I'm Larissa, and my boyfriend's name is Alex. We've been together for 5 years now, and we're quickly closing in on 5 and a half.
And we desperately want a place to call Home.
Obligatory Back Story
If you want to know a bit about us, our back story is what you would call a little crazy. But here it goes:
We met when we were about 15 years old on a forum and gaming site called Gaiaonline; started a friendship, but lost touch for 4 years. We became re-acquainted when Alex was going through a depressed state in his life, and all he remembered of me was "Hmm, she was a friendly and comforting soul". He messaged me, I replied, and well, the rest was history.
We made plans to meet in the summer, when I was on break from college. But that didn't happen. Instead, cruel words (of "it won't last") from his ex-girlfriend spurred him on to move our plans up by several months. And I, in my 19-year old absolute wealth of wisdom, told him to finalize plans before consulting my family.
Well. It turned out that I picked the perfect weekend for our rendezvous. The same weekend my family decided to do "extended family photos" on my mother’s side. No, he didn't end up in all the family photos. But that would have been hilarious. It was very, "Hi nice to meet you. This is my family. I guess you're stuck with me now because you know everyone". At the time, I didn't realize how true it would turn out to be.
Our First Meeting
After a rather short "official" long distance romance, only four months long and two visits with each other, Alex made the insane decision to move from Thunder Bay to Toronto. And well, we've been together ever since.
The "Why?" of this Campaign
Alex has done so much for me. He loves me, he cares about me, and he takes care of me. I want to do this for him because he has given so much of his time, his effort, and his heart to me.
About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic disease called Ulcerative Colitis. It can be managed with medications, but surgery is currently the only known cure. With that diagnosis, I was in denial. Not only my physical health, but my mental health ran rampant for 2 and a half years.
- Depression; anxiety; panic attacks.
- Needing a washroom on any and every outing; being horrified that it was almost all blood every time I needed to go; rushing him out of the washroom because the urgency was so bad. And oh, so many hospital visits.
Hospital Visit and Medications
My health deteriorated. And he was there for it all: for the days I could barely make it out of bed; for the days I didn't have the energy to dress myself, (or even shower myself,) and he did it for me; for the nights I cried myself to sleep while he desperately tried to comfort me.
I am doing better now. I am at the very start of being able to maintain my physical health rather than recover it. And with Alex's support, I am looking at ways to recover and maintain my mental health, both through support groups and medication.
So now I want to do this for him. With everything that has happened, and there has been so much more than I have outlined, it has been difficult to save for what we really want: A Home.
The Nitty Gritty
- We both live in Toronto, Ontario.
- Currently we are living in a two bedroom apartment, and we are lucky that the rent is $1,218, which is below average.
- But what I haven't touched upon is that we have other unwanted occupants for that price: Cockroaches and Bedbugs.
- And because of that reason, when we move, we will have to throw almost everything away to prevent future contamination.
- It is outrageously difficult to get into the housing market when you're just starting out.
- Detached single family homes go, on average, easily for $1 million or more.
- What we are looking for, to start out in the market, is a Condo.
- Preferably a 2 bedroom, 2 plus den, or even a 3 bedroom unit.
- We would like to be able to host distant family when they come to visit, and expand our own family in the future. ( Beyond getting an additional cat.)
- We are looking for a place outside of Downtown Toronto, but within reasonable proximity to my family, and within city transit limits.
- Why $120,000?
- While not for lack of trying, we are currently a single income family. I want Alex to be able to comfortably afford the mortgage and not have to pinch pennies at every pay cheque to make ends meet while I continue to look for a job.
- We are looking for a place that is in the $300,000 - 350,000 range. $400,000 would be pushing it.
- We will have to purchase furniture for our new residence. As mentioned earlier, we will be throwing most of our current furniture away to prevent spread of pests in our future dwelling.
- I would like Alex to have a reasonable travel time to his place of work, and that isn't possible if we are buying a unit at the outskirts of the city. He takes public transit.
- My family has been, and is, a huge source of support for Alex and I. I'd like to stay within reasonable distance to them.
All About You
I'd like to get to know you, the people who are making this gift happen! Tell me, what makes your home special? It can be anything: A person you love; a pet you adore; your favourite room; a special feature of your home; or even something as simple as the colour of your walls!
And don't just tell me about it. Send me photos! Explain what it is and why its so special to you. I would love to know.
Tweet me, Facebook me, Email me. Lets get a conversation going!
