I've been living on a disability check (about 60% of my former meager paycheck) for over 5 years now. I've downsized, culled, sold, given away. I no longer have a storage unit. Everything I own fits into this one bedroom apartment. I used to buy a dozen fresh bagels a week, with cream cheese. I switched to store bought bagels and butter. Now it's sliced wheat bread. I go to the Redwood Empire Food Bank 2x/month. I don't go to movies, I have no premium cable packages. I haven't paid for any organic meds in over 2 years. I rarely drink alcohol anymore. It's cold in this apartment in the winter, and I am bundled up. Some weeks I only start my van up once for a trip into town. I have been waiting for 4+ years for my Section 8 voucher. They told me there was a 4-6 year waiting list.
I have very little left to sell. I peruse on-line selling emporiums to check on the demand for similar items to what I own, and there are very few bids, if any, on them. I have no savings left. I've worked for neighbors a bit here, a bit there. I have a sporadic, part-time contract job that helped me scrape by, but my contact there was laid off after 17+ years. By merger or acquisition, I suppose my tenure as an independent contractor there is now suspect. My father would kick down for me once in a while, but he has little left to give now.
I was without health coverage for 2.5 years before my MediCare finally kicked in, only to find out that it doesn't cover everything. I have been living as frugally as I can, and look for more ways to cut expenses, yet I found myself in over $3000 of debt. All medical bills finally went to collections agencies and ruined my rebuilt credit rating. I am also late on my rent payment each month and am behind in my PGnE bill as well, and will fall even more behind. (It's been cold this winter!) I also need new glasses as my vision is deteriorating and it's difficult to read this screen most of the time, and we all know how much glasses cost.
One of my bands, the Cancer Sucks Band, is a not-for-profit organization that only performs at fundraisers for the Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. My main band, Planet Waves~ A Tribute to Bob Dylan, doesn't make enough to cover gas money, never mind enough for sticks, heads, and rehearsal studio time.
Drumming and walking are the only physical activities in which I still partake. Drumming is almost, if not downright, spiritual. It is an aerobic physical activity. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to provide happiness for others through the music we make. But the symptoms and syndromes aforementioned above have exacerbated in 2013 to the point that it has greatly interfered with my timing. But this is not a good thing for the timekeeper in a band.
I see organizations and web sites such as Sweet Relief, but I do not meet their qualifications. With dwindling options and resources, I turn to my community of friends, musicians and baseball associates, as well as any other kind, benevolent and/or philanthropic person who may be reading this. If you can spare anything- $10, $5 or even $1, please click on this button which leads to my PayPal account which I created when I started selling my stuff on eBay. Anyone who donates at least $10 will receive a CD of live recordings on which I play drums or congas. I have played with some very notable Bay Area and nationally known players. I will be grateful to the end of my days.
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