LATE NIGHT UPDATE: As of 10pm Pacific Time, the Interwebs have made Sam's Christmas wish come true!!! You guys are Uh-May-Zing!!! So amazing that I can't help but use entirely too many exclamation points!!!!
First, you need to know that I suck at asking for help. I mean really suck. When I was 8 months pregnant with Peanut, I wanted the lawn mowed. So, I put my 18 month old in a backpack and mowed the lawn. Got to spend the evening at the hospital in pre-term labor, too. A couple weeks later, I was assembling furniture--like a wall unit kind of furniture. By myself.
More than sucking at asking for help, I suck at asking for money. In college, I called home one time in need of money. It nearly killed me. I'd rather starve than ask for help.
So, know this: What you are about to read was hard for me to write, but harder because I'd rather have enough money to solve this need myself. This need is sudden. It's unexpected. Hubs and I have contributed a large portion to the pot, but more is needed. Even if you can't give, please read the story. For Sam.
For reasons too complicated and personal to explain here, my niece M, her husband J, and their children have to move to the Philippines. Now. It is the only way for them to remain together as a family. M's husband J has gone first, and is getting a home ready for his family's arrival on January 8th.
The original plan was for J, M, and their youngest children to go now, while their oldest son, 11-year old Samuel, would stay with his grandparents to finish the school year. But as the time of his mother's and siblings' departure has drawn closer, he has had a change of heart and doesn't want to stay behind. He's already had to be apart from his father for 5 months. It's just too much.
Having known Sam's mother since she was his age, and Sam since his arrival into this world, I cannot imagine them apart. M was just a child when she had Samuel, but has been (and still is) the most amazing mother. Once Sam entered her life, M made him her world. She finished school, worked, cared for her baby, and eventually found and fell in love with J. They became a family, and now Samuel has a father, brothers and a sister to complete his world.
The problem is that M & J weren't anticipating another plane ticket in their expenses. They thought they had until June to gather the money needed to fly M back to get Sam and return to the Philippines. Now that Sam doesn't want to be left behind, I want to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn't happen.
Enter the world of Social Media--Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and the blogosphere. My world. It's how I stay connected to friends and family in this geographically dispersed world. It's how we'll stay connected with M & J in the Philippines. It's also how we've raised some of the money needed for Sam to join his mother and siblings on their flight to their new home.
So far, we've raised just over $700 on Facebook toward the cost of Sam's ticket. That just blows me away. Every dollar makes a difference. Every. Single. One.
Our second concern is raising the money in time. As an 11 year old, he needs to fly with M (not to mention the help he is with his younger siblings). So, we're trying to raise the final $400 as quickly as possible.
If you want to contribute to Samuel's Christmas Wish, you can do so on Facebook via Wisheo or directly via Paypal either by clicking on the "Donate" link below or over on the sidebar, to the left of my picture.
UPDATE: Since I posted this entry this morning, your generosity has raised the contributions to $881.11. You are an amazing world, Internets. You've made me cry more than once today. Thank you.
UPDATE #2: As of this evening, you all have generously contributed enough to raise the total collected to $1,011.11. We are so close!!! You all are absolutely amazing. I talked with M today, and she is awestruck by your generosity.