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Thursday, April 23, 2009

K's Story and YOU CAN HELP!


We found her! We found K and the kids yesterday!

K on the bed with baby M, who turned two months old on Wednesday. Nine year old D and seven year old Little K watch cartoons in the background.

***

Wow, guys, where do I start? First of all, I want to THANK YOU so very very much for reading the story about K and her children, and commenting and emailing me and wanting to help. To me, your response of love and help has got to be what is best about blogging.

And now, I have some very good news for you... and it's time to help in whatever way you can, which I'll detail below.

I spent several hours over the past days walking around downtown, hoping I would see K again, so that I could talk to her more and try to figure out what kind of help she needed and how we could get it to her. I tried to call her voicemail but it was full, so I was anxious at not being able to leave her a message.

And then on Tuesday, I was able to leave her a voicemail. I explained that I was trying to find her, that there were many good-hearted people out there who cared about her and wanted to help her, but that I needed to find a way to her. And then she called me.

As luck would have it, my blogging friend Sarah had emailed me and offered to help find K, and as a social worker, had all the right information behind her to help. Today we met up downtown and went to K in the room she has in a hotel. The three children and her share a tiny room. But they are together and they are safe.

Tomorrow they would have had to check out of the hotel, where they have been staying for almost a month since they had to leave their home with just a few bits of clothes.

***

K, Sarah and I discussed the situation. K has been doing all the right things she can do, and is contacting the battered women shelters on a regular basis until she can find a place. She has a social worker, but between the caseloads and the state of the economy, there is very little that can be done yet.

K is doing all she can: she goes to domestic violence classes. She makes sure the kids go to their doctor and dentist appointments. The children are going to school full-time and go to after-school programs, too. Soon, K will be receiving assistance, including a small stipend ($635 a month) plus food stamps and health care. Until I met her, begging was the only way she was able to pay for her hotel room and for food for the kids.

But until she can find a stable home and work, anything we can do will help her and her family immensely. K doesn't smoke, drink or take drugs. But she had a husband who almost killed her (he's gone now), and it's taking all of her strength and bravery to get through this difficult time.

***

I think we have the cell phone thing figured out. Sarah has an extra cell phone she isn't using, so I think we are good there.

The kids are okay for clothes, but her son D could use a few more things. K left with just a few clothes and needs some underwear.

So, this is where you come in, if you want to join Team Tangobaby and the Do-Gooders (I just made that up)!
  1. Post about K and her story. Link to this post and the first post about her on your blog.
  2. Tell all of your friends who don't read blogs.
  3. You can donate money here (see sidebar) and that money will go directly to K for housing, clothes and food. I will be able to give her the money directly until we can set up a bank account for her. Sooner is better, though. Like now.
  4. K wants to work. She has experience doing clerical work and can answer phones and do office work. She would love to have a part-time job while the kids are in school. So if any local employers can help with that, please let me know.
  5. She wants to find a place to live. Having a home will mean everything to her.
  6. Write her an email and I will print it out and give it to her when I see her. She feels so alone in the world, and I have promised her that there are many many people who are proud of her and wish her all the best. Write her an email and send it to me at tangobaby2 AT gmail DOT com.
***

I spoke to K tonight when I got home. We talked about getting her a little refrigerator so that she can store breast milk for the baby. Right now in her hotel room, without a refrigerator, she has no way to store the milk. We talked about things the kids like to do (they like the aquarium and the playground), and we talked about makeup. I told her I used to be a makeup artist and we talked about different brands of makeup and what we like. I told her that when she is all settled, we will do her makeup and have a photo shoot and then you can see her at her best.

When I tell you that she is a sweet young woman who just wants to work and take care of her kids, I mean it.

And when I say that you can help, I mean it. Please help. Email me if you want to do more.

And most of all, thank you!
***

ps.: If nothing else, please take a few moments to write K an email. Just knowing that she has friends in all corners of the world will do wonders for her. I can see it in her eyes. I know how wonderful you are. Write her a note. Send it to me and I will be so proud of you all to give her your good wishes and hope.

pss.: I will be away from a computer for most of Thursday but can check email on my phone. I hope to hear from you!

xoxo

33 comments:

julochka April 23, 2009 at 12:57 AM  

it's absolutely amazing that you searched and searched and sought her out again. and that you found her and that you're using your power for good. you're gonna need a superhero costume, girl. i'm thinking something with fabulous shoes and a bit of sparkle.

Breeze April 23, 2009 at 5:36 AM  

Thank you so much for finding her. I promise I will do whatever I can. I don't have a lot but I will find a way to help as best I can and I will certainly use my blog as an avenue to spread the word!

And you my darling are indeed a superhero! I am so glad you found her. It's good to know this family is safe

Breeze

Adam April 23, 2009 at 6:16 AM  

the world would be a better place if there were ore people like you! This is truly an amazing story.

take care!

Adam April 23, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

PS. posted to my facebook. hopefully this generates some traffic for ya!

paris parfait April 23, 2009 at 7:28 AM  

Jules, Paypal worked this time - maybe the problem had something to do w/ the fact that I'd just upgraded to the latest version of Firefox? Anyway, it's done and will email later. xoxox

Liz April 23, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

I'm going to donate some cash. And I've posted on my blog.

From far away in Indiana... I don't feel I can do much.

