If you’ve been reading this blog for the past few months (since last May), you are probably aware of the saga of former TSR staffer Karen Boomgarden attempt to keep her house from foreclosure. For those who are not familiar with her work at TSR, she was a editor with editor credit on a large number of TSR products and was the designer for a few products like my favorite Amazing Engine game, For Faerie, Queen, and Country. Since her TSR days, she’s remarried was doing well until the economy collapsed. She has been out of work for two years (and her husband had been out of work for over a year until finding work a few weeks ago). To make things worse, their daughter fell off a balcony and was injured pretty badly (although remarkably not as severely as she could have been) earlier this year.
Back in May we had a successful fund raiser (in association with a non-gaming message board Karen and I are on) so she could get current on her mortgage so that she and her husband could qualify for unemployment forbearance. (See these posts for more info on the first episode of this saga: Help a Former TSR Editor Keep Her House!, Update: Help a Former TSR Editor Keep Her House!, Progress Report: Microlite74, RetroRoleplaying Forum, Real Life. etc..) By August, I was able to announce that they had qualified for up to a year of unemployment forbearance (see this post: Help a Former TSR Editor Keep Her House! Update and Part 2).
I thought the saga had ended at this point. Karen’s husband even found a job a few weeks ago, which was great news. Unfortunately, the mortgage company had one last surprise. Since they are no longer unemployed, they had a month to pay all the back payments (about $5000) the unemployment forbearance had allowed them to skip or they would foreclose immediately. This, of course, makes the whole “unemployment forbearance” thing sort of useless as one month’s net salary isn’t going to pay many months of a mortgage, at least for most workers. [Long rant about US financial companies and this recession deleted.]
Amazingly, Karen and family have managed to come up with a lot of this, they only need $1400 more by November 4th to keep their house. I’m hoping we can have a quick “Trick or Treat” fund raiser and help them out one final time. Readers of this blog raised over $900 for Karen in between our May and July fund raisers. The message board we’re both on raised over $1700. So I think between us, we have a chance of cutting this last $1400 down to size.
Let’s see how much money we can raise between now and the witching hour on Halloween. I’d like to see us beat out the message board this time. Just like in May and July, any money donated to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund from now to 6am on November 1st will be split 50/50 (after Paypal fees, if any) between Karen and the cancer fund. I’ll transfer Karen’s 50% to her on November 1st so they have plenty of time to get the bill paid. All donors will get access to the usual RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund donor downloads, including current draft copies of all four of my current Microlite74 and S&W projects. These donations will also count (in their full amount) for donor goodies in our upcoming November Fund Drive. I can’t announce what these are until early November, but I do have permission from the sponsors to count any donations made during this special “Save Karen’s House III” drive as donations to the upcoming November Fund Raiser.
So here’s another chance to help two decent causes with one donation. If you can spare a ten or a twenty, or even more, it will help so much. Karen and family can keep their house. To donate and help both Karen and myself, send a donation in any amount — small or large — via Paypal before 6am CDT the morning of November 1st. If you can’t donate, good thoughts and prayers for Karen and her family are more than welcome. Please help spread the word to others who might be willing to help.