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I never thought I’d be writing one of these diaries.  If I were the one in need of help, I probably wouldn’t be.  But, at this point, I’m willing to do whatever I can to help my friend out.  So here goes.

Here’s the story.  My friend’s name is Moselle.  She’s 26 years old, and she has severe rheumatoid arthritis that keeps her paralyzed in bed many days.  She’s married and has one child and a stepson.  To put a face to the name, here is Moselle with her youngest son, Nicolas.

Her family has been through a lot of shit in this tough economy.  Her husband lost his job, they got evicted from their old apartment, and they had to live with her mother for quite some time.  Well, recently, they’ve been getting themselves back on their feet.  Her husband got his job back, and between that and the disability payments Moselle has been getting, they’ve been able to make ends meet.  They’re renting a nice house, and despite Moselle’s continued poor health, they’ve at least been making ends meet.  At least, until now.

Moselle had a house party recently and had a bunch of friends and other guests over.  Somebody – either somebody she knows well or a guest of somebody she knows well – stole her painkillers, the only method she has of getting out of bed some days.  As horrible as that is, that’s not the worst of it.  The thief also stole $600 in cash – money that was going to pay their rent.

With rent due in a couple of days, Moselle and her family were faced with a dilemma – either borrow the rent money with almost no means of paying it back or get evicted.  They were able to borrow the money from Moselle’s in-laws, but the in-laws don’t have a whole lot of money, either, and they needed the money paid back immediately.  Well, the rent got paid, and Moselle and her husband were able to pay most of the money back.  But it took quite literally every penny they had.  They have nothing left, and they don’t know anybody with the means to help them.  Somehow, they have to feed themselves, their children, and keep their lights on with no money in their pockets.

So here’s what’s going to happen.  Needless to say, Christmas is completely canceled.  But that’s the least of their problems.  In the next few days, their electricity is going to be shut off (and it’s starting to get cold – even here in Texas, and it can only be worse where they live, in Virginia).  They’re going to lose their phones.  They’re not going to have money to restock their food.  Her husband is not going to have the gas to drive to work.  They have a roof over their heads, but that’s about it.

In short, this is a very, very serious situation, hence why I’m writing a diary I never thought I’d write.  If I could help in any real way, I would in a heartbeat.  But I’m a grad student living on a teaching assistant’s salary.  I don’t have a lot of spare money.  I might be able to contribute a small amount to a larger fund, but I have no means of giving anything more.

So here comes the awkward part.  Moselle is not a Kossack.  She does read my stuff here, and she is somewhat familiar with the community (and she’s a die-hard liberal), but she’s not a member.  She and her husband were reluctant to let me post here, but I convinced them.  At this point, pride is not even in play anymore.  Anyway, Moselle is not a Kossack, so basically, I’m asking you to help a complete stranger.  I know that times are tough for a lot of people, and a lot of you probably don’t have two pennies to rub together.  I understand.  So here’s what I’m going to say: If you can help, that would be wonderful, and if you can’t help, you can’t help.  I’m posting this diary not to shake people down or guilt-trip anybody – I’m posting this diary because I don’t know what else to do to help Moselle and her family.  So if something good comes out of this diary, that’s great.  If nothing comes out of it, I tried.  But I have to try.

If you can find it in your heart to help in any way at all, that help will be greatly appreciated, both by Moselle and her family and by myself as Moselle's friend.  Moselle and her family need a helping hand, and I know that this community is a community that cares.  That’s why I’m coming here.

Anyway, that’s enough from me.  If you feel so moved to help, here's a link to Moselle's PayPal account.  Thanks, everybody.

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