The post that started it all
"I am a single mom of 4. 2 boys ages 7 & 3. 2 girls ages 6 & 4 months. As of today we don't have a home. We are going to stay at motel for now but it will cost me a lot in fees to stay there plus food, & of course any other bills I have. If anyone knows of any housing please let me know I am desperate. My family deserves a home for Christmas to decorate & have Santa come to. Thank you Amanda"
I honestly felt compelled to help Amanda because I simply couldn't read her post without acting upon it. I read it once, I read it twice and I was compelled to act! As a mother of two I couldn't imagine what it would be like to find myself without a home for the holidays. I believe it took great courage and strength for Amanda to come forward and ask for help from her community. It took the sincerest humility to share her story with all of us. It hurt my heart to know that the streets were a very real possibility for this mother and her four children and I was frightened to think that most American's are only one tragedy away or one paycheck away from being in the same position. There is a real need and I felt it deeply for Amanda. In this case, it was a woman I had never met who shared her fears and I am proud to say, we all responded and in a big way. Some have thanked me, but truly I am not worthy of their appreciation, as I simply put the wheels in motion, but they are turning because of the community members that showed their support for Amanda! I believe it to be a very real, Christmas Miracle!
But there is more... Amanda was struck by tragedy two years ago when her husband died while driving from an aneurysm. Since then she has had great difficulty getting back on her feet. The community responded to my cry for help & with their help we have been able to do the following:
"Amanda's Angels" Update 12/10/12
The community support came pouring in all within a matter of three to four hours. With each passing minute, the support grew and grew until I found myself in tears of joy. What started as a day or two of hotel accommodations, grew to thirty-seven and I quickly called all the responders, "Amanda's Angels!" To summarize the communities support...Amanda's Angels have provided 37 nights of hotel accommodations, clothing for all four children, gift cards to K-Mart, Trader Joe's and Applebee's and more continue to pour in each day! Additionally, random acts of kindness from the community in the form of holiday events have also taken place. For instance, the Petaluma Baptist Church requested that Amanda be their guest of honor at their annual Gingerbread Workshop. They have also offered to help provide Christmas gifts for the children as to ensure their Christmas experience is not altered in any way. Additional members of the community have also reached out to provide Christmas gifts for the children, a Christmas tree, decorations and food if need be. I am also in the process of organizing the purchase of new tires for Amanda's minivan (all tires sponsored) as they are totally worn down. Our efforts have now shifted from "Amanda's Angels," to "Home for the Holidays," as we are praying for a permanent solution. What may seem like something so obvious and deserved, seems to be just out of so many peoples reach. There is little supply and large demand; a very real problem in our community. It is a tough situation, but there is an outpouring of love and support from the community and I am encouraged and greatly inspired. What can others do to help?
What can be done to help?
I believe each and every person has touched Amanda's life in the most substantial way. The community support has been overwhelming and the outpouring of support (in Amanda's own words) are ... "much appreciated you have no idea how much!" What Amanda needs now is a permanent home for her family. Please spread the word of her plight. If you would like to help Amanda, this is what you can do: spread the word of her story to all your friends, family, relatives. I believe there is someone out there who has the ability to help (has a rental, knows of a rental, empty apartment, house, etc.) Help Amanda by keeping an ear out for housing. You may also help by sending a monetary donation, gift card for fuel or food while Amanda gets on her feet. You are more than welcome to send it to: P.O. Box 751231, Petaluma, CA 94975 and I will be sure Amanda receives each and every one of them. Also, this campaign has also been started just in case those who don't personally know me or Amanda can make a contribution.
Truly, our efforts don't end with Amanda… there are many others in her position as well thus we need to continue helping others in need. I have been inspired by Amanda's story. It has taught me to spread the word for action… I believe we must all do what we can to help those in need because this is all we are in this lifetime… we are simply angels of love, giving and support on this earth. We take nothing with us and in fact we leave nothing to our children but the messages we give them each and every day. Like a chain letter, I hope we call to action - pass it on, pay it forward, do all we can to help our fellow neighbors, friends, elderly, homeless, sick… truth is, nothing will happen to us if we don’t but something magical will happen if to us if we do! Something magical will happen to us and to those whose life we have touched. For every life touches another and I can say Amanda has touched mine in the most profound way!
Thank you for sharing Amanda's story with our community Veronica!! I hold out hope for the second miracle as the outpouring of support from the community was absolutely the first!