Help Dawna, Norma Jeanne, & Family Recover from the Flood

Help Dawna, Norma Jeanne, & Family Recover from the Flood

From Heather Laurence

Dawna, Norma Jeanne, Ruby, and Texie are absolutely wonderful people. Their home, possessions, and vehicles were all lost in the flood of October 30, 2013. Let's help them recover.

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Update #7

about 4 years ago

Hi Everyone!

The Benefit Party for the Maloney-Fisher family along with fellow Bluff Springs flood victims is this Saturday from 7p-11p at Tamale House East (1707 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702)!

These families lost so much from the flood on Halloween morning. We banded together as a community and helped them during their recovery from this tragedy with our time, dollars and donations. Now it's time to PARTY and raise MONEY!!!!

$10 suggested donation (comes with 1 drink ticket)

DJ Los TRAX will be spinning
KARAOKE
SILENT AUCTION
RAFFLE
BEER, WINE, SPIRITS
TOY AND COAT DRIVE

Bring a new toy and/or gently used (adult & children) coats. All proceeds and donations to benefit the families and Bluff Spring Flood Victims.

We are seeking donations for the silent auction. Calling all artists, restaurant and business owners, please email Joann at hello@joannsantangelo.com if you've got art, merchandise, and/or gift certificates to donate. Thanks!

Spread the love, spread the word: INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!

And if you can't make it to the party, please donate on their Fundly page: https://fundly.com/help-dawna-norma-jeanne-family-recover-from-the-flood

Thank you,
Heather Laurence

More Info

About The Campaign

Dawna, Norma Jeanne, Ruby and Texie are all safe but they have lost so much from the flood. Let's band together as a strong community and help them in their recovery from this tragedy. 

Their insurance will cover the structure of the house but NONE of the contents. They will need to repurchase everything: refrigerator, electronics, tvs, computers, washer/dryer, other appliances, linens, clothes, textbooks, everything. They will also need to cover any costs related to temporary housing while the house is being rebuilt, and car rentals until insurance and replacements are instituted.

UPDATE 1: FEMA has assessed the damage on the house and found that the septic tank has collasped. This will not be covered by insurance either. We have increased the amount we are raising for them to make a dent in the skyrocketing costs of this flood. Thank you all so much for your help!

UPDATE 2: Donations of clothes are not needed since quick action from friends and family on day 1 salvaged many of their clothing items. Shoes need to be repurchased, but the family has what they need until it's time to pick out their own. (Any donations of these things should be brought to the First Baptist Church on Bluff Springs for the families without great support networks.) 

UPDATE 3: The family is anxiously awaiting the insurance estimate from FEMA. We've heard reports that FEMA (who manages the flood insurance) never covers what it actually costs to rebuild. 

It is clear now that the funds and the forthcoming benefit will bridge the gap between the estimate and the actual cost to rebuild. We are doing more for the Fisher-Maloneys than just furniture, rent, and appliances, we are going to help them make their house what it was before the flood, their home. 

Here's the master list of things the Fisher-Maloney's will need for their new house: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArMcfz4AU_2fdHdSNVBCN0FCZTRuMjhVeEZRTGs4VGc&usp=sharing. They can start receiving these items beginning Sunday, November 17 to their new address: 4611 Jinx, Austin TX 78745

UPDATE 4: Benefit Confirmed! Mark your calenders for Saturday December 7th at Tamale House East in Austin, TX from 7p-11p. There will be music and an auction - it's gonna be a GREAT time! 

Please join the group on Facebook to for more updates, phsycial donations, and daily help coordination: https://www.facebook.com/groups/178235012368263/

About the floods: 

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/people-rescued-evacuating-seeking-shelter-across-c/nbdQx/

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Help Heather raise $20,000 by making a donation.

Heather Laurence posted a new update:
about 4 years ago

BENEFIT THIS SATURDAY!

Hi Everyone!

The Benefit Party for the Maloney-Fisher family along with fellow Bluff Springs flood victims is this Saturday from 7p-11p at Tamale House East (1707 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702)!

These families lost so much from the flood on Halloween morning. We banded together as a community and helped them during their recovery from this tragedy with our time, dollars and donations. Now it's time to PARTY and raise MONEY!!!!

