Friday, July 2, 2010

Henry Has Almost Got His Wheels!

Wheels for Henry has been lying dormant since the valiant efforts of one Mary Hayward and the 50+ crafters and friends who helped us raise over $4,000 last winter! That left us about $15,500 shy of our goal, a daunting figure that I had to walk away from for a bit while I dealt with more pressing matters. Several months later and I've got a bigger kid in a considerably bigger wheelchair and the same sardine can car, which has really put a damper on our gadding about town.

The recent state budget cuts have lit a fire underneath me though. The sad and scary fact of the matter is that we could lose all the supports we've had for the past year or so (including $$ for the conversion part of the van) in the next fiscal year, so we need to use it or quite possibly lose it. At the same time I also discovered that the full cost of the conversion is not covered as I was previously advised, which set us back another $6,500. But here's the good news: I've found a really nice 2006 Toyota Sienna with a used conversion and a family member has graciously agreed to co-sign a loan for the balance, so it looks like we should have a van sometime this month!

This is going to leave me with a hefty monthly payment, but rather than wait until we have every penny I've decided to take a leap of faith and trust that it will come together as needed (and my back can't really wait any longer). We're looking into setting up a Wheels for Henry night at a local restaurant, perhaps we'll do another online craft sale, and maybe if I can pull it off, a big dance party/benefit!

I'll keep you *posted*


P.S. Photo courtesy of Henthorn. Please note: this is not our van but it is still pretty awesome!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quick Update!

With 35 out of 56 vendors reporting we've received over $1500 from the benefit bazaar! Combine that with contributions from individuals and we've raised over $4000! Our current goal is now approximately $15,500! Stay tuned for future fund-raising efforts.

P.S. If you want to make a contribution through PayPal, please mark it as a gift -- that way they don't take a chunk out of it as they do with donations and payments.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What Kind of Wheels Does Henry Need?

Over the past couple of weeks I've had a few well-meaning individuals contact me with alternative suggestions to solving our transportation dilemma, none of which was appropriate to the needs of our family. I realized that a little clarification on what we're aiming for and why would be helpful. While advice from a seasoned veteran is always welcome, sometimes there are just too many hidden factors for a person outside the family to understand their needs.

The cost of our van conversion is covered by a program Henry qualified for earlier this year, but it will not cover the cost of the actual vehicle. As a single parent who has only been able to return to work full time as of this past March, I am unable to finance this purchase. As far as I know there are no funding sources that will help with purchasing a vehicle, so we have turned to family, friends and the wider community to help us raise the funds.

Because the conversion is so costly, the vehicle needs to have a lot of life in it as well as suit our needs (safe, reliable, fuel efficient, long engine life) as we'll be driving it for a long time. I've narrowed the field down to a used Toyota Sienna or a Honda Odyssey. These are not the cheapest vehicles on the market, but they are the best fit for us. A good candidate for conversion would be a 2006-2009 model, in excellent condition, with less than 35,000 miles. If you know anyone with such a vehicle who wants to give us a sweet deal, send 'em our way!

So, while I could take the $5000+ we have raised and buy an old and out-of-date, gas guzzling converted van that doesn't fit our needs that might last a few years (and forgo the brand new, warranty covered conversion), or I could settle for a late model Dodge Caravan that, while significantly cheaper will have considerably less engine life, I'm thinking about the best use of our resources and the best solution for our needs in the long-term. That's going to require more $$ upfront but will save $$ down the line by reducing fuel, repair and replacement costs.

Dia de los Muertos

My pal Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman organized a little fundraiser at Someday Lounge's Dia de los Muertos celebration today and raised $200 in donations to Wheels for Henry with her homemade sugar skulls! A parade featuring Lions of Batucada led by a caravan of hearses marched down 4th Ave. to Someday for indoor festivities where the kids went crazy with glitter glue pens decorating the sugar skulls.

When Shawn isn't making macabre crafts, homemade hula hoops, or hosting soirees, she does other cool stuff like promoting and celebrating kid's art and organizing fun cultural events. Her cool kids are often happily involved in her shenanigans (see above). Such a lively, lovely, and creative bunch! Thanks, guys!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thanks, Everyone!

The Wheels for Henry online benefit bazaar is officially over but the Wheels will keep rolling until we meet our goal! Thank you to Mary Hayward of KitKnitty for organizing and running the show, Kate Bingaman-Burt for illustrations, plus all our vendors, shoppers and donors! We've raised over $2500 in 2 short weeks (and that's before vendors make their contributions)! More events are in the works, please get in touch if you have any bright ideas of your own!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vendor Profile: sparklegarden


Shop description: Sparklegarden features artisan handmade precious metal and gemstone jewelry, personalized items such as guitar picks and pet id tags, bridal/bridesmaid jewelry, and dream necklaces.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vendor Profile: Ayun Halliday

Ayun Halliday

Shop description: Dare to be Heinie! Read the East Village Inky! Ayun Halliday has been chronicling her family's daily life in NYC and beyond in this award winning, handwritten, hand illustrated zine for over a decade! If you've got 'em all (because you shop at Reading Frenzy, as well you should) or would prefer to upgrade Henry's ride via one of Ayun's self-mocking autobiographies (The Big Rumpus, No Touch Monkey, Job Hopper, and Dirty Sugar Cookies) or her recently published kid's book, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, you can paypal her directly at .

You can buy zines from her Etsy shop.

People can also paypal her directly to

$3 per East Village Inky zine

In stock issues are 15-20, 22-27, 29-30,32-36, 38, 39, 41, 42


$15 per autographed book

The Big Rumpus
No Touch Monkey!
Job Hopper
Dirty Sugar Cookies
Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo.

Check out her Amazon page to learn more about her books, but remember to buy them from her directly for the proceeds to go to Wheels For Henry.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vendor Profile: Obsessive Consumption

Obsessive Consumption

Shop description: Kate Bingaman-Burt makes her painfully mundane purchases, well, irresistible or at least gives us something to make us feel less self-conscious about how frequently we spend to fill the void.