It Takes A Village to Fix A Car

Campaign Created by: Gloria Huffman

The funds from this campaign will be received by Gloria Huffman.

Goal: USD $2,000
Raised: USD $ 1,870

INTRODUCING ... ME AND MY GOAL!

Hi. I’m Gloria. I live in the Northeast region of the USA. My goal is to repair my car, which has not been working since the end of September 2023. I am older, on Social Security, and can't afford to fix it. I've been training for an online income, but haven't begun earning anything yet.

MY STORY, MY BROKEN-DOWN CAR, AND THE BUS

I own this 16-year-old 2007 Ford Focus wagon. I'm not a huge fan of Fords, but I'm a huge fan of this particular Ford, and it is the perfect size for me. The CarFax trade-in value is about $1,810 (as of 12-10-23) ($1,880 as of 1/14th/2024). There are no car payments due. All expenses for the last few years have been for gas, maintenance, repairs, and cosmetics. In the past two years I haven't been able to have important work done on the car, and now it's dead. My mechanic had to vacate his garage in mid-summer 2023 and he was having trouble finding a new place for his business, so I didn't know where he went. However, in early December I finally found him in a nearby town and was able to contact him. I am to have my car towed to him in a few days (mid-December) for a diagnosis. I love this mechanic. He’s the best!

What happened: The car battery died twice in September from being drained. The alternator, serpentine belt, and battery are new (I installed the battery myself), but the car still won't start. It probably needs something related to the starter system.

The power steering pump failed in 2022 and needs to be replaced as well. The last tuneup and front brake job were done in 2019, four years ago, and the last oil change was done almost seven months ago. I used to do my own oil changes (I took an auto mechanics course and learned enough to avoid getting totally ripped off), but I’m too old now to get under the car to do that (and the car I currently have is too close to the ground).

I’ve been riding the bus sometimes, but the local bus system where I live is truly inadequate. The buses themselves are nice and modern, but the routes go north and south like the hands of a clock from a central Transportation hub on the southern edge of the city, like the spokes on the top half of a bicycle wheel, but not east-west except along the southern edge of town, going to the adjacent towns to the east and west. I live in the northern area, so a 7-minute car trip directly west to some stores I frequent becomes a 45' bus trip one way. I have to take a 15' bus trip south to the hub, wait for my connection, and then take a 15'-20' bus trip back north to my destination. That looks like a very deep and narrow letter "V." The bus schedule for Saturdays and Sundays is very limited and ends early. I have a sleep disorder, so this is a problem. I’m not a morning lark. I’m definitely an incorrigible owl.

I've been having to buy groceries locally at convenience store prices from a little market and a pharmacy in my block. I'm running out of food money, and I don't have my car to drive to food pantries or the soup kitchen, where my choices are limited due to my food allergies. Those allergies mean I can't eat the food delivered by Meals On Wheels.

Going to and from a medical appointment has turned into a major excursion. It would be just as time-consuming with a senior van service. I need a couple of minor surgeries, and I’m looking forward to having a functional car to get there and back.

Here’s an example of why I really need my car. I ran into a major transportation problem today (12-10-23). I went outside at about 4:20 pm and saw the bus for my street going south. I remembered a few things I needed to do about two miles down the road, so I got on the bus at 4:30 pm. I arrived at about 4:40 pm and took care of my business there. At 5:24 pm I was at the northbound bus stop, waiting for the bus home. Since I had left without my bus schedule, I didn't know exactly what time the bus might be coming. While I waited, I paced back and forth to increase the step count on my fitness tracker. I must’ve added close to 4,000 steps in that hour. At 6:25 pm I gave up on the bus and started walking the two miles home in the dark (it gets dark here at 4:00-4:30 pm at this time of year). It was raining lightly, and there were rain puddles on the sidewalk and at the intersections. I couldn’t afford to call a taxi (which would’ve been hard to get anyway on a Sunday evening), so I had no choice but to walk. I got home at 8:30 pm. It took me 2 hrs 5’ to complete the 44’ 2-mile walk, with 1 hr 21’ in rest stops along the way, including a trip to the bathroom at a grocery store en route and some price-shopping while there. The best part about my errands was that I was able to get one of my prescriptions transferred to where I was at 5 pm so I could buy it there and eliminate a long bus trip to my usual pharmacy location (which is only 5’ from my home by car). However, the forced march home took valuable time away from a deadline that I was working on. My fitness tracker showed 14,104 steps for the day, which included a 2,500-step midnight walk at the start of the day. The bulk of the additional steps were logged in the 4 hours from 4:30 to 8:30 pm (10,177 steps from 4-9 pm). I can’t do this at my age when it’s winter weather, or even hot summer weather.

