There's been the fund rasier for the lady who was bullied on the bus. There's been the fund raiser for the man who returned the diamond ring accidentally dropped in his cup. Both of these have resulted in life changing experiences for these individuals and raised huge amounts of money.
Yes, my goal is to change my life as well, but my method is a little more humble. I'm asking people to donate a dollar - less than the price of a cup of coffee. It's a personal endeavor but also meant as a test of social media. With almost a billion people on sites like Facebook, if only a million of them donate a dollar, that's a million dollars and that would certainly change my life.
My life has been a series of unfortunate events for the last few years, starting with the death of my father in 2005. He died in my arms from what the coroner called dry drowning. It was a very traumatic experience for me because I pulled him out of the water, no mean feat, and administered CPR until the medics arrived. I was terrifed that I wasn't doing it right and couldn't save my father, but the medics assured me I was doing it right.
That changed my life forever because my mother was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and needed full time care. I had been encouraging my father to get her on the list for a care facility because I knew it took a long time to get in somewhere. He hadn't done anything, mostly because he could not let her go, even though caring for her was a challenge for him. I moved in with her and immediately started trying to get her into a facility where she could be looked after properly. Caring for her was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. She had fits of anger where she would throw me out and then forget she did anything. At one point when I was taking her to a doctor's appontment, she opened the car door and went to get out at 60km an hour. I grabbed her arm and pulled her back in and she freaked out on me, telling me that I was hurting her. Needless to say it was a panic stop. When I explained that I was the only one who stepped up to care for her she said it was because I was f*ckin useless. Hurt like a knife.
After I finally got her into a proper care facility my sister, who refused to accept that my mother had advanced Alzheimer's, even though testing had confirmed her state, didn't like the "lockdown" aspect of the facility, and she took her out to an assisted living facility in Revelstoke. No sooner had she moved in than she was found wandering around downtown in the winter with no idea where she was. My sister was dumb enough to give my mother her phone number at work, so naturally she called over and over because she could not remember calling. My sister was a nervous wreck, but she got what she deserved. Thankfully my mother died in late 2007 after her cancer had returned and her quality of life was zero.
Once my mother was in the care facility I sold her home and took on a major renovation of a manufactured home. I worked tirelessly, fourteen hours a day for a year and a half, turning the home into what people called a "show piece". Realtors were fighting over each other to list the property at the unheard of price of $159,900. The day before I was to list it one of the local Indian chiefs came out in the press saying that anyone who bought a home on Indian land was "stupid" because there was no long term tenancy agreements and the parks would be closed for redevelopment. Overnight the market changed and no one would touch a manufactured home on Indian land.
As a diabetic it is vital that I avoid stress. Not only was I stuck with a white elephant of a property, but my financing suddenly disappeared as well, leaving me with no way to pay my mortgage or my creditors. My doctor said I was a posted child for a heart attack and I had to get away from all the stress. My electrician, who I had taken in when he and his wife split, said he would care for the place. I had researched somewhere to go and decided on Panama for a number of reasons. I left on Boxing Day, 2007 after selling everything I owned.
No sooner had I settled in to a rental house than my landlord disputed our agreement that everything was included in my rent. I had to go out and buy things like a water heater. I came home one day to darkness because the power had been shut off because the bill hadn't been paid. I moved out to a place in the mountains that I renovated for a guy back in BC, who ended up not paying me and I lost thousands on the renovations and never got paid for all my work.
A couple of months after I arrived in Panama I got a call from my friend who I had left in charge of my place. He said my "friend", the electrician had let the snow build up on my roof, something I had specifically cautioned him about, and the roof had collapsed. It was going to be about $20k to repair it, so my place was even more unsaleable now. I ended up losing a fortune and even the mortgage we took back went into default and I never got paid.
Back in Panama I had opened the home to family who were going to end up on the street for two weeks until the house they had rented was ready. That's what they told me, but it was a lie. They ended up staying for almost two months, during which they not only didn't pay a cent but I also fed them. I had to get the police in to get rid of them and nearly ended up in jail when they accused me of being a drug runner and in Panama illegally, of course, not true. When they left they took everything that I owned, right down to the batteries in the remote controls. The police and courts were useless in getting anything back.
Could it get any worse? Yup. I had a gall bladder attack. I was alone. My cell phone was dead and there was no power to recharge it. I laid on the floor in agony for two days before one of my workers came by to check on me. They rushed me to the hospital where the surgery and post care nearly killed me. The bed was broken. They had no morphine for my pain. There was no hot water and even no toilet paper. I didn't know you had to bring your own. I was lucky to have survived.
With $21 in my bank account I had no choice but to sell everything and return to Canada. My cousin in Toronto graciously offered to let me stay with her until I got on my feet. I met a girl on the internet from London and after she came to Toronto I fell hopelessly in love with her. I moved to London to be with her, but she ended up screwing around on me with another guy she had found on the internet. It devasted me.
As a result of losing my job and many other things I ended up on the streets. I slept in my car and on the floor at a friend's empty office. I went through three shelters in town because of screw-ups by Ontario Works. I finally got a job at Home Depot and got into public housing.
All of this had taken a toll on my health. I have severe diabetic neuropathy and can barely walk. I survive on disability, but I want to work. I am working on several projects but my number one goal is to return to BC, a place I love. I spent fourteen wonderful years in the Okanagan valley and I'm desperate to get back there. I'm hoping that I can raise enough money to move back and also to work on building public housing for people who find themselves in situations like mine. Shelters are horrible and dehumanizing. My concept for a public/private partnership will serve to return people's dignity and give them hope that things will get better.
It's just a dollar out of your life, but it will mean the world to me.