As I passed my property and looked over at what should have been our home and working barn I started crying. So many hopes dashed, so many lives ruined, and no rational way to pick up the pieces in this economy.
Trying to come up with methods to salvage two homes I perhaps went from the ridiculous to the sublime. Very early today I phoned a long time friend to discuss what was going through my mind. Which is nothing more than a possible marketing advertising strategy that may be financially viable for my boss. There again, it may not be. This is like throwing everything at a wall to see what sticks, sometimes going into area's never before thought of, no matter how slight the prospect.
Jeanine offered to pay my phone bill for the upcoming month, over my objections. I was so sure that everything would get sorted out before the cut off date - which is tomorrow. I was sincerely grateful for her intervention.
This is starting to look less like a hiccup and more like a full fledged heart attack. Prayerfully one of the racehorses will win tomorrow ... I never thought I would be praying for that.
Small Things Matter
Never have I known
it blankets my freedom
usurps my desire.
Small things really do matter and it is not a cliché. A year ago, I was homeless, living on the streets and in shelters for 5 months. Now, I am the founder of “Small Things Matter”, a not-for-profit that aims to help people in a big way. We identify the small needs that can go a long way to improving a homeless person’s situation.
I have been extremely fortunate in that through my trial on the streets, I found a way to help myself, and eventually help others. By using resources like social media (such as Twitter and Facebook), I inadvertently stumbled upon a way to help myself, and eventually others, using Twitter to get some of my small needs filled. Things like a new pair of winter boots, shoes, clothing, gift cards for personal hygiene needs; supplemental food stuff that the food stamp system excludes, such as an occasional hot meal for myself (and more importantly, others who stayed in the shelter with me). Getting boots before a blizzard for a homeless 15 year-old girl and Bionicle toys for her autistic brother (see:) really inspired me to start to look for ways to help others in small ways that made a big difference.
The power of social networks to form relationships with others in need, those who want to help others, and/or are helping others, was an incredible benefit of getting connected. My nonprofit is taking shape mainly from a connection I made with Kris Socall the founder and executive director of Gifted Dreamers, where I also now serve as Chief Philanthropic Officer. Without Kris’ support and encouragement, I would have been much less likely to get my nonprofit off the ground. My connection to Kris was a direct result of social media. Several of my twitter followers unbeknownst to each other urged Kris to meet me and help me. That connection is just one of the amazing things social media has done for me: I could fill volumes with all of the fantastic and fruitful connections I have made.
Dr. Dominica McBride, co-founder of The H E L P Institute and the president of my board of directors, is helping to oversee the research study being conducted by graduate students from the Adler School of Psychology. Brianna Wormley and Tiffany Dulamal both came to me with a great deal of knowledge of who I am, where I came from, and what I am about. They then choose me as the not-for-profit they most wanted to work with.
We are going to interview former homeless people and find out what it took to get them off the street. We will take that knowledge and help identify current homeless people who have a small need, work to fulfill that need and help them get back into the “mainstream” again. While this program may not work for everyone, it is a good first step to solving the current homeless situation. Eventually, we would like to work to identify at-risk people and prevent them from ever becoming homeless.
I am now using what I learned to teach others how to use similar methods to help those in need in their communities. I am also teaching small to medium-sized businesses how to be effective using social media in their business, sharing my story and encouraging social giving as an active part of their overall business plan. Fold social giving into the day-to-day thinking at all levels of the company. I am working on a campaign to bring social giving in a more direct fashion; something called “hyper-local giving” to places like Starbucks using Twitter. I was very fortunate to recently write about hper local giving for the Huffington Post. We have a program in development called, “Bring the Bank to the People,” in which volunteers make house calls to help those with little or no resources set up and access their bank accounts online on a regular business.
Ultimately, we are going to put these and other ideas into action on a national scale. We intend to transform the way homeless people’s needs are identified as they enter the shelter system. If you read about “Steve and His New Glasses” you can see one of the first examples of how a small need was identified, resolved and then made a big chance in his life. Small things really do matter. Many people enter homelessness with situations that they can easily overcome if the need is quickly identified and immediately filled. Such needs range (but are not limited) from getting rent for just a month to vehicle repair in order to keep an existing job.
We cannot do what we are doing without the support of people from around the world who believe that Small Things Matter. We need your help too. Please consider supporting our work with a small monthly donation to the Gift-a-Dream campaign. Gift-a-Dream is an ongoing fundraising event that currently supports 5 not-for-profits start ups, like Small Things Matter and Gifted Dreamers (where I am the Chief Philanthropic Officer). Please click on the Gift-a-Dream link on this page or go directly to the website to make your donation here.http://smallthingsmatter.org/
There has to be someone related to Robert &Sylve Huckins must have some means to reach them, if it be Michael Huckins, Dr.Kenneth Ogilvie ( Diana Huckins? Dominic Huckins? Malcolm Huckins? ) or Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins and get them to return ALL of the money they stole from us so that I can buy a home and get our lives back. I am begging anyone in this family for help.
I don't believe I have EVER witnessed any none violent crime that can be as devastating as stealing someone's home. I am walking in Dorothy McKeevers footsteps, day by day, month by month, year by year.
Liam Griffin, I sat in your law office with two witnesses as you gave me your promise, your guarantee, that our money would be returned before harm came to us.
Patricia Ogilvie-Huckins you were present the day I signed contract with your son. You walked out of the kitchen with Sylve Huckins and your son introduced me to you. He told you that I was the British horse trainer he had told you about, the one he was going to build the home and barn for. Why didn't you say something? There may be a rational and reasonable explanation but I have spent over 3 years, homeless, not understanding it. I understand it even less knowing that though I was a total stranger, both Dorothy McKeever and Sally Canning you KNEW, and you knew what your son had done to them and others.
Dr. Kenneth Ogilvie, I contacted you and simply asked for a reference, not knowing that Robert Huckins was your cousin. Robert Huckins had just stolen over $30,000 from the domestic violence shelter, HEAL, yet everyone was trying to hide it. There was a history of stealing large amounts of money. $65,000 PLUS from Nancy Canning. $89,000 PLUS from Dorothy McKeever, $45,000 from Francis McKinney. The list just goes on and on and on.
Because of Robert Huckins I ended up paying $140,000 to be homeless.. sat in the cold, emotionally, physically and financially broke. In the middle of a recession, with no way to recover the stolen funds.
Today Robert Huckins has his own home...
He also has OUR home.....
He also has a lot of people's money...
And his freedom.
Women are not banks or loan institutions. Women should not be the source of a retirement fund for people who don't want to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Holding women hostage while playing with the judicial system, a horrendous game of cat and mouse extending YEARS, with the victims whose very homes, families and stability are in jeopardy is cruelty, as cruel as a physical beating. It is financial and emotional RAPE. Homelessness is not justice. It is a slow, painful death.
Please, I beg with everything I have within me, please convince Robert Huckins to stop this torture and return the building fund he stole from us so we too, can have a home.
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, mercy, hope. ~Winston Churchill.