Fortunately, and by God's gracious providence, I am not yet a debilitated elderly person. I've lost 12 pounds of my 20-pound pandemic lockdown weight gain. The only medicines I need and use are thyroid pills and HRT. I'm on a health-restoring journey to my previous lifestyle of healthy diet and exercise. I'm not ready to give up and become old faster than my genes dictate. With your help, I can remain productive, and with my car running, I can better investigate the possibility of getting a newer used car.

HOW I PLAN TO USE THE FUNDS RAISED:

Diagnosis and repair of starter system: TBD mid-Dec. 2023 ± $214-$ 745.00

Replacement of power steering pump: 1/23/23 Est. $ 646.61

Tuneup (last done 9/18/19): Est. $ 235.00

Front brake pads (last done 2/28/19): Est. $ 240.00

Oil change (last done 5/22/23, overdue): Est. $ 55.00

Estimated TOTAL $1,921.61

These are the most pressing needs for now.

YOUR IMPACT ON ME AND ON THE LIVES I TOUCH

Having my car would help to prolong my life so that I can earn money online and also market my creative products (mostly created in my life as a church musician and piano teacher). God has blessed me richly and has saved my life providentially on several occasions. I feel that He has more work for me to do: a mission that I have yet to definitively articulate in terms of my music and my earning power.

MY HEARTFELT INVITATION TO YOU, AND MY PRAYER

So come along with me on my transportation adventure.

I invite you to be my Prayer Partner and, if you are able, to make a donation to this campaign.

Here is my personal Find-It Technique® prayer:

"Dear God, I thank You for taking me directly to $2,000 and to all the things I must do to get my car working within 10 days."

When my goal is met, I will joyfully thank God again for hearing my prayer, as Jesus taught.

UPDATES, MY CALL TO MY VILLAGE OF SUPPORTERS

I'll update my needs and my progress as things change, so keep an eye out for the evidence of God's blessings on the entire effort. I've done everything I can think of to do on my own. Now I need a tribe to form a village around me and hold me up, one dollar at a time.

For your information (FYI), the GiveSendGo platform is free to campaign creators. For each donation, a fee of $0.30 + 2.7% is taken by GiveSendGo.

If you can’t donate right now, I understand. I’ve “been there, done that … or not done that.” Your prayers are valuable in shifting reality so that with or without money, the goal is met. Click the "Pray" button to leave a message that you are praying. If you are able to donate, that’s great, too.

I thank you in advance. Together, we can do this!

Spread the word!

Share my tiny url “village fix a car” wherever you can: https://givesendgo.com/villagefixacar

#villagefixacar

UPDATES

Update #25 - To urgent care doctor
February 12, 2024
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Here's a video I made Fri., 2/9th/24 on Rock Spring Road in Stamford., CT. I was walking uphill slowly from the Hope Street bus stop to the Tully Center urgent care, hoping to get an antibiotic after spending 11 days mostly in bed. I did get the antibiotic I wanted, and the doctor there also prescribed an inhaler to help clear my lungs. After two days I was able to use the inhaler without spasms of coughing, and I began to feel stronger and more energetic. (Oops, the file is too large.)

[M2-12th-24-0506E]

Update #24 - Mostly in bed for a week
February 7, 2024
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My chest congestion lingered on and on. Last week I cancelled a telehealth appointment I had made to try to get an antibiotic. I was struggling to get 8 hours of sleep per day, since I know that being sick requires sleep for healing. My sleep was very fragmented, so I spent what seemed like over 12 hours in bed every day, trying to get my fitness tracker to recognize 8 hours of sleep. Today, Tue., 2/6th/24, I slept in my fragmented way until 1:30 pm, but wasn't motivated to move my body. Last night I finally walked to the pharmacy for water and walked to the post office for the first time in a week. I was very weak and exhausted, so I dragged myself back home with my little rolling luggage bag. Don't even ask me when was the last time I did any laundry! I keep wearing the same dirty outfit. Laundry is a high priority, but not as high as getting my car from Ford. I called Emilio at about 4 pm and left a message for him to call me back.

[Tu2-6th-24-2032E]

Update #23 - Third diagnosis
February 3, 2024
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The first diagnosis was never completed because the auto electrician was out of the country till the last week of January and I towed the car to a second shop. There, the mechanic said on Tue., 1/30th/24, that the car wouldn't start and there was no electronic communication. I paid for his diagnosis.