- Email: [email protected]
- Twitter: @HomeAndHeart01
- Facebook: Facebook.com/MyHomeMyHeart01
Why are you doing this fundraiser?
As stated earlier, Alex and I desperately want a place of our own to call home. He has loved me and cared for me, and spent so much of his time and effort on me, and I want to do something for him that has a massive and lasting effect. And as I was unsure of what else to do, I am reaching out to each and every one of you to lend me a hand in making this gift come true.
And on the other hand, I realized it would be a great way to bring awareness to Crohn's, and specifically Ulcerative Colitis. If you would like to know more on this chronic disease, feel free to check out the official website at:
What do you plan to do with the money?
What Alex and I plan to do with your generous gift is, at the base goal, use it towards a down payment towards our first home, and to purchase new furniture for the place. If we were to bring our old furniture with us, we would risk contaminating our future place with unwanted pests, and we really want to avoid that. A small portion of the funds will be funneled back into the campaign so we are able to mail out the rewards to all of you amazing people.
What will you do if you go beyond your goal?
Ideally, the more money that goes into the down payment, the better. But I don't want us to be selfish. Beyond our goal, we will donate a percentage to charity. The further we go, the more money we will donate, and the bigger the percentage will be. Information on that can be found in the section, Stretch Goals. Specifically, the donations will go to the Crohn's and Colitis Association of Canada.
Why Crohn's and Colitis Canada?
Crohn's, and specifically Colitis, is something that is very near to my heart. As was stated earlier, I have Ulcerative Colitis. My case has been extremely symptomatic, and relatively mild (to moderate) compared to some, but still I struggled with it greatly. This disease is so close to my heart because my Mother and one of my Aunts have it too. And, in my family it is more common in females, so we are worried that it may surface in some of my female cousins when they reach their 20s.
Crohn's and Colitis Canada logo
What is Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis?
As stated on the Crohn's and Colitis Canada website, " Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that inflame the lining of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract and disrupt your body's ability to digest food, absorb nutrition and eliminate waste in a healthy manner."
If you are interested in further information, as mentioned earlier, please feel free to visit: Here
Why is "home is where the heart is" the name of your campaign?
It has two meanings. First, the obvious (and kind of cheesy, but true) one: Alex is my home. He is my comfort and my rock. And any place we go is better with him there. He is someone I can share my joys and experiences with. He is my partner.
The second meaning has to do with a physical home. A welcoming, warm place after a long day out, or at work. A refuge from the rest of the world. And the drab, grey walls of our rental apartment don't do that for either Alex or I.
If you have any further questions, please send them to: [email protected]
|2)||_____$120,001 - $220,000||_____10% of funds on this tier will go toward Crohn's and Colitis Canada|
|3)||_____$220,001 - $320,000||_____30% of funds on this tier will go toward Crohn's and Colitis Canada|
|4)||_____$320,001 - $420,000||_____50% of funds on this tier will go toward Crohn's and Colitis Canada|
|5)||_____$420,001 - $520,000||_____70% of funds on this tier will go toward Crohn's and Colitis Canada|
|6)||_____$520,001 +||_____80% of funds on this tier will go toward Crohn's and Colitis Canada|
A HUGE thank you to New Creations for partnering with us for this campaign. Nadia Campbell is the owner of New Creations and a Toronto based professional who creates beautiful pieces of jewelry in her spare time.
She has several pieces for sale, with a portion of the funds going to the Home is Where the Heart is campaign. Her pieces can be viewed on the Home is Where the Heart is Facebook page: Here.
After donating under the "NEW CREATIONS" tier, please email me, [email protected]
- State which album tier the piece is in.
- The pictures are numbered in the description. Please state the number of the piece in your email.
- Title the email "New Creation Donation"
So, for example, in the body of the email, it will state "Tier 3: $35. Piece number 4".
The pieces are one-of-a-kind. So in order to avoid confusion I will be deleting the photos of purchased jewelry from the albums as they are sold. Once they are gone, they are gone for good!
Whew, that was a lot to read, and absorb, wasn't it? If you've made it this far, congratulations! I hope you are interested enough at this point to stick around and donate. We have some pretty great rewards if you do! (If you haven't checked it out already, now's the time!) If you would like to help in ways other than a monetary gift, please share! Sharing and spreading the word is just as important as donating.
And after everything is said and done, thank you for your time. Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy day to read through this campaign. I can't even express how much this means to me. Thank you for your time, and I hope your week is just as wonderful as you are!