Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Others Experiences- Fundraiser

I was contacted today by Christie Brooks. I am posting her story regarding the fundraiser for her father in full. The screenshots are only edited to remove personally identifying information.
I am sorry it has taken me so long to get my story to you.This has been a very emotional situation for me for many reasons but I feel it needs to be put out there for people to know the truth. Feel free to post all or parts of this email. If you want to include my email address you can do that as well. I'm sure people will have questions about this and I am happy to answer any of them I can.
On Dec.3,2010 I was told I needed to get to my parents home right away that there had been a fire. I rushed there not knowing what I was going to find. When I arrived I found my dad standing outside with the fire department. The house was still standing but had major damage. It became a sad reality when entering the house that everything in it was lost the only things that were salvageable were the clothes on my dads back. There was no insurance to cover the fire because they had canceled the home owners just 2 weeks before due to the roof being half refinished. With my dad being a disabled veteran his only income is his disability check and his wallet that had all his money burned in the fire. I brought my dad here to stay with me and my kids. So many emotions were going on sadness, fear, and hopelessness. I had no idea what to do or where we would get the money to have food let alone try to replace clothing that was lost. 

On the morning of Dec. 4th Lela contacted me via facebook IM and told me how sorry she was to hear of the fire and told me she wanted to do something to help. She said she had $100 of her own money to donate but wanted to do a fundraiser through the GS fan page to raise even more. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the offer of help since I had only made one order with her. Lela posted on her fan page about the fundraiser offering a pot of pigment and a bar of soap for $6 plus $2 to ship. She also stated even if people couldn't afford that to send what they could and she would make up the rest, this offer ran for 3 days. I could not believe the generosity of people who didn't even know me. 

On Dec. 7th my dad had a heart attack and was admitted to the ICU. During his hospital stay we were informed that his kidneys were barely functioning and because of this he could not have the surgery needed to fix the heart issues, he had to begin taking insulin shots 4 to 5 times a day. On Dec7 she posted on the fan page a gift card would be sent out the following day. I began receiving messages from several people asking if I had received the donation money and on Dec. 15th I sent Lela an email about this. She responded by asking if she could call me I gave her the number and waited for hours for her call and ended up calling and leaving a voice mail for her to call me. She did call back a little later and assured me the gift card would be sent the following day. A week later I had not received it. Another call to Lela she assured me it would be sent the following day and still nothing. On Dec.22 I again called Lela she told me that her paypal account had been frozen but that she had the money and was going that night to get the gift card to send the following day. She also stated that she and one of her workers had put together a huge basket with at least one of everything she had in stock to send I could use them as I wanted to either sell, raffle off or anything. Then again on Dec23 she called me to assure me the gift card was being sent. Through all of this time I kept receiving messages from people telling me they had not received their items from their donations and wanting to know if I had received the gift card yet. I had watched the fan page and saw the mess GS was becoming and honestly had lost hope in anyone including my family getting the things promised.

On Dec 23 I voiced in a secret group my concerns and feelings apologizing to anyone who had donated. I then received an email from Lela telling me that she would not be giving me the money she had promised but would send the money others donated because she had seen my posts and it was not cool of me. To date I still have received nothing from the fundraiser or the huge basket of items to raffle off from her. It has taken me so long to come out with this info because of how hurt I was. I have had so many emotions over this. I am mostly embarrassed and sad that someone would use my families tragedy to take money from good people and not turn that money over to be used how it was suppose to be. Instead that money has been used to pay for refunds for her recalled unsafe products. How can me voicing my feelings in a private group of friends make it ok to say she wont donate what was promised? 
We have started work on the house and it has gone well so far. The entire house has to be gutted and everything replaced from the roof to the wiring. We are unsure of how long it will take to do as we have to try to raise money to be able to buy the supplies and pay professionals to do the things we can not. My dad is doing better he has lost alot of weight and he does not need as many insulin shots. The doctors are suggesting that he may have to start doing dialysis because his kidneys are still not functioning well. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I am attaching the emails between Lela and I and also screen shots of the fundraiser posting.
If you have any further questions Christie may be contacted here  

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