First Draft Community Help Thread

On my way to work this morning I got on my usual bus, which was carrying its customary assortment of metropolitan itinerants in varying stages of consciousness and togetherness. At the next stop a young woman got on with a baby, maybe a little less than a year, and sat down, baby on lap. It was 8 a.m. and she had a look I’ve seen so many times in the mirror since I became a parent: The day has barely started and I am already so completely done.

The baby gummed fingers and pacifier and waved tiny hands in the air, and the homeless fellow across the bus took notice. Started talking to the baby. Leaning into the baby’s face, making silly noises, praising the baby. “Ooh, you’re a beauty. So pretty, so pretty!” The baby babbled happily back, and he started singing. The mother leaned back, head against the window, and closed her eyes. A moment’s peace. We can give that to each other.

Lots of us are going to be worn out by this, and not just emotionally, not just mentally. Lots of us are going to be, or already are, on the edge financially. On unpaid leave from jobs we can’t afford to stay away from, laid off because a conference or festival or expected customer doesn’t appear. I’d like to give us this thread as a way to help.

Are you in need? Can you help someone who is? Can we talk to each other, here, reply to a comment, post someone’s Venmo or CashApp or Paypal from another site, draw attention to a GoFundMe, ask if anyone knows anyone at such-and-such to help smooth the way?

Post it below. Don’t worry about asking, or if you can’t reply, but I thought it might be useful, while we’re all on this bus together, to offer a few words of encouragement to each other and maybe sing a song.

14 thoughts on “First Draft Community Help Thread

  1. scoutprime says:

    I hate doing this and a little teary as I write. But due to my age risk and living in senior apts I decided to take 3 weeks off work to social distance. I would hate to live with my being the person who infected others who are older and more vulnerable than myself. I’ll be short $500 for rent next month. I’m sure there are others in similar situations.

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  2. Jim StClair says:

    My college daughter just lost her job when the whole college town just packed up. No college, no serving, no tips. Rent due in 2 weeks , oh yeah and groceries. $600 covers her share of living expenses.

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  3. k says:

    What appears to be an under covered side light to this pandemic and closure of events is the effect it will have on those who count on that income either as supplamental to make ends meet or those where it is their main source of income.
    I was thinking of all those who spend the spring/summer traveling the festival/fairs circuit to sell handicrafts, art etc they “claim” ( most cases they do but enough cheaters that require caveat) to make at home.
    From discussions most of these people are either die hard conservatives or lieatarians.
    They rage against the need for permits, licensing, fees etc required at different venues and different states.
    The fact that in many cases these rules are different in each case just adds to their anger.
    They ignore the reality of the need to cover the costs of the event, safety needs (i.e. use of extension cords) and the “rent” due to municipalities for use of spaces and infrastructure,
    The canceling of a season’s or a year worth of events will push many against the wall if not into bankruptcy.
    Since, in many cases, much of their income is cash it doesn’t all get reported so any unemployment, social security etc will not kick in to help. Not to mention payroll tax break doesn’t help if one does not get a “paycheck” when self employed. ( SS is a limited exception)
    So these wingnuts will spend the spring and summer at home bemoaning their lack of opportunity.
    Can’t think of a more deserving group.

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  4. Steve Gravelle says:

    I’m a freelance writer/editor/(a bit of a) photographer. I sense some potentially lucrative contracts that were good to go last week aren’t going to happen. And my side gig is at my neighborhood brewery, where things have really slowed down. But a few friends are dealing with really tragic experiences this week that reveal my problems to be pretty small. We can get through this.

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