I'm Elijah and I am hosting this fundraiser for my friend Amanda. Here's what she has to say: Hi everyone! I'm Amanda, a 25 year old disabled photojournalist, and I need a car.
I'm Elijah and I am hosting this fundraiser for my friend Amanda. Here's what she has to say:
Hi everyone! I'm Amanda, a 25 year old disabled photojournalist, and I need a car.
I'm currently a bus rider but my disabilities make it extremely difficult to continue using that kind of transportation. I can't stand or sit for long periods without severe pain and constantly fighting with my body in order not to faint. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome/dysautonomia. Riding the bus involves miles of walking to and from stops, standing for 10+ minutes waiting for the bus, and sitting on the bus for an average of an hour one way even if my destination is only a 20 minute drive away. This eats up entire days due to travel time and the detrimental effects on my body. I feel trapped because I can't get the healthcare I need nor can I run errands on my own time. I had to have a medical device placed in my chest to receive treatments at home because getting to the clinic twice weekly was just too hard. That's right, I had to permanently alter my body because I don't have a car. I also have to rely on other people to take me places and I know that can be tiring for my loved ones. I limit the amount of medical appointments I have because of how I'm affected by riding the bus, and I'm unable to run errands like getting groceries on my own. There are doctors that have the potential to treat my conditions outside of Madison far beyond what my doctors here can but I can't get to them due to lack of transportation.
Not only has it become so physically difficult to ride the bus, but it's also dangerous now due to the covid-19 pandemic.
I'm deeply passionate about photojournalism and my focus is on providing compassionate representation of marginalized communities. My goal is to be able to travel around my state to help people share their stories. Unfortunately, I can't do that by bus. I'm limited to the innermost neighborhoods of Madison and even then, it's a huge struggle to get from point A to point B. A lot of photojournalism is being able to quickly arrive on scene of a developing situation or event, but having to both plan around my health AND riding the bus makes it nearly impossible for me to do. A car would help eliminate some of those barriers, making it easier for me to quickly arrive without already depleting my energy just to get there. With a vehicle, I'd be able to start pitching my ideas and work to publications and potentially make extra income. Not being able to travel, and travel quickly, makes me a much less desirable hire.
So, obviously, I desperately need a vehicle.
I'm given less than $900 a month to live off of from Social Security. I'm also not allowed to ever have more than $2000 in accounts and assets. This means that I can't save any of my money that's left after paying my bills. Due to my extremely limited income, I can't pay monthly payments on a car loan, nor can I save to buy a car outright. Because of this, the only way I'll be able to get reliable transportation is to receive a car as a gift or fundraise to have one bought outright by a trusted individual. I can afford insurance, gas, and maintenance.
EFFORTS SO FAR:
I've had people on my healthcare team looking into car donations or grants for all of 2020 and we've had no luck so far. Programs that donate vehicles typically only do so to individuals that can prove they need the vehicle to get to an already established job. I can't work a regular job so I will never qualify. I've entered numerous car giveaways with no luck.
This is my last resort. I need a vehicle in order to make it to my medical appointments without negative affects on my health, to run errands, and to do my freelance photojournalism. I could even work occasionally with food delivery services to get extra income if and when my body allows. A car would give me much needed freedom and opportunities.
I set my goal at $6000. I don't need a brand new car, just one in working condition that won't need immediate maintenance and can reliably get me to where I need to go. If I have money left over after finding a vehicle, the rest will be used on insurance, gas, and maintenance. If I don't raise enough and the fundraiser sits dormant for a long period of time, all money will be refunded. Any future holiday gift money, tax returns, and covid relief money will be going directly to my car fund.
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