A couple years ago I used to read a blog by a foster parent, who wrote about her daily adventures. Around the time when I first started reading, she suddenly got a placement of three children between the ages of 2 and 8. She desperately needed things like a crib, bedding, car seats, etc... and she didn't have any money... and although I guess it is possible that the foster care agency may have eventually reimbursed her for these things, at the time she didn't have enough cash to get everything she needed for the kids. A lot of blog readers came through and either donated money or purchased things for her that she could pick up at her local Wal-Mart. I've heard of several different stories like this, where fellow bloggers helped out people in crisis. So I was thinking, it would be cool to sort of organize something, like a Bloggers Emergency Fund of some sort!
I was planning it all out yesterday while I was supposed to be paying attention in my US Politics class. Here is what I came up with...
- Anyone who is interested in being a part of it could give me their email address and blog address, so they could be on my sidebar (I'll probably make a separate blog for this venture if I really do it) and so they could be on an email list to be contacted whenever there is a collection being taken.
- If you get contacted and you want to donate a few bucks or participate in some other way, you just do it, and you can also sign a Mr. Linky thing on the blog that will show how many people are participating.
- It would be mostly for bloggers that are having pressing emergency needs. For instance, a blogger's house has burned down and they need XYZ, or a blogger becomes seriously ill and needs XYZ. It would be best if they needed something specific, such as money to pay an electricity bill, or money to buy a specific crib from a store, or whatever.
- The reason it is for bloggers is because there is more trust there. If you can go to someone's blog and read about the past year of their life and about their kids and everything, then you'll feel better helping out with money when the person desperately needs money to refill their son's asthma medication or something. Whereas if it is just some random person emailing us and saying, "Please help," you can't be as sure!
- It can also extend to non-bloggers if a blogger recommends them, for instance if you have a neighbor or a friend or someone who needs help.
Here's an example scenario...
Petra is a blogger who writes about life as a single mother to five-year-old Jason, who has speech delays and goes to a special preschool program and to speech therapy each week. Lately Petra has written that she's having some financial problems making ends meet because her insurance isn't paying as much of Jason's speech therapy, and because Jason had pneumonia last month and she had to take a week off of work to stay home with him. Then one day Petra writes that her car has broken down and needs a new... Hmm I dunno, what breaks down in a car? A starter? That sounds bad, right? She has barely any cash in her account right now, she can't drive, so she's been paying a cab to take her to work and to take Jason to school and therapy, but its costing an arm and a leg, and she might have to take another few days off of work, and she's getting DESPERATE!!!
Another blogger, who we'll call Jayne, emails me through my new relief fund blog, telling me about Petra.
I put an email out to everyone who has signed up to be contacted, asking them if they can throw something in the hat to help Petra. People can also forward the emails, write about it in their blogs, etc. Whoever decides to help can sign the Mr. Linky on my blog. Most likely people would be making PayPal donations to Jayne, although if Jayne doesn't want to take that responsibility I could do it. Quickly we raise $250 to send to Petra so she can get her car fixed.
And here's another idea... what if we could go even further, by contacting a few reputable car repair places near where Petra lives, and offering them a certain amount of blog posts and links in exchange for a discount for Petra's car repair? We could say, "You'll have 50 people blogging about you, using your name, the name of your company, the name of your town, and the fact that you're helping a blogger out." In this case lets say a repair shop offers to take off the cost of labor, leaving Petra with an extra $100 to offset the cost of all of those taxi rides!
Does it sound beautiful? Or am I just still crazy from being unmedicated!