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So, while I could take the $5000+ we have raised and buy an old and out-of-date, gas guzzling converted van that doesn't fit our needs that might last a few years (and forgo the brand new, warranty covered conversion), or I could settle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!