The Good News Network didn’t send any holiday marketing messages asking you to buy one of our gift memberships, or to purchase one of our tee shirts or bumper stickers. But I am asking you right now to drop everything and help one family keep their lights on this Christmas.
A GNN reader wrote to me, worried about his lovely friend, Peter Campillo of Palmdale, California. I decided, after posting so many stories about other communities rallying around someone in need, GNN would, for the first time, appeal to its readers to do some crowd-funding of our own.
If we don’t chip in to help this family of four, they will be eating Ramen noodles for Christmas — just like they did at Thanksgiving — and they will probably be evicted from their home the day after, because they were late (again) on December’s rent.
Even more than financially, a boost from our community would provide this man, his disabled wife and mother, and 16 year old son, with HOPE, which is probably more valuable. Fourteen of his friends and relatives have donated to his GoFundMe page, and posted encouraging comments there, but the $771 pledged so far is not nearly enough to cover the overdue payments racked up in the few months since it began.
I checked out his back story which goes something like this: Years ago, when he fell on hard times, he went to school to learn how to do billing for medical offices. For six years he successfully worked in the profession, until his integrity got in the way of his boss’s blind ambition to collect on an unpaid bill, which Peter said he had already taken care of. His boss called him a liar and fired him. She tried to deny his legitimate unemployment claim, but failed. That was last February. His unemployment benefits, however, ran out months ago, and things have been unraveling since. He has applied for seasonal-type work since Halloween but has not been hired anywhere.
He does have prospects for work, but not in his chosen career. With five schools nearby training people to do his job, the 46-year-old has decided his best course is to get a new license to become a trucker, or wait until February when his friend starts a new business and can hire him.
Peter’s wife Tiffany (left), whom he calls a wonderful woman, had previously managed two restaurants until she began suffering from depression and other mental illnesses. She currently is on medication and receives a disability check, like his mother, Luwana, who lives with the family and has numerous health issues.
Most importantly, he is the father of an honor roll teenager named Peter, “My pride and joy,” who took this family photo at our request, Friday.
“I have no self esteem left nor any pride as I feel like a total and complete failure,” he told GNN. “I cannot support my own family and I feel disgraceful to be honest… It has killed me to have to ask people for help but thank God some people out there care or else I am not sure what I would do.”
Ed, the GNN reader who wrote me on Peter’s behalf, called Peter a “Godly man,” but on a telephone call I learned that many of the churches and agencies in his southern California district refused to help them with Christmas gifts because his son is not a young child. (The family does receive food stamps, but by the end of the month, nutrition is stretched very thin.)
Of course, we can all wonder and grouse about how there SHOULD be help available, especially at Christmas, for this family. But rather than dwell on that thought and waste time, let’s just donate and help them ourselves.
Please join us in (what might become an annual tradition) our GOOD HAPPENS for One Family Campaign here: www.gofundme.com
Go to his GoFundMe page and donate if you can. I have launched the effort with my own contribution and hope you will join me.
I asked him for his address so that we might send gift cards or presents or cards. He worried that they might be evicted by the time they arrive. *UPDATE: The Campillo family address (for now, at least — and, we hope, for the future): 1835 East Ave R-12, Palmdale CA 93550
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS and THANK YOU to ALL! xxoo