Living with disability. It's been nearly a year since the boys and I started looking for a home which would meet the needs of all three of us; somewhere we would be safe and happy. We moved into our new home in March 2023, and I have been working since to get them the services, support, and funding needed to meet both their immediate and long term needs.
While our home is lovely, and for the first time in their entire lives they each have their own bedroom (!), there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that it's safe, accessible and sustainable as a lifelong home for Oliver and Owen.
So to that end, in addition to a number of grants I have applied for, I am reaching out to you to help me crowdfund the additional dollars we need in the short term.
Here's how you can help:
- Make a contribution to either Owen or Oliver's fundraiser. Or both! A gift of any amount would mean the world to me. Simply click here for Owen's and click here for Oliver's.
- Please also share the fundraiser links with your networks. On social media, by email, or even in person. The more exposure the fundraisers get, the faster we will reach our goals.
- If you're local to Hamilton, come and see us next week at the Community Garage Sale on Saturday, September 16th. It runs from 8am to 1pm and I'd love some help with setting up, manning the table so I can take bio breaks, tearing down... If you've got a vehicle and you're willing to take items that don't sell to Value Village or to the Community Recycling Centre Reuse Store, let me know!
- Would you be able or willing to donate labour or supplies? The cost of implementing some of the projects, like Oliver's shed, could be reduced if you can help with things like putting up drywall and painting.
- Want to learn mindful crochet or know someone who does? Well, I'm a crochet designer and teacher! Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can discuss how I can best help you learn.
Some additional information on why I need your help
It's tough to share this sort of thing but I want to be as transparent and open as I possibly can be about why I need to crowdfund.
- Yes, we have a home. And we're lucky! I realize that I'm asking for help when my family already occupies a relatively privileged position. But... I'm also 54 and multiply-disabled. I am self employed and because of my disabilities and the needs of my sons, I am not in a position to work outside of the home. I withdrew all of my RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) funds for the downpayment on our new home.
- We have received funding for other things. In July, I finally received Ontario Autism Plan (OAP) funding for both Oliver and Owen. But this funding can only be spent on eligible expenditures, unfortunately, I cannot use it for the projects I'm fundraising for. In addition, this OAP funding has to be spent before my kids turn 18 in February 2024. So, for example, an occupational therapist has assessed both boys and written letters of recommendation for the purchase of equipment as part of their plan of care. This enabled me to purchase a backyard trampoline for them.
- I have applied for government and charitable funding to help towards the cost of these projects. Because we are a low-income family, I have applied for all the funding I could find. I have applied for two grants from Ceridian Cares. For the bathroom modifications, I have also applied for a grant under the Home and Vehicle Modification Program. Unfortunately, even if we are awarded the maximum grants, these won't cover the entire cost of the projects.
I need your help if I'm going to make these things happen.
If you have any questions, need more information, or just want to talk more about my fundraisers, please don’t hesitate to reach out, and thank you so much for any and all assistance you can provide.