Over the past seven years, I’ve had tremendous support increase with each year. Despite how messy 2020 was, we even managed to raise enough funds to move and never miss rent. I am so grateful to all of you for seeing our needs while so many needs are not being met.
While I am extremely grateful for how massively generous my supporters have been, I cannot help but think that things shouldn’t be this way. The people around me shouldn’t have to scrounge up spare cash to help me make each little expense. At the same time, I shouldn’t have to broadcast every need that comes up. When you have exactly enough income for rent and utilities, every additional expense is a financial emergency.
Navigating the “gift economy” is becoming familiar to me personally, but the sheer number of people who are turning to GoFundMe and other such platforms is troubling. It shows that the people in this country are being failed in every way. We don’t have medical access or good housing access. Charity is like first aid in that it is necessary for immediate emergencies, but it’s far from sustainable.
I’ve written before about how charity is reversed in our society. Wealth flows upward steadily into the pockets of the rich, and the rich only “give” enough in return to benefit themselves further. I know that most of my supporters are not rich, though. I’m not reversing the trend of upward flowing funds, because I rent, and 76 people contribute to that rent. The more people who pledge on Patreon, the more I can breathe financially, and the closer I get to being able to help others in addition to supporting myself and my partner.
I don’t want to complain for myself, so much as I want to complain for all of the people who don’t have a platform like mine. What are your options when you have a financial emergency, and even if you ask for help, nobody cares enough to fund your campaign? I have so many friends who are in the same boat, desperately asking for each need to be met, only sometimes having the luxury of a place to sleep and shower.
I don’t know if I will be able to work outside of the home again. My body is in too much pain, too exhausted, on a regular basis. At my last job, people twice my age were able to do more heavy-duty tasks than I was, and it’s been nearly a year since I worked there.
I use a stool in the kitchen now. It’s a tall bar stool with a rotating cushioned seat, duct taped in two places. Sitting down preserves my energy and prevents pain later. My partner and roommate are unable to help with housework, because while my capacity is limited, theirs is more so. Perhaps someday soon I will have to think about getting help.
I don’t have a good conclusion here. I just know that I’m doing all I can, and that apparently looks like writing posts occasionally while struggling to keep up with basic household needs. It is all I know how to do to make ends meet right now.
If you want to pledge toward my monthly or annual budget, you can do so on Patreon.
I also have PayPal paypal.me/CynthiaJeub or Cashapp ($CJeub) if you want to give once.
My Amazon wish list link is also below, for those who’d like to give direct gifts instead of funds. It’s difficult to organize everything on the list itself, so I’ve made a list of priorities. Perhaps someday I won’t have to do this anymore.
- Most pressing need: A wagon for transporting trash and groceries
- Printer/Scanner: this is a very expensive item and would replace a smaller, less reliable printer. The main thing is I don’t have a scanner for preserving my paintings digitally.
- Flash drive: small expense for digital storage.
- Stapler: We may have found a stapler that’s a bit whimsical…perhaps someone can appreciate sinking a dragon’s teeth into each project.
- Pain relief/therapy
- Voltaren gel
- Light therapy lamp
- Elbow braces
- Wrist brace
- Kitchen worktable/shelf
- Rolling stool
- Step stool
- Food processor
- Vegetable peeler/scrubber
- Garlic press
- Art supplies
- Colored pencils and coloring books
- Acrylic Paint
- Watercolor brush pens, watercolor paper
- Gouache set
- Mattress topper
- Essential oil diffuser
- Bookshelf: I have one just like this, it would be mirrored by the other one, which is full of books.
- Books: finally, all the things I’d like to read.