Originally posted on Facebook:
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 – 11:45 a.m.
Last updated Tuesday, November 19, 2019 – 11 a.m.
So… those of you who are super-close to me know how bummed I am that sale of my family farm in Napa fell through a few weeks ago.
I am more than $300,000 in debt because of the attacks on my advocacy work over the past 3-1/2 years (It’s nearly four years since all of this started now actually!) In addition to funds still owed directly to my legal team members, most of this debt is owed to family and friends [and some to some generous grateful clients/families I have helped — and even a few complete strangers who have been incredibly generous and offered to help me when they read about my illegal arrest on false charges and what my family has been through during this period! ]
In response to these attacks (which seem to have stopped for the time being, knock on wood) we are suing the State of Oregon (and other specific named parties and entities) in Federal court for over $10,000,000 in damages for 6 separate counts of civil rights violations against me over the course of this ordeal. The full lawsuit can be read at the link on the bottom of this post.
Unfortunately this lawsuit seeking restitution for the costs incurred, lost income (and other damages) might take 2 (or more!) years to wind its way through the courts. I just found out last month that just the “discovery” process for the lawsuit has a time-line of “through August 2020″…
Because so many people have made personal sacrifices to help me, I was really excited that I would be able to pay everyone back “early” (long before receiving any restitution from the suit against the State) with the sale of my family farm in Napa – which was scheduled to close escrow in December.
While it was heartbreaking to think that I would have to spend nearly my entire inheritance on the costs of this legal battle (money I would have otherwise spent on things like fixing my home, paying down my mortgage, taking a family vacation – per mom’s wishes!, and getting the kids some things they have needed for years – including occupational therapy and dental work and appropriate shoes for everyone!) – I knew I would eventually recover these funds with the proceeds from the lawsuit against the State. I also know Mom would have felt that using my inheritance to help cover the costs to prove my innocence against these unprovoked attacks – and to make sure justice was served – was a good use of everything she worked so hard for.
Up until last month when the escrow fell through, with the anticipated December 2019 close date for the farm I was also excited that I would be getting a small amount of money (my share of the buyer’s scheduled release of earnest money) early – in time to have a decent celebration (with my family) for my 50th birthday (later this month.) My regular readers know how much we truly need a family vacation after nearly 4 years of this chaos!
Instead – since escrow for the sale of the farm fell through last month (October 2019), there’s no 50th birthday celebration in the cards [but my husband spent several days building me some really nice shelves for my storage shed as my gift this year – to help me organize all the stuff y’all send me for testing!], and – of greater importance – the funds to pay friends back for their support need to come from somewhere else.
Tamara, what’s your new plan?
How are you going to pay people back?
Most folks who have helped have loaned $1,000 or $2,500 or $5,000 or thereabouts. Many of these people are also low-income parents of Lead-poisoned children — and their support of seeing justice served in my case has also meant a significant personal sacrifice for their families.
If – in short order – I can raise *just* $50,000, that will be enough to pay off most of these smaller loans – and also pay the outstanding bills for some of the key experts working on my legal case.
So.. last night (11/4/19 – just over two weeks away from my birthday of 11/20) I decided to set a really ambitious goal: to raise $50,000 (in income and pledges for future work) for my 50th birthday. This would be the best birthday present I can possibly give myself — repaying so many of the people who have helped me through this ongoing ordeal. To this end I am working on filling my 2020 “dance card” with home visits and outreach events NOW (in November – by the deadline of November 30th) for January 2020 and April 2020 (see calendars below- April is at the bottom of the post – and continue reading below the images).
- If I can book just NINE (9) outreach event days now for next year (at $5,500 for a 1/2 day to $7,500 for a full day of events), I will have that $50,000 – OR….
- If I can just book 56 private consultations for next year (at $900 each), I will have that $50,000 – OR…
- …how about a mid-point…. booking 5 outreach events and 25 home consultations for 2020 – to strike a nice balance!
….So… if you want to help me meet this goal, and help me have something to celebrate for my 50th-birthday(!), please help me book some home consults (pay for yours in advance for next year, if you were already planning on having me come? or refer me to a friend who might benefit from having some time working with me one-on-one?) or help me connect with your local health department or environmentally-focused nonprofit to book an outreach event in your community for 2020?
I am hopeful that with a community of 1,603,065 readers (that’s how many unique readers I have had on my blog in the last 12 months alone as of 11/15!) in 200+ countries – together we should be able to make this happen!
Continue reading below the image
(or click the image to read the latest stats of of 11/10!)
Please think outside the box… I am seriously open to traveling anywhere in the world for outreach events / home visits/ educating communities (and community leaders) & helping families! [In fact, as of today – 11/15/2019 update – I am talking to groups of parents in New Zealand and Israel about having a month of #LeadSafeMama outreach events in those countries – so if you live in either of those locations please connect with me about joining those conversations!]
In the interest of my family’s well-being, I am trying to limit my travel each year to January, April, and October (so I can preserve as much time with the kids and my husband as possible), but I can also be flexible and make exceptions to that if necessary. Since I originally wrote this post, folks from the following cities, states and countries have expressed an interest in working with me this coming year, so please let me know if you are also in one of these areas: Australia, New Zealand, Israel, London, Washington State, Washington, D.C., Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York City and Los Angeles.
Each day of this month – until the end of the month – I will share the total raised from this moment (Tuesday 11/5 at noon) on a pinned post (in the Lead (Pb) Group on Facebook) — also listing the amount left to raise towards this goal (see image above for the latest update.) Of course, contributions (donations not tied to a home visit or event) are always welcome – but I love my work and I love helping families directly and I love doing outreach events and I like earning my money… so this is not a request for donations, but more a request for your support in finding me enough work that I can cover my legal battle costs regardless of the timeline for our lawsuit against the State (or the eventual sale of the farm in Napa.)
What if I don’t raise the $50,000? – Plan C for 2020…
Alternately, if anyone can help me find a low interest two or three-year business loan for $50,000 or $100,000, that would be excellent.
Last I checked with my bookkeeper, my gross business income in 2019 was on track to be about $120,000. This means that 2019 could possibly close out with more than twice my gross business income of 2018 (which was about $59,000). With so many exciting things in the works I also expect to at least double Lead Safe Mama, LLC’s gross income again in 2020! It seems to me like the demonstrated track record (reinforced by my increased and sustained social media traffic over the past 12 months) should indicate that I have a fundable business venture for some philanthropically minded entity or individual out there! [I have not been able to find a business loan through any conventional channels because the legal battle has also caused my personal credit to be destroyed.]
Outside of the fact that I have had excessive expenses related to my legal case – which has caused my business, Lead Safe Mama, LLC to not be profitable to this point yet – my business is otherwise doing really well now and I expect 2020 to finally be profitable (especially since the hemorrhaging of legal-case related fees has stopped!)
Click here to see the latest stats for this website – which only represents a portion of the impact of this work, but – again – includes reaching about 1.6 MILLION unique people in more than 200 countries in the past 12 months alone!
Thank you for your ongoing support of this work. I look forward to any referrals or ideas you may have!