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Accident Disabled Kristie Seeks Grant Money For Jewelry Making Business

by Kristie Touchet
(Winnie, Texas, USA)

My name is Kristie. I am a 37-year-old very busy single mother of two very athletic and active high school aged teenage boys.

We live in my mother's rent house that we share with our blue healer and golden lab.

In my spare time while the boys are in school I cook, clean and do laundry.

When school is out I put on my chauffeur cap and get everyone to practices, games or running around picking up or taking home friends of theirs or gathering equipment before games or practices.

Disability Issues

I am disabled and have been on Social Security since 2006 when at age 29 I was thrown from a vehicle in a catastrophic accident.

After rolling 10 or more times, I received massive life threatening injuries and was life-flighted to the hospital. I remained in a coma for several months.

I received surgeries to repair all the broken bones, (back, neck, collar, wrist, pinkie, ribs, mandible and lost five teeth) and internal organs (liver, spleen, punctured lungs). I also sustained traumatic brain injury.

I had to have extensive rehab to learn to do everything all over again including how to walk, talk, dress, feed myself, etc.

With the grace of God and a very close, loving and caring family and friends I have made a remarkable recovery over the years.

I still have cognitive issues. I have lost a lot of precious memories and I walk with a gated stride referred to as "the drunk man's syndrome," but I am truly grateful to be alive and strive to improve daily.

Financial Hardship

I was very fortunate to come home from the hospital without any medications and have never had seizures, which was expected, or other serious side effects to require any prescription medications.

The costs of such on top of utilities, gas, vehicle maintenance and groceries alone would be overwhelming. And of course there are the never-ending routine monthly overdraft fees, which I seem to always have.

With two teenage boys in high school and every sport imaginable it is hard to keep up with clothing them as fast as they grow. Not to mention sports equipment, shoes and uniforms.

Without child support, which has not always been there but fortunately is now, and the continued support of family, I do not see how most people on Disability make it on what little we receive.

Trying to live on Social Security alone would be impossible, as I have discovered in prior attempts, if I had to pay for housing also.

We are living in a house my mother owns and had invested in for rental income. I cannot afford rent so she allows us to live there rent-free but it has caused her to have that loss of income.

Now we are behind on taxes and are about to lose our home. A sale date has been set and we have three weeks to come up with the money.

Income Efforts

I have tried to work from home on the computer with different survey companies, all to no avail.

I have even signed up to take classes to further my education.

I took a job at an entertainment complex and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the social interaction and the entertainment as well. The pay was minimal but it was enough to make my benefits be decreased and did not weigh out in the long run. I decided to quit after two years.

I am currently doing my therapy and crafts combined by making jewelry, crosses, signs and accessories. I tried to set up a booth at the local flea market this past weekend with a friend.

I was not pleased with the location and did not get much traffic and had no luck in selling a single piece. A friend has said that she will help me build a website but that has not materialized as of yet.

Specific Needs

I am not aware of all of the different benefits there are available for me.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance with benefits or grants available that I may qualify for.

I'm interested also in any possibilities of getting me and my boys into a home or helping my mother save the home that we are currently in.

Business Idea

I would love to start a business, making jewelry and arts and crafts. It would be something to do with all the time on my hands while my boys are in school, in between practices and games also.

I am not used to not being able to work, but am not able to. I have been given a lot of materials to use towards making jewelry as well as some tools and containers to keep them sorted.

However, I could use some items that I have already used up and others that would make more styles and tools to advance my learning process.

If we are able to keep the home that we live in, it already has a vacant concrete slab on the property right next to our house that would be ideal for a shop.

It is in a commercial area and would be better than having to depend on Internet sales or having to pay for a place to set up at a flea market and being disappointed with the end results.

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