I towed the car to the Ford dealer that same day for a diagnosis on Wed., 1/31/24. On Thu., 2/1st/24, Ford told me the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) wasn't communicating. It was unknown whether the PCM itself was the problem, and I would need to pay an additional $1,100 for further electrical diagnosis. That was a shock. They said the value of the car is $500. I left the car at Ford while deciding what to do next.

I've spent time researching the PCM (what it looks like, location on the vehicle, and whether I can find a certified pre-owned PCM that costs $200-$400 instead of $1,000+). The labor is minimal (maybe 20'), but the part itself is expensive unless you can find a remanufactured one or have the old one repaired.

Please pray for me to find a way to own a working car, whether this one or a different one.

[F2-2nd-24-2359E]

Update #22 - Sick for a week
February 1, 2024
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After I thought I was better last Friday, 1/26th/2024, I was still exhausted, and I developed chest congestion that lingered for another 5 days or more.

After I had my car moved on Tuesday afternoon, 1/30th/2024, I had to take the bus in the frigid cold to sign the work order. Then I had to walk to a bus stop and wait in the frigid cold for a bus to the Hub. From there I took a different bus north to buy food and got potato chips because I had barely eaten that day. The expected bus back down to the Hub didn't come at a quarter to 6, and I was left waiting in the frigid cold for a half hour again for the following bus. It went to theTransportation Center (I sometimes call it the Hub) and I changed to the bus for my street. After only 10'-15' on the bus trip home, I began to feel nauseous (maybe from eating oily chips on an empty stomach?) and had to get off the bus at almost 7 pm and wait a half hour in the frigid cold for the bus after that one. I got home at around 7:30 pm. It took 1 h 45' to make a trip that would be 15' by car. I was exhausted, and have stayed that way.

[W1-31st-24-2331E]

Update #21 - 3rd diagnostic opinion
February 1, 2024
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On Tuesday, 1/30th/2024, I moved my car for a third diagnosis. I'm still waiting for the results.

[W1-31st-24-2311E]

Update #20 - Negative donor activity
February 1, 2024
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I'm sorry to report that the donor using the name of Karl Maasikas was engaging in suspected wrongful activity, so his $1,000 donation was refunded to him.

[W-1-31st-24-23-02E]

Update #19 - Specifically, we've raised $2,605
January 27, 2024
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I'm happy to report that as of 1/27/2024 we have together raised $2,605 in donations, which translates into net proceeds of $2,548.71 ($1,873.71 + $675 offline). Two donations from 1/20/2024 ($50 & $250) were removed due to questionable activity.

The car is still in the diagnosis phase due to electrical system complications. I'm getting more than one opinion on it, to be sure that the options are clear for whether or not to attempt a repair. The electrical system was not in my original list of repairs needed on the car.

For every person who has donated, however much or little, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your outpouring of support. God bless you,

As I move forward on this, I will have to determine whether it makes more sense to get a different car. I've already posted a Wanted ad on Freecycle.org for someone to donate to me a reliable used car.

I will advise everyone here of the various diagnosis fees incurred when they've been paid out.

[St1-27th-24-1830E]

Update #18 - Yea! We're 30% over the initial goal!
January 26, 2024
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With yesterday's $1,000 donation, we've topped the $2,000 goal and then some. This is fantastic. Now on to the diagnosis, which is still in process with more than one opinion.

[F1-26th-24-0941E]

Update #17 - Got groceries, got sick
January 26, 2024
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On Tue., 1/23/24, I was out of food, so I took the bus at about 6 pm to the grocery store. I paid for my food at about 7:15 pm, and when I went outside, I saw my bus going up the street. That was the last northbound bus for the night. I went to the southbound bus stop and waited 1 hr 10' in the frigid cold for the next bus to the Transportation Center (which came at about 8:25 pm). I had to wait about 25' (in the terminal), then at 9:05 pm I took the northbound bus, which goes up a different avenue and then over to my street going south. At about 9:25 pm I got off and walked to the post office, then walked home, still in the frigid cold, arriving at about 10 pm. Missing that 7:20 pm bus added 2 1/2 hours to my grocery trip.

At 10:40 pm I fell asleep on the bed, fully clothed., for 4 1/2 hours, till a little after 3 am..

On Wed., 1/24/24, at 6:30 am, I slept another hour, and another hour at 12:30 pm. Then at 3 pm I fell asleep for 16 1/2 hours, into Thursday morning at 10 am.

By then I had a fever. I don't remember when the coughing started. After almost 3 hours I had a small snack and a 45' tele-health consultation for something else, after which I fell asleep again for another 4 hours.

