Last month there was a fire that destroyed a home. Although it destroyed a home, it has not destroyed the family that lived there. They lost the family cat Squeeker, but no other lives were lost and nobody was injured. For this, many of us are thankful. Many of you may know MiKael and her family thru the blog Rising Rainbow. As with every fire, the investigators look for the source and it was the furnace.
I have spoken wih MiKael thru text messages as they were staying with neighbors who were gracious enough to open their home and take them in. One of the first things I asked- What do you guys need? The reply was- What DON'T we need? lol True. But is there anything in particular that they needed asap? She gave me a list. Storage containers, duct tape, gloves, sweat pants and the list went on.... It was a start. I headed to the store and grabbed things from the list, but also things I thought they could use. Stuff that you don't think about until you need it and realize you don't have it.
The package arrived on Thursday, just like the post office said it would. I received a text saying "Your package arrived today. Your timing is perfect. The weight of this challenge is definitely hitting me. It is reassuring to know that somebody still cares. Thank you" We texted back and forth some more and again I asked if there is anything they still need. She gave me another quick rundown of things and then asked if I knew she had also lost most of her tack? Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. No, I didn't know that.
With the excption of bits and her show saddle, she lost all of her tack too. All of it. I know how I feel about my tack. I know some of the blogs I read are posted by self proclaimed tack ho's. I know many of us covet our tack and can't imagine losing any of it, let alone all of it in one shot.
So far in the loss- 5 western & one hunt saddles, pads, 5 sets of Victor custom work tack, all of her clippers, show clothes and custom hunt boots... Bridles, reins, saddle pads, all gone. Although we are heading into spring and summer, I asked about blankets? Yep. A dozen or so of those that were drying on the back porch, plus another handful of them on top of the washer & dryer. Wormer. MiKael kept a full rotation on hand of 3 different kinds of wormer, enough for all 30 horses. Roughly 100 wormers- all gone in the fire. POOF!
I know one of the hardest things to do is ask for help. Believe me, I know. I know they need it and could use pretty much everything. Back in the days of Fugly, where most of us originally 'met', it was preached long, hard and often- Be prepared for emergencies. But how do you plan for somthing like this? How do you plan to lose everything you've busted your ass long and hard for?
On some level I can relate, because thru the sham of a 10 year marriage and then the divorce I lost a lot too. While I lost a lot, I didnt lose everything. I can also relate in that, thru trying times like these, you really find out who your friends are. You also find out how generous others are. How kind, genuine and sincere people can be. Those last three things bear a lot of weight with me.
Although there is a GoFundMe page set up, I recently learned that they take 25% of all money raised as payment for the service. Twenty five percent is a lot. Especially when you'e already in a tough spot. There is also an account set up with Chase Bank, (information on MiKaels blog) and donations are welcome there too.
While there are things they need, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, WD-40, etc., the weight of the liquids adds to the cost of shipping and aerosols are restricted. Instead, you might consider sending gift cards. Think of the places you shop- grocery stores (Safeway), restaurants, a trip to the movies for a chance to get out and away for a little while. A little time to escape the reality of what happened. MiKeal also mentioned they need underwear. To me, this is a personal thing and a check or a gift card would go a long way rather than sending a package of the wrong kind in the wrong size.
If you'd like to donate tack, please do. I know we all have horses of various breeds and sizes, and our tack rooms seem to have a strange way of accumulation when we aren't looking.... If you're not in a position to donate any kind of tack, then how about a gift card at Jeffers, Valley Vet, Horse.com, Schneiders, Dover or any of the many, many other online places to shop and find things. I know MiKael and her family would appreciate it. One of the things she asked for was Thank you cards and stamps. As another friend of mine put it to me once- "In the middle of her own personal shit-storm, she thinks enough to take the time and provide me with a Hallmark moment."