BENEFITING: BRIDGES TO AMERICA INC
EVENT DATE: Sep 15, 2012
Joachim Fayani, his good wife and seven children are my heroes. This is the first family we reunited some eight years ago--well before officially starting Bridges To America. After raising the nearly $10,000 we needed to get his six children and wife here safely to live with him back in 2004 all Joachim could ever say to me was how indebted he was to me. And I would always tell him how he inspired me to be grateful for what I have in this country: family, opportunity, freedom, and peace. I truly have been and still am so grateful for Joachim being such a genuinely good man.
Back in 2004 Bridges To America was just a twinkle in my eye I wish that I could have given Joachim and his family more of a financial kick-start but we simply were too young as an organization. We are tying to do that now for the new families we help but the Fayanis, as our first family, are so deserving of help now. Here's why:
Joachim, despite having a serious chronic illness from his life in Africa in addition to a bad back has worked hard cleaning pools day in and day out for years in California. Despite his amazingly positive attitude and hard work ethic this is a job where it will always be difficult to make ends meet as his income level hovers below the US poverty level for a family his size.
Joachim earned his GED in the past few years and hopes to enroll in college at some point to keep learning. His two oldest daughters, Deborah and Lydia, are currently attending college and doing their best to make ends meet. His other kids are great examples as they follow their's father's footsteps and work hard at school.
I sat down with Joachim recently to review his debts and monthly expenses. I have called his creditors and tried to negotiate the best rate of interest available to him. The charges on his cards are for basic necessities: gas, mobile phone, groceries, etc. I was amazed to learn that his credit score is over 700! He has been very responsible with his credit. Additionally, his family always plants a garden in their yard to help minimize food costs.
I will support Joachim and his family because they are solid, good people. To be clear, Joachim did NOT ask me for help. Everytime I ask him how he is he ALWAYS says "very good." For some reason recently I probed more deeply beyond the standard "very good" reply and discovered that things are not as good as we all wish for him, including Joachim himself. I then decided to find some way to help him. He has done a remarkable job of caring for his 7 kids with very little education in a very weak economy. But he is sick, tired, and overwhelmed.
I promise every family that Bridges To America helps that we will do all we can to help them. It is past time for me to keep that promise to the Fayani Family. I invite you to join me. Every little bit helps.