Now my day-nght schedule is out of whack, but I'm much better.

Because I could foresee this kind of problem without a car, I decided that getting my own wheels rolling under me again was top priority.

[F1-26th-24-0904E]

Update #16 - Allergies, not a cold (Zyrtec to the rescue)
January 21, 2024
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Yesterday, Sat., 1/20th/2024, I caught up on most of the sleep I lost due to getting up early, and when I woke up I had all the symptoms of a cold coming on: very runny nose, very watery eyes, and sneezing. I thought maybe I was getting sick from being out in the very cold weather that morning, getting to Norwalk and dealing with the tow truck. It occurred to me that having a cold or being otherwise ill is antithetical to coping without a car. So true, especially in frigid weather.

Then I remembered that I had gone to Dunkin' to get food before the tow truck came, and had few choices. I wound up buying avocado spread on a wheat croissant and hot chocolate that probably had cream in it. In the past I have experienced "cold" symptoms from eating wheat and dairy.

I don't normally use medicines or antihistamines, but I just happened to have recently bought Zyrtec on the recommendation of an online source that said it was the best antihistamine for allergies, especially for seniors. I took one, and very soon my symptoms began to go away. Within an hour or two my symptoms were gone and didn't return.

Amazing. Don't you just love it when you find a magic bullet?

[Sn1-21st-24-1247E]

Update #15 - Car at a different shop; in good spirits
January 21, 2024
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Yesterday morning, Sat., 1/20th/2024, I towed the car to a different auto repair shop;. The head mechanic wasn't sure he could get the car diagnosed on Monday. Let's hope it's soon and that the problem isn't overwhelming. I'm still in good spirits. I'm going to need that for the next non-car challenges that are already on me.              

"Cast down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:9)

Hymn words by Samuel Medley. Best music (hymn tune & title "Preservation") by Elder John R. Daily. First line: "Now in Thy praise, eternal King, be all my thoughts employed."

There's nothing better than a good song or hymn whose music and words help you get through a rough spot in life. Long live the placebo effect, a.k.a. belief.

[Sn1-21st-24-1227E]

Update #14 - Over 95% raised! [Rewind: $300 removed]
January 21, 2024
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[1/27/24 update: The $50 & $250 ($300) donations were removed due to donor violations of the do-not-advertise policy.]

With today's $300 in donations, we've reached $1,905 (95.25% of our initial gross donation goal). That means we are within $95 of the initial gross $2,000 goal.

Net proceeds are at $1,197.31, and with the $675 offline donation, we're at $1,872.31. In order to net $2,000, we need another $127.69 net from a gross donation amount of about $132 ($132 x 0.973 - $0.30 = net $128.14). Cf. Update #7 for more numbers (1/2/24 at 5:10 pm).

We're so close! OK, team, let's call for another $135 in donations.

Rah, rah, sis-boom-bah and all that.

[St1-20th-24-2152E]

Update #13 - Over 80% there!
January 20, 2024
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We're at $1,605 (80.25%). Let's keep pushing. Thanks to the many supporters in this team effort. [F1-19th-24-1923E]

Update #12 - Over 70% of the goal!!
January 13, 2024
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Yea! We've raised $1,405: 70.25% of the gross donation goal of $2,000. Thank you to all who are providing life support for my car. We can do this!

Update #11 - Hood cable vs wind gusts
January 13, 2024
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Over the past month, there have been two separate occasions when warmer air swept through this area bringing a day with wind gusts up to 60 mph. To keep the car hood from being opened by a strong gust of wind, the mechanic installed a cable from the hood latch area over the grill and down the front bumper (standard procedure for such weather). [F-1-12th-24-2109E]

Update #10 - Visited my car and the mechanic 1/11th/2024
January 13, 2024
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On Thu., 1/11/2024, after an afternoon doctor's appointment, I took the bus on over to Emilio's shop, snapped a photo of my car, and touched the car to keep it physically connected to me and my mind. I chatted with the secretary and the mechanic. He interestingly said trying to start the car would pop a fuse every time but he didn't know which fuse was involved. At my residence, there was silence; no clicking. Then after I had the new battery recharged, the symptoms indicated a good battery with all dashboard lights functioning, and a functioning (fluttering) solenoid not engaging the (probably bad) starter motor. The mechanic also said again that he would contact me when the car is repaired. It has been at his shop 28 days, since Dec. 15. I'm keeping all that in mind.