$10 suggested donation (comes with 1 drink ticket)

DJ Los TRAX will be spinning
KARAOKE
SILENT AUCTION
RAFFLE
BEER, WINE, SPIRITS
TOY AND COAT DRIVE

Bring a new toy and/or gently used (adult & children) coats. All proceeds and donations to benefit the families and Bluff Spring Flood Victims.

We are seeking donations for the silent auction. Calling all artists, restaurant and business owners, please email Joann at hello@joannsantangelo.com if you've got art, merchandise, and/or gift certificates to donate. Thanks!

Spread the love, spread the word: INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!

And if you can't make it to the party, please donate on their Fundly page: https://fundly.com/help-dawna-norma-jeanne-family-recover-from-the-flood

Thank you,
Heather Laurence

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Heather Laurence posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

A Tale of Two Houses & Benefit Info

Hello Lovely Supporters!

Yesterday was a tremendous milestone: the new concrete floors went into the family home! Let me first say that the Fisher-Maloneys would not have been able to afford the contractors if it had not been for you. This is as real as it gets. Thank you. -H.

And now an update from Dawna -

I promised to post to let you all know what we needed after this move into the rental house. The only TWO things we need right now are boxsprings for Ruby's bed and our bed - FULL for Ruby and KING for us. I am going to check craigslist this AM to see if I can score those two things, but if you recently went all platform style and have these things hanging around, let me know. Also, there are two things we want (note the want, not need):
1. Anyone have a reasonably sized television that you are not using - just to borrow? I haven't watched the news in days, perhaps weeks. And dang - how much do I miss Netflix with Norma Jeanne? Thanks to Brandi Kunoichi Lee and Elijah, we have a Wii so we can Netflix it UP!
2. Anyone have the name of an appliance repair guy that they trust? We have a washer and dryer sitting here and the dryer needs a part to be fully functional. Ned Mauldin can hook them up for me, it's just the fixing part I don't want to saddle him with.

The date for the benefit has been officially locked down - December 7 at Tamale House East from 7p-11p - Put it on your calendars and come out to see us.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I had a good porch cry this morning. I just think I have been planning and moving and grooving and this feeling of normal but not normal washed over me as I was sitting on this lovely porch that someone has gifted, drinking coffee out of a beautiful mug that someone donated, said coffee was made in a given coffee maker...just all of this love. That love mixed with knowing that my little family (dogs included) were all safe and asleep inside. The last time I sat on a porch with my family intact in a house that we call our own was the morning of the flood. I just lost it. Tears came streaming and then the sobbing ensued. Ugh, I hate the sobbing.

My mantra/prayer for today is to be allowed to continue to move forward with grace. To appreciate each moment, even the moments filled with sorrow and overwhelming emotions, as a gift to be treasured. I will treat everyone I come into contact with today with respect and love. And I will NOT let the emotions from the trauma flow out onto my safe folks...you know the folks that love you the most, forever and always, no matter what? Those folks. And if they do, I will apologize quickly - and for me - that means within eight hours or so. (that was for you Norma Jeanne Maloney - my love, my heart, my safe place)

Love love love to each of you. Enjoy the coffee this morning and be nice to your safe folks.

Dawna

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Heather Laurence posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Making the House a Home

Right now, the family is anxiously awaiting the insurance estimate from FEMA. We've heard reports that FEMA (who manages the flood insurance) never covers what it actually costs to rebuild.

It is clear now that the funds and the forthcoming benefit will bridge the gap between the estimate and the actual cost to rebuild. We are doing more for the Fisher-Maloneys than just providing the means for furniture, rent, and appliances, we are going to help them make their house what it was before the flood, their home.

Now for some good new, the family has a temporary house! Here's the master list of things the Fisher-Maloney's will need for their new house: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArMcfz4AU_2fdHdSNVBCN0FCZTRuMjhVeEZRTGs4VGc&usp=sharing.

