Around December last year, my father lost his job. He was the main provider in our home, and with the sudden loss of income things started to go in a downward spiral for my family. During that time, I had to grow up...a lot. I was just finishing the first term of my last year at University and starting to think of what I was going to do with my life. I felt like I was hit by a truck.
The day my dad was fired from his job, he sent me a text apologizing. At first I couldn't believe it. It didn't feel real. My dad was (and still is) a fantastic employee, always going above and beyond to improve everything in his workplace. He has received awards and commendations countless times for his dedication, regardless of job. I spent a week or so in a haze, believing either my dad would be re-hired or we'd get benefits until he found a new job.
It wasn't until I witnessed both parents break down in the dining room that I understood the gravity of the situation. There was no rehire, and we were denied benefits. There were no jobs in the area that my dad could take. The ones that were possibilities didn't give the hours or pay needed to keep our home. We would have to foreclose and sell off our belongings as best as we could.
Desperate for some way to help my family keep eating, pay the bills, or provide some peace of mind, I turned to the only place I felt I could- the internet. I wasn't able to give my family my own funds- I knew they wouldn't accept it, and I still needed money for University and my own expenses. During a Christmas party, I was a lucky winner of a $200 gift card. After the party, I handed the envelope with the card to my mom and told her to use it for whatever the family needed. However, the giftcard was only for a certain store- that wouldn't pay the bills nor allow us to keep the house a little longer.
So I posted on Deviantart and Tumblr, tweeted and reblogged and commented as much as I could. Everyone's response was incredible. The tons of heartfelt comments, the support from friends, and the generous donations helped me to raise my confidence that things would get better. In such a short time, I was able to gift my parents with $300 through the generosity of dear people whom I had never met, but still sent so much love.
Thank you everyone, so much, for being a Christmas miracle for me and my family. We lost our home, but my family is doing fine. They moved in with my grandmother, so they have places to stay. My mom was able to find a great new job, and so was my big brother. My dad is still working hard to improve his skills so that he can get a great new job when the opportunity arises. Meanwhile, I'm off teaching English in Japan for a bit. I needed to get away from things in the states for a bit, just experience life.
Everyone's support and love last year truly brought light to a dark time for my family. Things are still rocky, but we're persevering! Once again, thank you so much- from the bottom of my heart.