Monday, January 3, 2011

I Need Your Help Again, But I Include An Offer

By the grace of God and the generosity of friends, I have been able to make it into the New Year. Some of you have asked that I post an update. I continue to look for work, and have been doing a little volunteer work at two local churches’ food banks. The job search has taken away from my conservative blogging activities, but I’m trying to keep that up as possible. Today, I am still in urgent need of assistance. Once again, I need help. This time, however, I want to offer something to you in return. I will explain that offer further down (and this is retroactive for those who have already donated). For those of you who have already given, I ask that you not give again, and I repeat my heartfelt thanks. I don’t want to abuse you. For those of you who have not yet contributed, well, I wish I did not have to ask for help, but I have no place else to turn. If you can help, please find the PayPal “Donate” button at the top right of my blog, http://www.chicagonewsbench.com/.
There is hope! As I was preparing to publish this post, I found this kind note in my email, from a man in South Carolina: “Hi Tom, I appreciate what you do with the Chi News Bench, we desperately need your voice! Quick question, would you be open to a sponsorship by our company? Let me know if you are interested. Happy New Year.” Of course I’m interested! Not only that, he made a $10.00 donation.
On November 24, 2010, I put my pride aside and appealed for financial help on Facebook. A handful of Facebook friends responded quickly. Then, few days later, those donations stopped. New postings constantly come in, after all, and it’s easy to miss all the frantic messages on Facebook. So, I decided to post my appeal for help on Chicago News Bench on November 27 (see that post). I sent a link to the post to good friend “Big Fur Hat,” who is a graphic designer and contributor to the amazing iOwnTheWorld.com. He immediately posted it there, and the response, within hours, was truly astounding. IOTW has incredibly wonderful readers.
Sidebar: Please consider making a donation to iOwnTheWorld, too! They have a clever PayPal button that looks like a coin slot at the top right of their blog.
All in all I received $1,593 from November 24 through November 30, when the donations stopped. The money I did receive, however, was a godsend because it allowed me to pay the rent for December and to get some food (supplemented slightly on Nov. 30 by a nearby food bank). Fortunately, a short-term freelance job came my way in mid-December and paid me $300. That little job made it possible for me to also pay my rent for January. You can see my accounting below. Now, at the start of the New Year, I am down to virtually nothing but am more optimistic than ever about finding work - any work - soon. My initial public appeal for help was 42 days ago, as I write this on January 3, 2001. Those funds are virtually gone today and I still have no job offers. It was my hope that the help I had received would tide me over until I found a job and that I would be employed by now. But that was just before Thanksgiving and - as you probably know - employers are generally not in a hurry to hire during the year end holiday season. Add to that the uncertainty over what the “lame duck” Congress would do with taxes added to the situation, no doubt. HERE’S THE OFFER I MENTIONED ABOVE: This applies to both new and previous donors (it is retroactive for those who have already given). Here are the details: For donations of $50 to $100, I will give your business or favorite charitable, religious and/or non-profit organization an advertisement on my blog Chicago News Bench for 90 days from the date of your donation via PayPal. (It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, incorporated or not.) Donations exceeding $100 will get an advertisement for 180 days from the date of your donation via PayPal. Chicago News Bench averages over 10,000 hits every month, with visitors from around the U.S.A. and is linked to by many other fine blogs (like iOwnTheWorld). Ad sizes can be up to 200x200 pixels in size and can be linked. But, you say, you’re not a business owner? No problem... Donations of $25.00 and less than $50.00 will get the same as above but for 60 days. Ad sizes can be up to 200x125 pixels in size and can be linked. For donations under $25.00, I offer you a free text ad for 60 days from the date of your PayPal donation. Text ads can be up to 200 words and can include a link. For donations of ANY SIZE, I invite you to submit a story and/or photographs for publication on Chicago News Bench. Send your story to me (see next paragraph) and I will put it up as a regular post with writing credits to you. (I will edit as necessary only for grammar and spelling.) Please limit the story size to 2,500 words; submitted photos must be your own and not copyrighted by anyone else. I will contact you via email (PayPal provides that to me) and then I'll give you my contact information and any needed instructions for sending me the text and/or graphics for your advertisement, or the text of your story. The only conditions I will place on the ads and story submissions are as follows: They cannot promote violence against anybody or any group of persons except for those that the United States of America or its allies are currently engaging in military actions; they cannot be sexually explicit; they cannot promote or advocate illegal activity of any nature. Here’s the ins and outs... Inflow & Outflow, Nov 24 - Jan 3 (42 Days) Donations from Facebook friends and iOwnTheWorld.com readers
Net Donations, Nov 24 - 301,531.00
Rent, December(645.00)
Mobile phone, Dec 10 - Jan 10(30.00)
Freelance Project (Mid-December)300.00
Utilities, Dec 21 - Jan 21(65.00)
Food, Misc: $3.90/day average(164.00)
Bus/Train, Internet, printing: $5.40/day average(227.00)
Rent, January(645.00)
On-Hand today (Jan. 3, 2010)55.00 (Yikes!)

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