THE SHORT VERSION
My friend Charlotte is experiencing a lot of difficulties at this particular time in life. Her car is on its last legs, as is her cat. I want to help this dear friend of mine and pour a little hope and sunshine upon her life.
THE LONG VERSION
“Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.” ― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
Not that I’ve read any Aristotle, though I’ve heard he was a cool dude.
WHO AM I ?
My name is Riaz Ali and I have a friend, Charlotte, that needs our help. Good friends don’t come by easily. Charlotte is my friend and I love her. This is my attempt to brighten up her life.
WHO AM I RAISING MONEY FOR?
Charlotte Castle. She is a single mother, living in Knaresborough, with two beautiful children, Arabella who is 9 and Alex, who is 5 and autistic.
Recently, through no fault of her own, she was served an eviction notice from the beautiful house she was renting in Harrogate. The private landlord refused to give a good reason why the notice was served. Charlotte kept her house in immaculate condition and took good care of the property. Charlotte has been placed in a temporary dwelling in Knaresborough while she waits for the council to find her a home.
Charlotte works hard, but is in a minimum wage job. She struggles to make ends meet and she messaged me this morning saying she was in tears all through the half hour journey back home, after dropping her children off from school, in constant worry about her situation. The details of which will be explained in the next section.
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE USED?
The money would be used for three things. To buy Charlotte a washing machine. To buy Charlotte a decent second-hand car and lastly, to pay vet fees for her cat to have treatment.
Arabella, Charlotte’s eleven-year-old daughter, loves the cat (comically known just as ‘Black Cat’) but recently, Black Cat has been displaying signs of hyperthyroidism and is poorly. There is no PDSA near Charlotte so she has to pay vets fees.
Also, Charlotte has no washing machine. Her son Alex wets the bed and so Charlotte has to wash the bed sheets, and all other clothes, in her bath, on a daily basis. Handwashing everything for hours to ensure her children – whom she is absolutely devoted too and thinks the world of – can have clean clothes.
Also, her car is displaying symptoms of major trouble. It is only a £200 banger that she picked up a week or so ago, using what was the last of her savings. A car is her life line. Without one, getting the children to school, as well as commuting to work, would put an even greater strain on her mental health.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO ME?
I don’t live near Charlotte. In fact, I live roughly 220 miles from her. We chat on the phone a lot and we are important to each other, but we have only met each other twice. However, I have known her for two years – we met in a writer’s group on Facebook (we both have books published but sadly, they bring a meagre trickle of income in, if any, these days – links are at the bottom). I wish I lived nearer to support her in a more practical sense but I can’t. Doing something like this is the next best thing.
I want to make a difference to someone’s life – HER life. A year ago, when I had a full time job, I may have had between £700 and £900 a month that I classed as ‘pocket money’. I would gladly have given all of that to Charlotte if I was still in that position. But I rely primarily on benefits these days, working on my novel and trying to improve my own situation, so I cannot help Charlotte financially in the way I would love to.
I don’t care about myself but I do care about my friend and her family. I want to to rescue her from her loneliness and depression and although what I am doing with this fund-raising campaign isn’t some miracle cure that would solve all problems, it WOULD be a huge stepping stone to her regaining some confidence, self-belief and hope to continue in this world.
KEEP THIS SECRET
I don’t want her to know about this fundraising campaign. I want to surprise her with however much is raised. Even if we don’t raise enough for a car, I am hoping that in a week, we might be able to raise enough for a washing machine and the vet’s fees. That alone would bring a huge huge smile to her face and give her something to focus on and hope for the future.
Can you imagine me messaging her and saying “I have X amount of money for you. I am sending it to you now. You don’t have to worry about handwashing your clothes again” or something similar. Imagine how that could make her feel? This is what I want. Just to give someone hope and make them feel valued, wanted and needed.
Thank you for reading this. 🙂