Contagious Generosity 2011

See the update at the bottom

There have been several times in our lives when we got knocked down and someone has given us a hand back up.

We are trying to do the same and you can help.

Let me introduce you to Clara Johnson and her 2 teenage daughters.

Clara has been divorced for a while and used to own a home in Chandler.  She was living paycheck to paycheck trying to support her family.  The oldest daughter, Angel was a cheerleader at Chandler High.  A friend of ours from church was helping them with the fees associated with being a cheerleader, since her daughter was on the same squad and also helped repair Clara’s car.

The girl’s father  not paying child support and abusive during the oldest’s visits with him, so Clara hired an attorney in order to obtain sole custody (she was successful).  Also, there were counseling sessions needed to help with the emotional damage…more money.  At some point during all of this, Clara had some health issues.  As we know…when money is tight, even a small extra bill, can throw a wrench into the budget.

Clara works on the west side of Phoenix at a school for kids with behavior problems.  She is currently working as a lay teacher (no benefits or salary).  She has one more class to take to get her teaching certificate.  It can be done online at Rio Salado, but the cost of tuition has made it impossible.  If she can get that class done, she can be hired on as a teacher, getting better pay and benefits.  The tuition is $75/credit hour.

Clara has been approved for an apartment.  She just needs $700 to move in.  The rent is $607/mo plus utilities.  They are currently living at the Red Roof Inn and paying much more.  They are paid up until this Tuesday, but after that, they don’t have a place to go.  Clara doesn’t get paid again until Dec. 1st.  It would be great to get them in the apartment by Tuesday.

Angel is taking a music class at school in order to learn to play the keyboard, she speaks French and is a very good student.  She is planning on graduating early (as a Junior this year) in order to get a job to help out with the household bills.  College might have to wait.

Esabel is 14.  She loves animals and wants to be a vet.  They have 2 dogs that she really loves, but they are staying at their Dad’s house until they can take them back.  My vet, Crosswinds Animal Clinic, has agreed to give them their shots so the apartment will take them.

UPDATE 11/22

Today, my husband and I were able to move Clara and her daughters into a patio home (rent free for 6 months) that was donated by someone who wishes to remain anonymous.  She has agreed to allow their 2 golden retrievers to stay there also.  This is such a blessing since Esabel (the youngest), has missed her pets very much.  Instead of being cooped up in an apartment, they will have some room in the backyard.

We have also been given $560 in cash (more coming) thus far for Clara to purchase food and supplies for their new home.  Because of the contagious generosity, Clara and her daughters (Angel & Esabel) have beds to sleep on, a dresser, a dining room table, desk & chair & a TV w/DVD player.  They are still in need of dressers for the girls and family room furniture.

Also, one of the parents has a connection with an organization through the Maricopa schools.  They are giving Clara a scholarship so she can take her last class needed in order to obtain her teaching certification.

My family is working on stockings for all of them and some of the items they put on their wish list for Christmas.  I will still be bringing items to Clara as they come in.

UPDATE 11/24

We were finally able to get all of the furniture and the beds into the townhome last night.  Clara called this morning to thank us for everything (once again).  Clara, Angel & Esabel had their first good night of sleep in their new home last night.  They will be having Thanksgiving dinner with the person who donated her townhome to them.  And they will be bringing their dogs home for the first time since they’ve been homeless.

UPDATE 12/19

I want to thank everyone for all of your help for Angel and her family.  They are doing well in the townhome that was donated to them.  They are so thankful to everyone for making this happen for them.  They no longer have to worry about how many more nights they can afford for a hotel room.  We are also working on getting them a rental in the East Valley at a reduced rental fee (once they have finished their 6 months at the condo).

Thank you so much for your help.  May God bless you and your family.

Family’s needs (Call Judy at 480-309-1920 for donation coordination.)

Most Important is a Home… A patio home was donated for them to live in for 6 months rent free.
$$$$ for necessities (Current tally is $1320).
$250 for the classes needed for Clara’s teaching certificate.
Money for other household goods, cleaning supplies, towels etc.
(2) Twin Mattresses
Queen Mattress
(2) Dressers
(2) Sets of twin sheets
(1) Set of Dbl/Queen sheets
Bath towels
Family room furniture
Used Carpet 8×10
Vacuum
TV & stand
Gift cards for Fry’s ($205 so far)
Gift cards for Walmart
Computer
Christmas tree

Christmas Wish List – We asked them for more items.
Angel ~
Cell phone (pay as you go)
Hair straightener
Hair sheers (likes to cut hair)
Art Supplies (sketch pad, charcoal, paints, pastels)
Bead making supplies (wood beads & string) – to help earn some money
Ipod
Keyboard
CD Named Coeur de Pirate (Angel speaks French)
CD from Lady Gaga
Isabel ~
Subway gift card (Isabel is vegetarian & loves Subway)
Necklace w/dog tags that say “Blessed” & animals names (Bridget, Satan, Fluke, Snoopy & Santa)
Hot Topic gift card
Itunes gift card
Boom box (for Ipod…I think)
Wii Games – Epic Mickey, Hello Kitty
DVD’s – Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpus Bride
Earring from Claire’s (zippers, spikes, ball glittery)

…And anything else you can think of.

If anyone would like to write a check, I am asking that they write them directly to Clara Johnson.  The only thing that Clara has asked for is an oil change for her car.

You can be a Hero… “Save the cheerleader”…and family.

*Update 12/23/2011*

We are dropping off presents on Saturday Morning.

These are some of the gifts they will be getting.

Thanks to the contributions of many people this family has a fully furnished place to live for the next 5 months, Food to eat, Money for bills and they will have a very merry Christmas.

We have been touched by all of the people that have stepped up to help this family.

United Brokers Group (UBG) donated $700

Hamilton Student Council donated a box full of presents for the family as well.

There were several individuals that gave as well.

We titled this post Contagious Generosity, We never knew that it would really take off like this.

May God bless everyone who reads this and we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

 

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Comments

  1. Amazing! That is the word I have to describe all of you who have jumped on board to help my family in our endeavor to pay it forward to help another family. It has been such a rewarding experience to see the contagious generosity that has poured out from everyone. I found out about Clara and her daughters 1 week ago today. The following is where we are to date…

    Today, Scott and I were able to move Clara and her daughters into a patio home (rent free for 6 months) that was donated by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. She has agreed to allow their 2 golden retrievers to stay there also. This is such a blessing since Isabel (the youngest), has missed her pets very much. Instead of being cooped up in an apartment, they will have some room in the backyard.

    We have also been given $560 in cash (more coming) thus far for Clara to purchase food and supplies for their new home. Because of the contagious generosity, Clara and her daughters (Angel & Isabel) have beds to sleep on, a dresser, a dining room table, desk & chair & a TV w/DVD player. They are still in need of dressers for the girls and family room furniture.

    Also, someone has a connection with an organization through the Maricopa schools. They are giving Clara a scholarship so she can take her last class needed in order to obtain her teaching certification.

    My family is working on stockings for all of them and some of the items they put on their wish list for Christmas. I will still be bringing items to Clara as they come in.

    Thank you so much for your help. May God bless you and your family.

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