Updated: Jul 9
How many times have you joked and said "I am so broke I can't even pay attention or the "end of the month salty crack comments? Well, unfortunately, this is no longer a joke for me and more of a very life-changing reality.
In the last 365 days I have:
1. Lost my car (guilty person felt no loyalty in replacing it and left me in R150 000 worth of debt).
2 Got retrenched.
3. My girls had to move in with their dad, as I no longer had the means to take them to school. Learning to be on the other side of the fence has been a crazy journey - I can relate to all those parents out there that only get to see their kids on weekends. Don't get me wrong, I have a good relationship with my ex and he takes amazing care of the kids and I thank "the powers that may be" that he is able and more than willing to pick up the slack while my life falls apart.
4. I was forced to move into a 1 bedroom granny flat due to circumstances. But it was okay I had my little home, my kids were safe and I could start again. I was excited about my future for the first time in what felt like forever.
5. On my first night in my new home, I got a phone call from my mom. My parents were homeless and had been living in their car for the last 4 days. My heart broke into a million pieces. No one ever wants to see their parents homeless! So I brought them into my granny flat. I have spent months researching for somewhere for my parents to live and it is impossible unless you have money. There is an insufficient, suitable and affordable accommodation for the #elderly in South Africa.
In amongst the crazy I now called my life I had a dream and it was now or never.
6. My dream has always been to start my own Virtual Personal Assistant business and focus on helping the "everyday" folk survive life. So while I was looking for work I started putting together Day Decor www.daydecor.co.za. This is a massive achievement for me personally, I created my own website #wix), Facebook, Instagram, social media posts, integrating platforms for Project Management, Time Tracking, emails, google analytics and let me tell you if you do not have an IT background these achievements are time stacking and a real test of your dedication. #ITNerds
7. I then landed an international client through an old friend and business associate, Wendy Billimore Hinson @askwendy. #networking
Dr Weston W. Fields grew up in Kodiak, Alaska. After earning his BA from Faith Baptist Bible College, he went on to earn an M.Div, Th.M. and a Th.D. From Grace Theological Seminary, in Winona Lake, Indiana. Dr Fields taught at Grace College and Theological Seminary for ten years before moving to Jerusalem Israel to work on a PhD in Hebrew Bible at the Hebrew University. Dr Fields also taught at the Institute of Holy Land Studies (now called Jerusalem University College) for seven years. All during this period, and up to the present day, Dr Fields has divided his time between scholarship and helping oversee a family business on Kodiak Island, fishing commercially for salmon. Starting in 1991 Dr Fields has been the Executive Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, during a period which saw the completion of the series from Oxford University Press publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls, called “Discoveries in the Judaean Desert”. This encyclopedic series is now complete with 40 volumes. Dr Fields’ current work includes writing The Dead Sea Scrolls, a Full History (Vol. 1, Brill; Vols. 2-3 forthcoming). Since 1999 he has travelled extensively in the Middle East, Europe and the United States in order to interview everyone from the first generation of scholars then alive, including those who discovered scrolls in the 1950s or were the first to examine and reconstruct them. As a result of these personal meetings, he has amassed a large and diverse collection of personal letters, papers, and archives related to the first scrolls scholars, especially the famous Qumran Cave 4 Team. Dr Fields directs Dead Sea Scrolls Publications, an organization that helps museums wishing to borrow the Dead Sea Scrolls for exhibits.
Working with Weston over the last 4 months has been the most amazing experience, professionally and personally. I assisted Weston with transcribing the letters and communications regarding the #DeadSeaScrolls and once he returned home - we continued to collaborate via the phone (this is what he is comfortable with) assisting him with urgent administrative deadlines and the ordering of groceries, meat and safety gear for the start of his fishing season in Alaska. In return, Weston shares, the most amazing stories about his life experiences and stories of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The loyalty of this client has made such a positive impact on my life, and I am eternally grateful to know you Weston and have this amazing opportunity to work with such a brilliant man. #westonfields
In February I received my first UIF payment and paid my rent and all my debit orders, on the 21st March 2020 COVID 19 Lockdown was implemented and I have not seen a UIF payment since. This non-payment as you can imagine has a massive impact on me being able to support my family. I informed my Landlord of my situation and said I would pay her as quickly and as often as I could.
I then turned my hand to recycling and upcycling furniture to sell, just so that I can pay my rent.
I am now a month and a half behind on my rent and my landlord wants to evict me by the 22 July 2020. This will leave me, my daughters, 2 cats (Domino and Hunter) and 3 Foster Fail Rats - homeless.
Every day, I get up to fight for survival - literally.
I never thought I would ever say this - but all I need is a roof over my head. A home, that no one can take away from me and I can become an active and contributing member of society. I need to show my daughters, that they should never give up no matter what life throws at them.
I have a deadline of 22 July 2020, which gives me 2 weeks to find an alternative place to live.
After a lot of research, I have found a company who are able to build a 2 bedroom NuTec House for my daughters and I, with a bathroom, open plan kitchen lounge. 4x6m2 #tinyhouse. I also have access to a piece of property for the Nutec House and from there we would like to grow seedlings for nurseries, herb boxes, a grow tunnel for vegetables, cacti, a worm farm, compost heap and I am hoping a Bee Hive company will jump on board. I think self-sustainability is the wave of the future and supporting our #communities.
This is now where I have to swallow my pride and ask for some assistance, donations, advise - any help is helpful at this stage.
In order to secure this home in time, I require money. A break down of the estimated costs involved in securing my new home:
Unbonded House R60 000
Contingency R10 000 = R70 000
1. WORK BACK THE LOAN:
My rates as a personal assistant is R250 per hour and I am willing to work 4 hours a day at this rate in order to pay back a loan. At this rate, I would work back the loan within 3 and a half months and I still having remaining hours in my day to do additional work to sustain my family.
Donations would be greatly appreciated and I am able to supply you with a Donation acknowledgement from Day Decor - which you are able to get a tax rebate on. For any donation over R10 000, I would be more than happy to punt your business on my social media platforms weekly for 10 months.
If you are unable to help financially - please LIKE and SHARE my story with your friends and family. If you have contacts overseas, who you think may benefit from a Virtual PA - please tag them in the comments section.
The South African departments and financial institutions are unable to assist me - so I am reaching out to my International Clients, Friends, Colleagues, Potential Clients and Family for some help.
Please feel free to check out my Social Media Platforms, including LinkedIn to learn more about me and what and who you are helping.
Before I end this blog, I really want to acknowledge someone special, David Baird Junior. He is my best friend and has stood by me through thick and thin in the last 365 days. I have had days when it felt like every aspect of my life had been stolen from me and I just didn't know what to do to fix it. He was always there with a shoulder to cry on, a box of cigarettes when the government saw fit to ban smoking, and moved my furniture into storage, using only a delivery trolley across 300m of gravel road because I didn't have a car or the money to get movers. You believed in me when no one else did - Thank You.
Written by Mandy Day
9th July 2020 Update.
I have received my first donation of R20 000 yesterday, please subscribe and follow or download my app and follow to find out more about this first amazing donation.
Then I have another friend who created this crowdfunding page for me for the balance, please see below and share if possible.
There are so many amazing stories happening because of my story and I will share them with you all in due course. Please follow my blog to find out more and thank you again, everyone, for your support and generosity.