If food is an issue, maybe a group like Foodrunners can help? San Fran group I donated to over the holidays.

And while it isn't tangible... it's one of the greatest things I know I can do for her and the babies... pray.

And if there are any breastfeeding concerns, I can help there, too. Advice by internet...

nomadicdragon April 23, 2009 at 8:46 AM  

I couldn't help much, but I did what I could.

It's nice to see that there are still good people in the world who won't just pass by those in need.

Avalon76 April 23, 2009 at 11:28 AM  

I am posting this everywhere I have a presence online. You, my dear, have a special place in heaven for doing this. ^_^

Money is very tight, but I will try and do what I can. Kelaya and her beautiful children deserve the best.

Amber April 23, 2009 at 12:59 PM  

I sent an e-mail for Kelaya...and I'll post about her on my blog. You are an amazing person and I'm happy to have found you.

Amber April 23, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

I sent an e-mail for Kelaya...and I'll post about her on my blog. You are an amazing person and I'm happy to have found you.

Susan April 23, 2009 at 1:55 PM  

I was led here by Char and Kelaya's story. I hope my contribution will help make a difference. Bless you.

Adam April 23, 2009 at 6:11 PM  

after a busy day, I linked this post to my blog as well.

Let me know how it goes. Take pictures! Share!

Keep fighting the good fight.

Adina April 23, 2009 at 7:23 PM  

I sent you a small donation via paypal. This is an incredible story and I thank you for sharing it with us. I just found your blog and this story via @jenblossom on Twitter.

I will work on an e-mail to send to Kelaya tomorrow.

You are doing a wonderful deed.

Thrifty Miss Priss April 23, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

thank you so much for doing this! So many people pass right on by....God Bless You!
I just donated...I hope and pray she gets the funds she needs to get set up in a permanent situation. Hotel is not home! But they are safe....and that you can NOT put a price tag on!
XoXo
Robin

Thrifty Miss Priss April 23, 2009 at 9:52 PM  

and I mentioned it on my blog as well!
:-)

Rosa April 23, 2009 at 10:56 PM  

This touched me to my core.

Sent what I could and a note to Kelaya.

Cedar ... April 24, 2009 at 2:57 AM  

What a lovely young woman you are,.. and I believe that Kelaya and her family are good people and that good things will happen for them. I am unable to send $$ but I will send an email for Kelaya. My heart is sad that I can't do more right now. I'll book mark your site and perhaps you can give us an update?

flawsnall April 24, 2009 at 6:59 AM  

You are amazing...it's a beautiful experience to be able to use your own recognition for the good of someone else....you're a blessing...

Mental P Mama April 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

I came here via Country Girl-Kate. I just sent you a note for Kelaya, and I am now going to get on my soapbox.

Elizabeth April 24, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

You are wonderful .. I'll send a donation.

Grandma J April 24, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

Kelaya and her children are in my prayers.

Sally's World April 25, 2009 at 1:56 AM  

Mental P mama sent me over...i'm so glad she did, what an amazing person you are...i will do what i can to help....with love!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. April 25, 2009 at 4:07 AM  

Sending Hugs and Prayers to Kelaya and her kids.

Debbie April 25, 2009 at 5:00 PM  

Came here via Mental P Mama and found an Angel. Amazing what you are trying to do. I always tell myself I'll be okay if I have a roof over my head and I thank God I do.

Kelaya doesn't and it's just not right. I can only give a little but I will pray and pray and pray.

Sassy April 25, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

I came by way of Mental Pause Mama...what a blessing that she has you...right now I am unable to do anything of monetary value but I will put her and her children in my prayers....hugs to all of you from Arizona

Nyla April 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

I found you via Yoli at Musings. This touched my heart so deeply! Thank you for creating a way to help Kelaya. And, thank you to Kelaya for showing people not to give up hope.

You are an angel on Earth.

Jennifer D. K. April 27, 2009 at 6:18 AM  

Came by way of Chronicle of a Country Girl - couldn't donate a lot but I hope that it helps.

Tessa April 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM  

I've come via Yoli at Musings. My heart goes out to Kelaya and I would like very much to help her to help herself and her children. I'll match the amount I got for two of my limited edition prints which sold last week and which I sell to raise donations for a hospital in Swaziland who have patients whose needs are so deep and broad that it boggles the mind. (You can read of their work here http://soaringimpulse.blogspot.com)

mademoisellechitchat April 29, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

I have helped spread the word; do you have an update?

Isil April 30, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

Hopeless is far worse than homeless, good going!.

Transcontinentalrailroadwarrior April 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

Damn! I am so inspired by your story. Thank you!

jpvill May 5, 2009 at 8:52 AM  

you are a HERO.. I'm starting to be a Fan, i wish someday i could be like you...

jambery May 7, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

Thank you for finding K!

As a member of the domestic violence network in San Francisco, I hope to adequately convey our concern over this situation and would like to offer our help.
If K would like to, she is welcome to contact me at WOMAN Inc. My direct line is 415-864-4777, ext 306 and my name is Jill.
I would be more than happy to meet with her and discuss options, etc.
I understand that she has reached out already, and this might not serve as an attractive option to her. If she is open to meeting with me, however, I would very much like to speak with her on behalf of the network I take a great deal of pride being a part of. We are all concerned about her well being.
Thank you.