I’ve been accepted into the University of San Francisco’s masters program for Public Affairs. Someday I want to open a LGBTQIA+ bookstore/coffee shop to provide safe public space for members of the community to use as a focal point that is welcoming to all ages and is alcohol free. Ideally I would love to also offer the shop as shelter for community members who feel unsafe at home in exchange for helping sort books or something like that. Anyways, the program I’ve been accepted into is very hands on with the San Francisco community and the classes are all focused on providing me the skills and experience that I would need to make this shop a reality.
I have to make a $600 deposit by March 21, 2014 to reserve my spot in the program. That’s $600 that circumstances caused me to not have.
First, the IRS adjusted my tax return down by $1000 when they decided I was a dependent, even though my parents haven’t been able to claim me for years. I’ve written them an appeal, but there’s a 60 day review period and if they approve my appeal, I won’t see the money in time for the deposit.
Worse, I have a very sick puppy. I have an eleven month old German Shepherd, his name is Appa, and he is the light of my life. I call him my soul puppy. But in February, what the vet thought was an innocent heart murmur turned out to be a severe subaortic stenosis. Basically, his heart has to work ten times as hard as it should to pump blood. Since it works so hard, its walls are going to get stronger in the sense that they will become more muscular and tighten, forcing his hard to work even harder, making them stronger, etc. You see the cycle. He has to lead a low energy life and be on medication for the rest of his life to maximize his longevity. Even with the medication, dogs on average don’t make it past four. Because of his health issues, getting him neutered and microchipped last week cost me $450 when it should have been $130.
I’m getting a small paycheck on the 8th, but I don’t get a lot of hours at work because I live in Michigan and work in an outdoor mall where we don’t see many customers in the winter. Even if I did get more hours, my next paycheck wouldn’t be until after the deadline.
I can’t ask my parents for help because their payments on the PLUS loan they took out to help me pay for my undergraduate degree start this month. My parents are typically struggling with money, too. My mom has several health problems and most recently had a knee replacement which our insurance is trying to get out of covering. My dad works, but his income pays the mortgage, bills, and for my sister’s college education. My mom sells on eBay to pay for our food. They don’t have savings or extra income to help me more than they are by letting me live at home.
So I’m turning to you. I have seen you as a community help so many people in need before. Asking for help and swallowing my pride is so difficult for me, but I need help. This program is my dream. All I want is to be able to leave this earth knowing that in some way, I have helped other people feel safe. For the past year, I have experienced one financial or emotional crisis after another and to actually get into this program and see an opportunity for things to look up is such a huge deal for me. After four years of being a fundraiser, I know that every dollar helps. So please, help me get into this program so I can one day provide a safe place for people who don’t have one elsewhere.