This is going to be a pour my heart out post, so be prepared. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of Pretty Handy Girl that you don’t get to see. I’ve been blogging for over two years now and I feel the need to share with you what makes me tick and why I blog.
Pretty Handsome Guy (my husband) and I were out to dinner the other night and he asked me what truly makes me happy. I thought about it and the usual answers came up: doing fun things with the kids, being outdoors, crafting, woodworking and creating things. But, what really fuels my “joy tank” is helping others and giving back. This is so core to my personality that it eats away at me when I can’t help.
When I started this blog, it was truly to be able to give back to people. To help all my friends and family and acquaintances that wanted my time and my help to show them how to complete their own DIY project. I was originally going to hold classes in my garage (per my good friend Renee’s suggestion.) But, you can thank Pretty Handsome Guy for suggesting that I start a blog to empower others. And believe me, every time I see how many people are reading my tutorials, I am blown away and realize that the blog was a good decision.
Last week I had one of the most emotionally draining weeks since the birth of my first son. I was tasked with choosing 4 finalists from over 250 entries into the Boost Your Roost contest. The stories and pictures that were sent to me left me in tears and frustrated that I could only choose four. The night that I finally submitted the finalists (after agonizing over how to whittle down all the people who I felt truly “NEEDED” the prize) I didn’t sleep very well. I was up for several hours trying to figure out how to make it happen for those who had a need and I knew wouldn’t receive. (It is still so hard for me to write this because I want to jump in my car and go help each and everyone of them. But, I can’t. I have a duty to my children as a mother and as a wife to my husband.)
This sleepless night had me thinking about how I could give back and how I could help others. What I realized is that I can’t do it alone. I also need help to complete my goals.
Mimi Collins, one of my fans on Facebook, helped me more than she realizes when she replied to one of my posts:
“Never worry about numbers.
Help one person at a time,
and always start with the person nearest you.”
- Mother Teresa
I kept coming back to this quote and I found some peace realizing that if I could help one person at a time, that help may spread. And then I could move on to the next person.
What I’m trying to say is that occasionally I will be deviating from DIY tutorials in an effort to give back where there is a need.
Will you stick with me?
Can I count on your help?
I’m not asking for your help every time, but just to take a few minutes to read about someone who has touched my heart and whose story might touch you as well.
With this in mind, you may know my friend and fellow blogger Colleen. She’s known as Mural Maker to the blog world.
Colleen is a caring person and is truly a giver by nature. She and her husband each took care of their aging mothers on a 24/7 basis. They were forced to live separately while they cared for the women who raised them. They did spend as much time together as their lives allowed, especially while caring for their 4 year old grandson.
She and her husband Marlon were struggling to make ends meet after the thoughtless and fraudulent actions of one person turned their lives upside down. Just when they thought they had hit rock bottom, a glimmer of hope arose and it looked like there might be a way to erase (if that’s even possible) 20 years of literally paying for an erroneous paper filed with a goverment agency. While in the process of filling out mountains of paperwork to undo this “wrong”, Marlon began to make the first steps out of an extremely fragile financial situation.
Three weeks after he was starting to get his life back, Marlon developed an aortic tear (if you remember John Ritter’s sudden death, he was struck by the same medical condition.) Most people die instantly from an aortic tear, but not Marlon. He fought for his life and so did the surgeons. After several surgeries, he was in recovery but the damage was done and he slipped away peacefully.
Colleen was devastated, her husband was her rock and her best friend to lean on. He was her ever positive outlook guy . As she dealt with the blow of his death, she didn’t realize that the worst was yet to come. Soon after the funeral, the bills started to flood in. Medical bills from the surgeries and all the emergency room and ICU fees. Bills for the funeral. And their normal bills.
Amidst all the hands outreached for money, Colleen has one that presents a more pressing need. She suffered a debilitating back injury years ago, which still requires medical treatments so she can endure the pain. At this point, I think you understand that her need for funds to pay the bills and just simply survive (until she can get back on her feet) are unimaginable.
Colleen would never ask for money for herself, but she has agreed to let me post these details of her life and help her set up a fund raiser.
A Friends of Colleen Jorgensen Fundraising Page has been set up with Rally.org (a unique site for helping people fund raise for their causes.) All the money raised will go directly to Colleen. Payments can be made with credit card or eCheck. And all your information and the amount you donated is kept private.
Update: Rally.org doesn’t have a Paypal payment option, but payments can be made by sending money to Colleen’s paypal account email: MM14biz (at) gmail.com (remove the spaces and use “@” instead of “at”.
As a special thank you (this is NOT a raffle or traditional giveaway), I have decided to chose one donor at random to receive a Pretty Handy Girl Basket. I’ve been collecting tools and all things Pretty Handy Girl for this basket. Because your donations mean so much (no matter how big or small), this is just a little incentive and a way to say thank you.
So, who’s with me? Can you help give back with a small donation?
Or can you help spread the word? Simply paste this code onto your sidebar (or in a post) to help spread the word:
Note: If the above code doesn’t work in your blogging software, try removing the <div align…> and </div> tags from the code.
Your kindness will be rewarded in good karma. I definitely believe in karma, do you?