Mike Ritchie, aka sdmike on Twitter, has brought the following situation to my attention. And, given the fact I have a blog that reaches a couple of people, I thought it only appropriate to post what he did on his Facebook page.
What follows is the all of the posts explaining the situation combined into one easy read.
Anything you can do to help would be most appreciated.
I'm using this account to provide information about a terrible situation that is affecting a very sweet family that lives next to me. I'll try to summarize, but there are way more, even more disturbing, details.
An 11 year old girl (Hope) and her mom (Stacy) were given airline tickets to visit Stacy's mom, Grandmother and Grandfather at Christmas. This mom, Grandmother and Grandfather live together in a small house and are just getting by due to fixed incomes and a myriad of medical issues (Alzheimers, cancer, etc.). Stacy has been also fighting cancer for the last year.
When they were to return home from this visit they learned that their return e-ticket was a forgery. Hope's father (Stacy's husband) only got them one way tickets. When reached, he admitted that he has abandoned his wife and his daughter by sending them one way to San Diego. He has threatened harm if they return, and will not even ship Hope's christmas presents or clothes.
This family is ill-equipped to deal with this. Stacy needs medications for her treatment. They need to pay for an attorney. They need clothing and essentials. Hope needs to have a Christmas.
We are doing what we can personally, but small amounts of help from a large number of people can add up to way more than what I can provide. I will post information here on how people can give a little of themselves to help this sweet family.
Here are some things the family needs:
1 - Family legal assistance. They found an attorney that would help, but the cost will be very difficult. I'm concerned about Stacy losing her insurance as part of all this, given her treatment needs. I also want to make sure this jerk pays. If you know a family attorney that will do pro bono or heavily discounted work, please let me know. We can also earmark financial donations to this
2. Clothing for both Hope and Stacy. Hope will be registering for school this week in San Diego, and all she has is what she packed for a week visit. While clothing donations are always welcome, I think unused gift cards and cash donations would work out better for this, given strangeness of sizes, etc.
3. Christmas stuff. This part breaks my heart. Hope not only lost her dad, but she didn't have a Christmas. Since I have a daughter Hope's age, I know how important that is. Again, Christmas gifts of clothing [Size 8 1/2 women's shoes, Medium top (women's/juniors), Size 1-2 pants (women's/juniors)], toys, dolls, gift cards, or other things appropriate for a 6th grader.
I've set up my Paypal account to collect any cash donations that I can provide to the family. The paypal address is firstname.lastname@example.org. That's a "1", not an "L".
Here's another idea. If you have any gift cards to Target, Kmart, Sears, Marshalls, etc. where they can pick up personal items, you can send them to:
Stacy & Hope
c/o Mike Ritchie
13183 Dufresne Place
San Diego CA 92129