at asking for help nor has my father or I ever taken money that we didn't earn, but we are at the end of our options and I don't want the last 4 years of his life wasted. If we manage to fully pay the lease, any income that comes from his future work contracts will finally go towards the small corner of land he dreams of having.