Good morning! I am writing to you today to tell a story about someone doing something pretty remarkable for people like the email you will read below.
There is this girl, well actually woman, but if you asked her she'd say she's still a girl...
Anyways, her name is Jill Smokler. She is the creator of the blog Scary Mommy and has written two bestselling books, CONFESSIONS OF A SCARY MOMMY and MOTHERHOOD COMES NATURALLY (AND OTHER VICIOUS LIES). Now I understand you probably do not think any of this is remarkable and I agree, it is not. However here comes the remarkable part.
In 2011, well I think it was 2011, she launched a confessional on her blog. It is a place where anyone can go and post ANYTHING anonymously. You see it all there, funny, sad, embarrassing, shocking, etc... In the fall of 2011, Jill noticed that there were more posts with mother's saying how they were not sure if they could provide Thanksgiving for their family that year. The reasons varied, but one thing was clear; Jill needed to do something.
So she concocted a plan and sent it to all her followers. She blogged about it, facebooked it, tweeted it, emailed it and encouraged people to share. You can read all about it here.
The cliff noted version is, she set up a pay pal account where people could donate $25 and had people contact her if they needed help. She then paired up two $25 donors and sent the families in need a $50 gift card to help provide Thanksgiving dinner. It raised tons of money (see the results here) and reinstated her faith in humanity. She did it again last year, but with the pressure from the year before she had to limit it to only 200 families.
This year she is doing it again (read about it here). She has help these days so it is going much smoother. One of the big differences this year is, once you donate, she is emailing you information about your family. It is their story and it shows why they need help.
Below I have copied the exact email that was sent to me.
Date October 25, 2013
Thank you so much for your generous donation to Scary Mommy Nation’s Thanksgiving Project! Because of you, a mother is able to provide a loving holiday meal for her family; a family who otherwise would have gone without. That’s a pretty amazing thing!
We thought you might like a little information on the specific family you helped…
Name: DenesseStory: both my fiancé (55) and I (49) are full time students at Virginia college raising Gabriella (11 yr old granddaughter with Asperger's ) and making things work on 140 of AFDC for gabby and food stamps and Steven gives plasma 2 times a wk . Although things were tight we managed . As of late Aug. we have added Gabby's other 2 sisters Carmen and Sophia , as the police dropped them at my door step because my daughter was picked up on drug charges and a failure to appear .....well my daughter only spent 1 wk in jail was released with a fine and new court date ,she is still doing drugs the girls are still with us child protective services has gotten involved only because 6yr old Carmen had never gone to school ....so there are now 5 of us in less than 600 sq.ft we are in a mod rehab program which is housing for parents that are either disabled or in school ....im in my last term for Medical Assistant doing my extern now at the take care clinic in walgreens Steven still has another yr for his associates in networking engineering , Gabby is homeschooled due to her Asperger's so life is a bit hectic our food stamps have been cut and because I still only have power of attorney for Carmen only we are not eligible to receive any benefits for the other girls and since steven has been donating plasma for a while now there are some wks were he can only donate 1 time a wk if at all due to scare tissue so there goes that 40 dollars and I have MS and am on different meds at different times me donating plasma is not an option , I know that this is ...a bump in the road and this too shall pass ....as I hope to be working after graduation in dec and after passing my certification in jan ......these last 5 yrs have been tough 5 yrs ago my 18month old grand son (different daughter) was beaten to death and my daughter was incarcerated for 6 months was found innocent via medical examiner and polygraph ...all of the hardships of incarceration and trial and raising gabby my resources ran out I had a fulltime job working 60 hr wks as a personal shopper for Talbot's all within a 24months I lost my mum (she lived with me for 20 yrs) baby was murdered, daughter incarcerated, murder trial and then homelessness when my resources ran out and my MS took a turn (do to stress im sure) gabby and I and my now released daughter ended up in a shelter program and we all have been moving forward in healing .....so I know there is a rainbow at the end of this storm .W e just need a umbrella !
As you celebrate your own holiday, please know Denesse is spending her Thanksgiving being thankful for you. As are we.
If you’d like to encourage your friends and family to give, (or simply brag about how awesome you are for doing so) a collection of buttons can be found here: http://www.scarymommy.com/
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season,
MikkiOn behalf of Jill Smokler and Scary Mommy Nation
I read it once and did not believe what I read, so I read it again...
This time I felt as if I was punched in the stomach, so I read it again...
This time left me in tears, so I read it again...
This time I knew I had to do something.
Writing to you is me doing something.
Now because this is my family that I know I have helped...
Not nearly enough...
But it is a start...
I am asking you to help them.
I know nothing more than what is written, however, Jill and her staff have graciously agreed to work with you if you choose to help this family.
I also am asking for you to please share what Jill is doing to all of your millions of fans and followers.
One person can change a persons life, but more than one can change the world.
Here are the current stats as of this morning, October 29 at 7AM:
That is pretty remarkable considering she only launched this last week.
People will help if you ask them.
Please help her, please help this family, please spread the word!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this long, almost equivalent to a dissertation, letter...
UPDATE 10/29 1:13PM:
UPDATE 10/29 1:13PM: