Well, the Lord has decided to shake up our family again. Like health issues with Paige weren’t enough, we are again faced with unemployment. We have been down this road before, and we know that we will make it through, we are just a little more worried this time since we have high medical bills each month with Paige.
For me to explain what has happened, let me back track just a little bit. Last October we had accepted a job out of state and were planning on moving the first of this year. However, in November Paige started to get sick and we decided that moving wasn’t the best option with a sick child. Not long after we decided to stay, what we thought was a fantastic opportunity was presented to Jim. Someone he knew from business wanted to open a new shop and asked if he could come in and run it. We were told that he would have complete control to run it how he saw fit, since he has over 24 years’ experience in the industry. The plan was to eventually not only run the collision repair shop but also take over the mechanical side so the owner could retire. We had hopes that in 5-8 years we would be able to purchase the whole facility and have a business to pass on to our children.
In March Jim quit his job and started to work at this new shop. It started out ok, but we started to see how the owner wasn’t keeping his word on some things pretty quick. However, we thought the future potential was worth the sacrifices for our family and we ALL continued to pour our all into the building of the business. We all cleaned, painted and did whatever it took to get the shop ready to open. After opening we financed all the advertising, my boys washed and detailed cars, they also helped wherever was needed. I did all the social media and worked in the community to spread the word about the shop. Jim called on all his contacts from his years in the industry and we were getting a steady stream of work in.
However, not enough for the owner. His expectation was to be MAKING money in 2-3 months, which was something that was never discussed. Jim has always told him that it would take 9-12 years to actually be making money. I won’t bad mouth the owner, even though I really want to. BUT, the working conditions the past 6 weeks haven’t been good. His idea of customer service and those that Jim has are vastly different. Some of the things he asked Jim and his employees to do weren’t legal or moral. It was about this time that we started to realize this may not work out.
Two weeks ago, the owner mentioned that he was in over his head and was thinking about closing the shop. (this is just 2 months after opening) Jim contacted a few people who he thought would be interested in purchasing the shop and one of them was moving forward with making an offer. We thought we would be able to stick it out until the purchase was complete and Jim could continue on and work for the new company. But we were wrong. This past Thursday was payday and the owner shorted our paycheck by a significant amount and when questioned on it he cussed out my husband and told him he can’t afford to pay him what was agreed upon. Jim said that is fine, but that he can’t afford to work for this amount and give him his 2 weeks’ notice. I guess that was the final straw as the owner met everyone Friday morning with their last checks and locked up the shop. (including the cars in the shop in middle of repairs)
We have mixed emotions about this whole thing. We REALLY thought this was such a wonderful thing for our future and the future of our kids. We felt the Lord was keeping us in CA for this terrific opportunity. We are still kind of in shock of how it all went down and how quickly things escalated. I am very proud of Jim and for how he has handled this whole situation. I know it would have been easier to just go with the owner and cut corners on repairs and work, but he wouldn’t do that. Even at the expense of our future, he held strong to his morals and ethics.
We have been faced with unemployment before, but we haven’t had a sick child who requires about $2800 worth of medicine, treatments and therapies a month. We have also always entered unemployment with a savings account and debt free. This isn’t the case this time. As we have wiped out our savings and emergency fund to get the shop going. We have also accrued credit card debt with the startup and with Paige’s care. So, this brings on a new challenge. We NEED to find a job right away. We can’t just take our time and see what comes along.
Jim has an interview Monday morning and has several other leads on other openings. Please pray that something will work out and that he can find a job quickly. Our goal is to work in Ca for a year, pay off our debt and save some money and in fall of 2018 move to Arizona as we had planned last fall. Of course, we know what God does with our plans, so we understand that this can change at any time.
Please continue to pray for Paige. She is VERY sick lately and it is just heartbreaking to watch. The added stess of no job or income, added to what we are going through right now in Paige’s treatments is almost too much to bear. We may have to postpone her appointment that is scheduled for August 5th if Jim doesn’t have a job before then. We really don’t want to do this as she is in the middle of this aggressive treatment plan, but we may not have a choice.
Thank you all for your prayers, we appreciate them. We will continue to keep you posted as the events in our life change.
If you would like to help with Paige’s care, here are some ways to help:
How can you help:
1. PRAY!! Pray that this next month or two isn’t as bad as we are preparing for. Pray that Paige can press on and endure what is to come. Pray that we can be here as a support to her and help her through this. Pray that if nothing else, we can afford her treatments.
2. Send pictures or notes of encouragement. Paige can’t focus so much, so reading is hard. But a simple note that says, “you got this” or “way to go Paige” or “we have faith in you” are really uplifting to her. I will hang them around her room so she can see them when is in there.
3. Amazon, if you want to send something to Paige to make her smile, I have set up a list of things she needs and some wants. The needs obviously help her and will be a HUGE to help to us right now, but the wants are a small little pick me up during all of this.
- PayPal, this isn’t cheap! Her appointments, therapies and suppliments/medicine is now over $2500 a month. We CAN NOT afford this on our own. We hate asking for money, but it is needed. Without your help, we cannot treat Paige. It is as simple as that. It is only through donations and fundraisers that we continue this course of treatment for Paige.
If you have PayPal, you can send direct as a friend and we won’t be charged the 3% fee PRIDERECON@AOL.COM
If you don’t have PayPal, you can send through this link:PayPal.Me/jennifervanbreemen
5. Pray! Pray some more. For all of us. I am mentally trying to prepare myself for what is to come, but I know it will be harder than we imagine. Pray for Jim and me, that we can stay strong and be there Paige. Pray that we can keep the stress of no job to ourselves and not let it affect Paige.
- 6. Visit the fundraiser page we have set up. We always have some fun way to help Paige out. We are hopeing to go live with an auction next week and have a few fundraisers lined up for August. Check it out and share it far and wide.