Last Tuesday they lost their home and Craig and his two little girls and wife headed to New Orleans. He's there now and homeless and needs our help.
My name is Craig McNeely. With my wife Emily, I publish the quarterly pulp mag Dark Corners and run the small press Double Life Press. You can see us up there with our two incredible kids.
In July of last year, the bottom dropped out on our financial situation. We were looking at losing our car and eviction after Emily's ex-husband skipped out on child support, and in the same month, the federal government decided that I was making too much money, even though I'm permanently disabled, now that I'm married, and dropped my SSI from $710 to $230. That's $1,100 we lost in a single month.
The following month, we lost our car and our cell phones, had our water and gas shut off, and were nearly evicted, if not for the assistance of a local church to keep a roof over our kids' heads. Still, we recovered. OCSE got involved and child support was reinstated, and we were able to get food stamp assistance. It's not easy for a family of four, including two small children and a husband in a wheelchair, in a rural town in America, but we were making it okay.
However, things have become far more complicated this year. In July of this year, I suffered significant health-related setbacks because of my Spina Bifida, leading to several visits with doctors, and I'm now largely wheelchair bound. Since we live in such a rural area, medical specialists can sometimes be very far away, making it essentially impossible if you do not have access to transportation.
In addition, government regulations changed again, as they do, and we lost food assistance.
So, we are looking for help. Specifically, we want assistance toward getting a car. This will help me when I require medical attention, as is so often the case when you live with something like Spina Bifida. Transportation means opportunity. It means physical therapy for myself. It means not walking or wheeling to the grocery store and only being able to buy what we can carry back home.
Anything that doesn't go toward getting transportation will provide food and clothing for our children, and mobility and therapy aides (like a fitness wheelchair or orthopedic shoes).
Early on, I mentioned our magazine and press. Yes, Emily and I are book people. I suspect that's how many of you know us. Well, we are putting together a benefit anthology full of great and fun stories by many of the best writers I've ever known: James Reasoner, Stephen Mertz, Les Edgerton, Will Viharo. Ryan Sayles, Eric Beetner and more, with cover art by Chuck Regan.
Every contributor to this campaign will receive a digital copy of the anthology at the beginning of October. Also, if you would rather just purchase a paperback of the anthology, you can wait for its release and support us that way. Either way, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and generosity.
If books or cash donations are not your thing, Emily runs a small Etsy store with handcrafted textile art pieces with a geeky twist. Head over there, check it out, and any purchases you make will also go toward our campaign.
Once again, thank you for all of your help.