Here are a few things to note before signing up to provide any of these things:

1. We hope these items will be donated without pressure for donor(s) to receive them back (in the event anything is broken over the course of their stay, which is possible with 3 pets and 4 humans in the mix)
2. Gently used/thrifted is totally fine. Some of these items were salvaged and are currently buried deep in their storage unit (not to come out until returning to their home). Items they no longer need, once they return to their real home, will be donated to someone else who needs these things (or returned to owner if necessary).
3. Be sure to fill out each column (except for additional offers for the same item, unless applicable) and definitely be sure to indicate if you can drop it off or if you need to arrange pick up. They can start receiving these items beginning Sunday, November 17 to their new address: 4611 Jinx, Austin TX 78745.
4. Dawna will contact people individually if pick up coordination is required, just indicate that in the additional notes section BEFORE texting/calling her. We're trying to keep the coordination factor to a minimum since she's returning to work on Monday and will have even more on her plate.
5. Any local Austinite who has time to do some searching and wrangling of free items from craigslist will be a huge help in this effort. (must be able to do the searching, pick up and delivery)
6. SHARE this with local Austinites who might have items to donate!

Please join the group on Facebook to for more updates, physical donations, and daily help coordination: https://www.facebook.com/groups/178235012368263/

Thank you everyone so much for everything. None of this would be possible without you, your love, and your support.

-Heather Laurence & Kate Payne

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Heather Laurence posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update from Dawna!

Good morning, friends and family and lovely folks. Couple of things to update y'all on:

First topic this morning - HOUSING - we have a house. And it's a good story. As you know, we (we equals the fabulous Kate) asked for you to put the word out that we were looking for a reasonably priced short term lease property in Austin. Problem (or fabulous thing) about Austin is inexpensive short terms are hard to come by with the X games and F1 racing and on and on...but you all rallied and started texting, calling, emailing and asking. Inger Myhre, our stylist and dear friend, asked a client, Richard, if he knew of any short term leases. He replied, "No." and then Inger told Richard our story. It just so happens that Richard is a property buying, subdividing and selling type of guy and he is closing on a property (near Redd and Hank, for you Southies) a week from today. He has offered up this house for the long term. We will be moving in Sunday, the 17th. Can you all believe that we will have a home for the holidays? A home with our girls and pets. We will all be together. I am so blessed. So very blessed. The four hour a day commute (yesterday it was five), although giving me plenty of time with the girls, will now be a quick stop to the bus line to drop off Texie. Thanks, Inger. You are my hair styling, house finding, energy giving hero. Namaste lady. I am blessed by your love and looking forward to a visit soon.

Second topic - the FUNDLY - Heather Laurence asked that I tell you all where we have spent the dollars so far (yeah, we are already spending them...no pride but gay pride) In the first 24 hours after the flood, we used around $1,300 on a roll off dumpster, a visit from the septic guy, renting a Uhaul, and the initial storage payment. $300 has gone to remove the freyon from our air conditioning system to make it safer for disposal. We have spent about $250 on the dehumidifiers and another $400 on general clean up supplies (this would be much larger if not for the generosity of this group - oh how I love squeegies and vinegar) We have also spent a small amount on personal items - replacing the dog's insulin and syringes, some clean boxers, etc.) The money that you have donated is being used as sparingly as possible as we are getting ready to spend the majority of the funds on the septic system (and I know, really? Septic isn't covered by insurance?? How are you supposed to live in a house built for waste water without a waste water system? sigh. It will be okay.) Thank you for your generosity to our family. The fund is real, it's helping us right now, and I don't know how I will ever thank you all.

Third topic - WHAT's NEXT? - Well, I am going to attempt to go back to work on Monday. I say attempt because my brain and my heart still seem to be underwater. My thoughts are not always clear or cohesive and my emotions... sigh... I have laughed and cried continually throughout this last week. My over compartmentalizing brain is out of order. I am slow to make decisions and a little lost when putting together plans. That and my office is gone. For those of you that know me, I work from home and well...you know that story. I am assured that my team and my management are going to continue to support me as I attempt to get back on the corporate roller coaster, but I am approaching Monday with a little trepidation.

