Thursday, October 07, 2010
When a sister exhibited behavior that wasn't consistent with raising two young boys, the system decided they had no choice but to step in.
While I am no fan of ham-fisted government intervention, in this case, it probably saved one of their lives.
There was really little choice for Joe. He is the brother of the boy's mom and unless he took legal custody of the boys, they would have been split up and sent to foster families.
Joe Singleterry was raised to a higher calling that day. He did what he had to do and took the boys as his own. It probably saved one of their lives.
But despite their poverty, they are happy.
The boys are now 17 and 10. Tommy is the oldest and a Junior at Reagan High School while Sergio attends an elementary school in the area. Tommy has another reason to be hopeful aside from being with his brother and a man who loves them like his own.
Tommy was diagnosed with acinic cell carcinoma shortly after coming to live with his Uncle. The disease has been present for quite some time but because he wasn't being cared for properly, the cancer was allowed to spread way past the point it should have been.
Due to his Uncle's care, Tommy is now in remission and while this specific and rare cancer has less than glittering prognosis, Tommy should be able to live a full life.
Tommy is a scholastic star. When a teacher recommended that we visit the family to qualify them for a HeliOS Project computer, we not only found a family that met the criteria, we found a 17 year old young man that was pulling straight A's in advanced placement Science and mathematic courses. We found a young man with goals and dreams...
Not his head wrapped around an Ipod and wearing his pants to the point of almost falling off.
They were thrilled and Tommy now has the machine to do the work he needs to do. I got the Windows-specific software he needed to run under Wine.
But in less than 2 weeks, I got a call from Joe Singleterry.
The door to their Northeast side apartment had been shattered, ripping the framing from the wall and thieves took everything of value in the home. There is no doubt in my mind that it was gang activity. The 200 unit low income apartment complex literally stacks people on top and next to each other. There is less than 10 feet between the outer doors. it doesn't take a sharp ear to hear what is going on beside or above you.
Violently ripping a door from it's frame at 2 PM should have notified someone of something going very wrong...
But then again, when you are afraid of gang members and know they did something like this...you tend to keep your mouth shut and bullet holes from appearing in your body.
Joe didn't ask us to give him another computer. He wanted to know if we would sell him one on payments.
I refused to do it.
Skip Guenter built another machine for Joe and his kids and I delivered it today. While it wasn't quite as powerful as the previous one, it came with a wide screen monitor and sub woofer 2.1 sound system.
Their TV was stolen as well and they will be able to use their computer for entertainment until they can get another television.
We have a couple of problems though. Joe isn't able to afford Internet for his home but Tommy...the straight A advanced placement student came up with a solution.
He will get a job working 4 nights a week from 6 pm until midnight to pay for it. That means he will have to do his homework in the wee hours before he goes to bed.
Now I know we live in a tough world...I know life sucks at times, but for the love of Jove...
Sometimes others need to step in.
If you are interested in helping me get these folks a year's Internet connection, let me know via email...helios at fixedbylinux dott kom. We're also looking for a TV card that will work well in Linux. If possible, we could use some local help in setting up a mythTV box. This way, the computer can replace a television.
We will help Joe directly. We will supply you his address so you can help him. There are other ways to get him and his kids help as well if you cannot send a check or money order. A friend has allowed her paypal email address to be used if you prefer. Email me for details. However, direct mail insures no middle man but straight to him. I will see to it that the service is ordered and payed for...for the entire year. We will post pictures and possible video when we present him with the money.
Personally, I think Tommy should be spending his weeknights studying....not working at a pizza joint so his family can afford an Internet connection and an alarm system for his home.
Skip Guenter and I will pledge 100.00 right now.
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 10:54 AM