Dear Diamond to Trapped

By Diamond | Oct 13, 2016

Dear Diamond,

My husband and I are both disabled. I am in a power chair and just a few years ago I was very active. I have to accept my condition as it is, but my life has change from one of activity to staring out the window.

I want desperately to go in my backyard. But I can’t access it. My wheelchair is too big for the doorway. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to raise the money to get the doorway widened. I heard of a computer site called GOFUNDME.com. Do you have any ideas on how I can get on this GOFUNDME site without a computer or video? I don’t know of anyone who has a computer and internet well enough that would do this for me. I would greatly appreciate any help you could find for me.

Sincerely,

Trapped

 

Dear Trapped,

Crowd funding is a fairly new phenomenon and has been used for personal funding and for help in starting businesses but, without a computer it would be difficult. It’s shameful that people have to resort to this for medical bills, funerals, education expenses, and basic needs these days. But it has helped lots of people to get back on their feet.

First of all, in order to use an online crowd-funding site, you must have regular access to a computer and internet. Libraries always have free internet. You will need someone to tutor you in setting up an e-mail address and gain some basic computer skills. Realistically, just because you build a site, doesn't mean that contributions will magically start flooding in. “Build it and they will come” is a common misconception. You must put the work into it. You must be able to send e-mails to friends and family to make contributions and to help you spread the word for your need. You must have a computer and access to a digital photo because you have be able to post photos and updates.

Here is an outline that most of these sites use in order to set up a site:

- Set your goal

- Provide a digital photo of yourself

- Explain your situation

- Be prepared to share your site with family, friends and community.

There is a template on the sites to help you set up and there are built-in features to help you claim the money. You must have and provide online bank information in order to collect the money and have it deposited into your account. While it’s free to set up a site, a percentage of the money raised, anywhere from 5 to 15 percent, goes to the site. So understand that if someone donates $100 and the fee is 5 percent, $5 of their donation will go to the site. The site called www.crowdfunding.com has a list of the top 10 sites. GoFundMe is in the first place.

Your question is important for two reasons. First, it may alert a reader to donate their gently used computer to someone in your position. Lots of people update their equipment regularly and the old computer may still be perfectly usable.

Second, this question may help someone to access a used computer.

Next week, Dear Diamond will post information on how readers can donate used computers, as well as information on how to locate a used computer. There are organizations that accept them and organizations that help provide them for those in need.

Thank you for reaching out with your question. You may be helping many others with it.

Stay in touch with us. We welcome reader responses with ideas.

With grace and peace,

Diamond

 

Thank you to the anonymous reader who sent in a response to the “Toilet Paper roll mystery” of Aug. 11:

Hello- May husband is often leaving partial toilet paper roll in the bathroom. I asked him why he does this. He likes to have full rolls on the dispenser at all time. He says he prefers to use toilet paper for his nose anywhere in the house as he thinks tissues are too expensive! so when the roll gets low of paper he puts them in the bathroom on a shelf to be used up by the family.

By the way, the rest of the family uses tissues for the nose!

Advice appearing in Dear Diamond is for entertainment only and does not reflect the views of Courier Publications or its editorial boards. This column is not intended to replace the services of medical, financial or legal professionals.

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