Update #9 - Electrician delay
January 10, 2024
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The mechanic's secretary told me 1/8/24 that the trusted electrician is out of the country & won't be back for a couple more weeks. I'm thinking about my options.

Update #8 - Dark photo from my long walk home
January 2, 2024
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On 12/10/23, I made a truncated video (ran out of phone storage) at Hope Street and Grade A while walking home from CVS pharmacy in the dark with light rain. It turned out sideways! I don't have the proper software to rotate the video, but I took a face shot from the rotated VLC version of the video. After all that work, it said it only works on the VLC playback. And I didn't see a way to save the results even on VLC. I didn't really have the time to put all that effort in for such a poor outcome. But it's done in real time and under real conditions: "It was a dark and stormy night." (Credit: Snoopy cartoons)

Update #7 - 64% Raised!
January 2, 2024
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We're at $1,280 (64% of the gross donation goal). That's great! 

The fee on a $100 donation comes out to $3.00 ($2.70 + $0.30). Fees are 2.7% + $0.30 per donation.

So far, the net amount raised is $1,260.67 ($585.67 on $605 + $675 offline). ($605 - $585.67 = $19.33 in fees)

The final $720 will cost $19.44 + $0.30 per donation, bringing the net amount raised to around $1,960, so I think I'll look for a few more donations beyond that.

Thanks to all of you who are helping materially and/or spiritually!

[Tu1-2-24-1710E]



Update #6 - Almost 60% raised
January 1, 2024
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I'm happy to report that together (with today's offline donation) we've raised $1,175 (58.75% of the gross donation goal). I took some time over the past week to read some online advice on crowdfunding, and to figure out the Facebook roadblocks I was running into.

One friend said he couldn't give very much and felt it wouldn't be of much help. But the truth is that if only 12 people gave $5 each, it would yield enough net donation to cover my oil change (with tax). And you know what happens if you don't change the dirty oil in your car engine!  So $5 multiplied by a dozen donors would help save my car's engine. That's not an insignificant thing.

Thank you to everyone who's giving in whatever way they can, whether moral support or actual dollars.

I think the car mechanic can see the numbers tomorrow and finish his electrical diagnosis.

God is blessing this campaign. 

[M1-1-24-1652E]

Update #5 - NEW: QR Code
December 29, 2023
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Here's the QR Code that can be scanned to come here to my campaign page. [F12-29-23-0206E]

Update #4 - 20% Raised!
December 29, 2023
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As of Wed., 12/27/23, together we've raised $400, which is 20% of the $2,000 goal. Thank you to all who are helping. The mechanic is looking at the electrical system. Let's hope it's a minor thing.

Update #3 - Emilio's Auto Repair F 12/15/23
December 21, 2023
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Photo of Emilio's Auto Repair, taken just after I left my car there on Friday, 12/15/2023 at 3:05 pm EST. [W12-20-23-2141E]

Update #2 Car at auto repair
December 16, 2023
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Fri., 12/15/2023 9:45 pm - I got home 15' ago by bus. I called AAA at 11:10 am, and the tow truck was supposed to get to me an hour later at 12:10 pm. However, he was 1 hr 45' late, getting to me at about 1:50 pm.

I went with the tow truck driver, and I'm glad I did! The AAA map showed the wrong place as being the address of my mechanic's shop, a different auto repair shop on the main street. AAA hasn't had time to update its maps, because my guy has only been open, his Grand Opening, for a couple of weeks. The driver would have been totally lost if I hadn't been with him. I showed him the picture of what the shop looks like. Also, the street my mechanic is on was closed for road work, so at 2:50 pm I called the mechanic, who said we had to "go around." And what an "around" it was! This was no easy "go around the city block" situation. Zig-zagging this way and that, avoiding dead end streets, the driver eventually came out on the correct street and we saw the shop. That was at almost 3 pm.

So I got to see the 3-bay garage and I met the mechanic's new secretary.

I gave him the web address of my GiveSendGo crowdfunding campaign, so he can see what I'm doing.

Since I don't yet have money for the repairs, he's going to do the diagnosis when he has time. Meanwhile, my car is sitting on his lot, stripped of all but the glovebox essentials.

First step completed! Now I can focus more on publicizing my campaign. Spread the word. Share my fundraising url: https://www.givesendgo.com/villagefixacar.

#villagefixacar

[F12-15-23-2222E]

Update #1 -F 12/15/23 Tow truck due
December 15, 2023
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Fri., 12/15/23 1:00 pm A quick update. I'm waiting for word from AAA about my tow truck, which is an hour late. I plan to ride with the tow driver and take two buses home. Thanks for your prayers!

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