And don’t just watch the video, read the utterly heartbreaking article about Mandi Shaw and her daughter, Cortney, residents of Kearns, Salt Lake County, Utah who are threatened with imminent homelessness. It took me nearly a hour of sitting in stunned silence before I could even get out of my chair after I read it.
No matter WHAT is going on in your life right now, this will put everything into perspective.
Ladd Brubaker writes in the Deseret News:
Struggle is no stranger in the life of Mandi Shaw.
The 47-year-old Kearns woman has spent her life dealing with severe, debilitating birth defects. And in recent years, heart problems have rendered her permanently disabled and unable to work. She has only 20 percent of normal cardiac capacity.
In 2010, her husband died from cancer.
Now, her only income is a small disability check.
Shaw is far behind on the mortgage payments on her small home of nearly 20 years, and she has little prospect of ever catching up.
With no family to fall back on, she and her 19-year-old daughter, Cortney, are facing the very real possibility they may soon be living in their pickup truck. Instead of Christmas cheer, they experienced a grinding anxiety.
In desperation, they are making a public appeal for help. A video on YouTube titled “Save Mandi’s House” depicts their plight, but it’s gotten only about 100 hits.
Since that article from the Deseret News, and one that appeared on the Huffington Post blog, nearly 8000 views of the video have occurred. The video was the idea of Ron Baker, a local insurance broker and Mormon outreach missionary specializing in financial counseling, who volunteered to help the Shaws. Talk about a real latter day saint.. These ladies are lucky to have Mr. Baker in their lives, as I am sure they must know.
Here’s more from the Deseret News article (although I’d really recommend clicking there directly instead):
Even before she was born in 1964, Mandi’s cards were being dealt from a deck steeply stacked against her.
She says her mother was working to put Mandi’s father through medical school, and Mandi’s conception came as an unwelcome surprise, so the couple decided to put the baby up for adoption.
Her birth defects may have contributed to their decision, Mandi says.
There were no takers. No one wanted a disabled child facing lifelong medical problems.
Born to a future doctor and his wife. Imagine that. She later met her birth parents, but they wanted little to do with their own child.
Mandi was made a ward the state of Utah after a doctor insisted that a baby like her would fare far better in Utah, than an orphanage in Chicago. Two big-hearted nurses from the hospital agreed to take turns raising the helpless little girl.
Mandi’s birth defects and handicaps were likely the result of her mother taking Thalidomide, a drug used as both a sedative and for morning sickness. Although it was never approved by the FDA, millions of Thalidomide pills were taken by pregnant American women in the early 1960s. My own mother was given Thalidomide pills by her doctor, but opted not to take the drug.
I thought about that when I read Mandi’s story and I imagined myself in her place.
“Most people can bounce back after they’ve had such difficulties,” Mr. Baker said. “But Mandi doesn’t have any bounce. I mean, how do you bounce back from what she’s gone through?”
How indeed? You don’t. You can’t. You will need other people to help you, especially someone like Mandi who can’t count on the government to do much for her. What are her options?
America is a cruel place. A woman this ill facing living in a pick-up truck… Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?
If you don’t think you could ever be in a situation like this, well, keep voting Republican, that’s all I can say…
To help Mandi and Cortney keep their home and their lives intact, contact Ron Baker at email@example.com or call him on 801-553-9797
If you want to send a check, make it out to “Mandi Shaw, Help Save my Mortgage” and mail, care of Stacey, to
Granite Credit Union
3109 West 4700 South
Taylorsville, Utah 84129
Using Paypal, send to Mandishouse@gmail.com
Discover Card has a feature where money can be sent, at no charge. Go to Discovercard.com and look for the tab “Send Money”. Use Mandishouse@gmail.com to send donation.
Update 12/3, 5 p.m. central time: Dangerous Minds just spoke with Ron Baker and he’s very encouraged by the positive response his video of Mandi is receiving. Donations have been coming in from all over the world including Bangladesh, Greece, England and Canada. So far, they’ve raised about $7000. There’s still a long way to go but they’re getting there.
This could only happen in the age of the Internet. Ron, armed with a camcorder and a good heart, did something he’d never done before. He used the Internet to spread the word about an injustice that deeply bothered him and suddenly Mandi’s life is looking a little bit brighter. It’s taken him totally by surprise and he is humbled and hugely appreciative of the generosity extended to Mandi. And Mandi’s broken heart is pumping a little stronger right now. She can’t believe what’s happening.
Ron and his wife Connie are the real deal, two people who do more than talk about a problem, they do something about it. Now it’s your turn.