when a kossack is in trouble, this community is there. this is a family - we have our squabbles, our disagreements, our hair-pulling contests, but when push comes to shove, kossacks are there for one another.
near the end of march, kossacks were there to help one of our own artists, fineena, when she faced losing her apartment and ending up on the street with her beautiful two woozles, sam and julia.
we were successful in keeping the doghouse full for march - but april is now here and the GFM (grumpy faced man) is at it again, this time, demanding an "inspection" of the apartment as a ruse to collect the rent on monday.
fortunately, fineena has agile fingers and has added new scarves to her etsy shop so there are some beautiful ones to go around for those who missed out in march - and, if your loved one has a special day coming up, fineena now is offering a gift certificate to let your beloved (even if it is yourself) pick from a future design or customize the colors!
and, with netroots nation coming up - wouldn't it be great to be seen bedecked by one of these beautiful creations? hey, here in northern california, they are PERFECT for that sudden dip in temperature when the sun goes down!
you'll see some of the most fashionista kossacks wearing them! and her work is truly art!
heck, these are even "guy things" - here in the conservative world of orange!
okay - that is the light stuff - now for the serious - please come below the squiggle - it really IS important...
now for the serious stuff...
fineena lost her home a little over a year ago - something many kossacks have felt or know of someone who has been through the same... we talk of "occupy" as a cause to keep people in their homes - well, it's too late to keep fineena in her "owned" one, but we CAN keep her in her affordable rental. she has an apartment in an area that is very undervalued in its rent and her landlords would like nothing more than to have her gone and someone in who can pay more.
the problem with that is fineena cannot afford to pay more and if she loses this apartment, she has no other options. none, except the street. for someone with two beloved dogs, that would be a disaster. not only would it take away her security and their home, it would also take away her ability to earn a living, meager as it is at the moment.
she isn't sitting back doing nothing - she, like so many other kossacks, is actively looking for brick and mortar employment, but that is made more difficult with not having her car on the road. having wheels in a city that is so spread out (it is my former hometown, so i know how difficult it is to try to negotiate there without a car) is a major need AFTER keeping the roof over her head. she has a working car, but she needs to register and insure it - which is only AFTER the rent is paid. this is a vicious circle - without the car, expenses quadruple and job opportunities are limited - so there is no money to register and insure the car.
as many of you remember, in january of 2012, i was facing losing my rental cottage - this community came together to help me stay in my home until this past december, when my landlords were no longer able to wait for my mom's estate to be resolved. i had wonderful landlords - they tried very hard to help until one of them faced a life threatening illness. i lost that home and by the kindness of a good friend, i'm now living in a small room in a house with three other people until the estate is finished (thank GOD for good and caring friends and lawyers!). my sorrow was compounded by having mom's estate severely mishandled (being nice here) by my only sibling - even though she knew i was facing being homeless without her settling the estate. unfortunately, for me, that didn't happen and i lost everything, again.
i do NOT want to see fineena in a similar situation! the stress it takes on a person not knowing where one will go, how one will take care of those companions that are our glue to this earth is unbelievable. yet, fineena still has focused and worked to restock her etsy store to make the funds she needs to survive. yes. survive. it is this drastic.
life is very stark when one lives alone and cannot see into tomorrow - the fear is palpable - yet, she has worked feverishly to replenish her scarves so that she has enough to cover her housing until she can get that job that offers more security.
what can WE do? we ARE a community - we turn out for all sorts of "causes" - so we can turn out for one of our own - or multiples of our own when their need is greater than ours - it is with shared compassion and sharing what little we have that will let all of us survive this disastrous time in our country. and, in this time, artists are the first to starve... people cut to the bone how they spend. THIS type of work will never be found at walmart or target!
indeed, a few months back, when sani was first diagnosed with laminitis, i was sick with worry as to how i could take care of him or if he would even make it through this.
i was stunned to find in my mail a card with a note that fineena had unexpectedly sold a scarf and wanted to send $25 to help with his vet bills. i hadn't asked for help - yet she was there, extending a hand that was more than the money - she cared. let me repeat that: she CARED!
while we were able to keep her in her home in march, she is still in trouble - and WE care - i hope enough people are online today to make her fears go away when the manager of her landlord's property comes on monday to check that apartment. he told her if she doesn't have the rent, she is "out" - he is a nasty, unbending and cruel. she doesn't deserve that. no one does!
fineena hasn't asked for donations - she has offered her work - her BEAUTIFUL creations - for sale - she is adding a gift certificate option that still offers labor and goods in exchange for your help.
and this one...
this is a wonderful way to help someone who is in desperate need and, in return, have something warm and wonderful to share with someone else or to have as your own.
no person likes to admit they are hurting - no one likes to admit they cannot care for themselves without help. the problem now, in this time, in this place - many people are hurting. we can't help them all - but we CAN help those among us that we know and love, can't we?
here is the link to her etsy shop - she is in the kos katalogue - she is one of us. and she is VERY talented! if you know of anyone who is deserving of a special kind of "hug" - this is the place to find it!
if you can't right now afford to "go shopping", then if you share her work with others, maybe someone else will find that perfect piece to add to their wardrobe!
you can also help by reposting to facebook the link to her shop - let's get her seen by as many eyes as possible - her beautiful scarves will do the rest, i'm sure!
and, if you want to drop something into the doggie bowl, she does have a paypal address. you can send direct to PALSKaren (at) aol(dot)com.
yes, we helped her last month - but only to hold her head above water - now, let's get her out of that darn pool!
i'd like to suggest a goal of $2500 - but the minimum to pay rent is $800 and the car expenses come to $460 to get it on the road and running. that's $1,260 - but we can do better than that - let's give her a bit of breathing room, okay? then we can look for a wonderful splash of orange everywhere we turn at nn13! let's turn san jose ORANGE, literally!
10:36 AM PT: WOOT!!! just talked to fineena and she's at $341 - the scarves are going fast - let's get her there! it's a sunday morning - we've got a day to do this, folks - let's go shopping!
11:10 AM PT: YAY! we're at $381... only $419 to go until the GFM is placated - then to work on that car! we CAN do this!
that is just gorgeous! imagine that with TLBD (the little black dress) - what a combination for an evening out!
12:16 PM PT: HOORAY! $551 - we're getting there!!!
2:49 PM PT: we are getting closer to stage one - the rent! we're at $581 right now - and i have to go take care of sani - will be back in about four hours.
can we DO this before i return? once the rent is done, then the car - and, if the universe is willing, a bit of breathing room?
how to succeed in business...
this community is awesome! we had a gracious donor who made up the difference for fineena's rent with the wish to "sleep well" - wow, double wow! we are just over the $800 needed for rent - yall are the BEST!
now - if we can push a bit harder so she can get back on the road to show these gorgeous scarves to some prospective stores - and so that she can replenish her yarns, that would be awesome!
i'll do a diary again tomorrow with a fuller update - but for now - kudos to those who are the new lucky recipients of her beautiful work and a million thank yous to those who supported her efforts through your gracious donations!
we've a bit more to do - but for tonite - she has a roof for the rest of the month. now, let's get the dog food, the lights on, the car rolling and then we can start to work on a long term plan for her and for many of our struggling kossacks. i've got some ideas...