We will be working at the house after 11 today (we are going to drop off our borrowed truck, Thanks, Kristina Nichols-Wolter and have an appt at 9) and then throughout the weekend. If you have a minute, stop by for some super rocking fun. Our neighborhood president gave our crew the awards for "Best Cleanup Effort so far" and "Most Fun Flood Cleanup" on Sunday - no cash award or tiaras, unfortunately, were given.

Finally, if you made it this far in your reading, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for everything you have done for me and mine. Small words from the bottom of my heart. We couldn't have done this without you.

Alright, time to get the babies up. Hooray, it's Friday y'all.

Dawna

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Heather Laurence posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Physical Donations

Here is an update on the physical needs of the Fisher-Maloney Family.

Due to the quick action from friends and family, donations of clothes are not needed, much of their clothing was salvaged. Shoes need to be repurchased, but the family has what they need until it's time to pick out their own. If you have clothing or shoes to donate, please take them to the First Baptist Church on Bluff Springs Rd to help the families without great support networks.

Furniture and other structural needs will be assessed once the family figures out where they will be living for the month or two it takes to rebuild the house and make it livable again. Any leads on rent-free 2-3br, 2bath houses in central/south Austin will be very helpful. Please email Kate any leads: kate at katepayne dot net.

Also, please join the group on Facebook to for updates, physical donations, and daily help coordination: https://www.facebook.com/groups/178235012368263/

Thank you all again so very much. When I showed Dawna and Norma Jeanne the campaign page on Friday, they hugged each other and wept saying, we're gonna be okay. Your generosity and love is amazing. We will help them be okay.

-Heather & Kate

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Heather Laurence posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

UPDATE: FEMA will not cover collapsed septic tank

As if things couldn't get any worse, FEMA has assessed the damage to the house and found that the septic tank has collapsed and it will NOT be covered by insurance. We have increased the amount we are trying to raise as a result and hope to make a dent in the skyrocketing costs of this disaster. Please share the campaign as every single dollar helps. Thank you all so very much...

Love,
Heather & Kate

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Heather Laurence posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Our Campaign will be Featured on Fundly's Blog!

I was contacted by Fundly, who saw the donation page for The Fisher-Maloney Family and were touched by the story and their incredible circle of friends. They asked if I would be willing to write a guest blog to be featured on their website. Here is the post:

October 30, 2013 was one for the record books in Austin, Texas. City waterways turned to dangerous, fast moving flows of debris. Streams and creeks turned to raging rivers, busting banks and flooding hundreds of homes. Even our beloved statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn succumbed to the extreme flooding. People were rescued by helicopter from rooftops, or taken by boat to higher ground. Such was the experience of the Fisher-Maloney Family. The storms swept in after 10p dumping a foot of rain in some areas. At 12:30a, while watching the churning water rise up the street curb, Norma Jeanne said to her partner Dawna that it was time to get ready. It was already too late to leave by car so they packed up the animals, got their two teenage daughters ready, grabbed important documents, and waited. The water crested into their yard, lifted their cars from the ground crashing them into each other, and quickly rushed into their home. The family perched on furniture as the water became waist-deep and watched as their home and possessions were destroyed all around them. Finally at 6a, help arrived by boat. Firefighters helped the family climb out of a window and paddled them and their pets to safety. All made it out and were taken to shelter by friends.

As friends were leaving sweet birthday messages on Norma Jeanne’s Facebook the morning of October 31st, the family was regrouping after the shock of what had just happened. As soon as friends found out, we sprang into action. I created the page on Fundly at 1p and posted it to their Facebook walls. Close family friend, Kate Payne, started a Facebook group to coordinate volunteers and physical donations. The outpouring of support has just been amazing. After only 24 hours live, friends and family had come together and pledged $7000. We began the hard cleanup work the next day, November 1st. But there was another terrible shock, the family’s home insurance will only cover the structure and NONE of their possessions. They lost more than 90%, including their beds, fridge, oven, dishwasher, washer & dryer, all their furniture, computers, tvs, electronics, cookware, linens, clothes, textbooks, so much gone, and not to mention the funds they will need for deductibles, temporary housing, and transportation.

You couldn’t find any more generous, welcoming, beautiful people anywhere. The Fisher-Maloney Family deserves all the help we can muster and we welcome any additional help!

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