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Accident Disabled Dad Seeks Grant Money For Scrap Business Expansion

by Robert Schmidt
(Spokane, WA, USA)

I am a 32-year-old male. I am married and have two stepdaughters of mixed race. My wife and I have been married for almost four years but have been together for more than five.

I worked the first 18 years of my life on my family's dairy farm. My grandfather has since passed away and the dairy business is no longer in service.

My wife and I have been running a recycling/scrap business out of our home since 2011. My wife has been trying to run the recycling business herself until I am up and able to work alongside her. She does have training in administrative assisting, business management, and accounting to run the business.

Disability Issues

On March 17, 2011, I was cutting up a vehicle for scrap. I had a friend helping me and he was supposed to empty the gas tank and fill with water.

He had to leave to run an errand with his wife and I thought he had already done the drain and fill. I went to cut the gas tank straps from the vehicle and the gas tank exploded.

I ended up burning over 54% of my body in 4th degree and above burns. I was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

I spent two months there while they did multiple surgeries to remove and reconstruct the damaged areas of my body. When they released me they said it would take years if I was ever going to get back to whole.

I am not able to fully close my right hand to fully grip tools. I cannot lift my arms above my head.

Due to excessive swelling, I am not able to stand for long periods or walk for amounts of time. I have to wear compression garments on my right hand, arm, and both legs.

Financial Hardship

We are currently living in a truck camper in my wife's dad's back yard. This is very hard with two teenage girls and all our animals. We lost the house we were renting when I had my accident and lost the steady income coming in.

My wife just recently lost her job yet again. She seems to have a hard time retaining work until we can get our business back to running full time. We just need to get the business going full time and to get property and equipment to expand the business.

We have had to try to do the recycling out of our camper and my father-in-law’s back yard. We need to be able to get property to expand out the business, preferably with living quarters for us to live on site.

Income Efforts

I do receive Social Security disability checks totaling $718 a month. My wife has been able to bring in around $200 a month off the scrapping, but spends most of that on gas to attain the materials and take them to the recycling centers.

None of our family members can help us financially at this time. My father-in-law is helping by giving us a place to park our camper and the use of some of his electricity and water.

Specific Needs

I am looking for grants or individuals willing to give us financial help to rebuild and expand our scrapping business.

We are in need of the property to run our yard, as well as additional equipment and work trucks. We have been checking into government surplus auctions to buy scrap in major bulk, but they require hook trucks and hook containers to be supplied.

We would also need drivers since these vehicles require a commercial driver’s license. On these auctions we can normally make three or more times our investment back.

Business Idea

My idea to expand our business includes bidding for contracts on government scrap properties such as fired ammunition, vehicle parts, and other such scrap properties from the United States Military and other government facilities.

In order to do this, I need to acquire property, equipment, a hook truck, and containers. I also need to employ a driver to drive the trucks to and from the sites. I am going to need additional equipment at the business site in order to process the scrap to code.

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