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Grant Funding For Wife With MS To Enjoy Debt Free Golden Years With Husband

by Julie Scott
(Worcester, MA, USA)

I am a 62-year-old female living with my 75-year-old husband in a ranch-style home. We did modify the house over the years to accommodate our needs.

We raised two boys here and hope to stay for a while longer. The boys are grown and the youngest is in graduate school. His brother chose a less educational route. After living here for 20 years, we still love everything about it.

Disability Issues

Multiple sclerosis (MS) overtook my life more than a dozen years ago with unexplained dizziness, double vision, sensitivity to extremes of heat and cold, as well as frequent pins and needles.

Within three years I began working from home using my certificates in bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation. I obtained disability status early on and was given a bit of SSDI with Medicare.

The desire to work is stronger than my desire to be MS disabled. I still have my teaching skills and my Master's in Communications, so I made the decision to write with a focus on personal finance.

Mentoring others fell into the greater scheme of things and I also learned how to make ugly little websites.

Financial Hardship

We just reinstated our mortgage after a pre-foreclosure experience. With loans from everywhere (family, friends, banks, credit unions, etc.), we JUST brought the mortgage current. Unfortunately, we don't have any money left and owe money to everyone from everywhere.

Our lender wanted a May 1, 2013 monthly mortgage payment. We have the house payment and two small loans from the credit union that we would like to dissolve ($13,212). My now sporadic writing income and my husband's part-time job income need to pay delinquent utilities and chip away at the other loans.

My desire for an electric portable scooter has been a back-burner item for quite awhile. It won't matter if I stay homebound for a while longer. We need to resolve our household debt so my husband can enjoy his golden years while he still has the spirit to do so.

Income Efforts

Since I covered this as part of my dissertation above, I'll be brief:

1. We are making our third attempt at a loan modification with our lender.

2. After he was forcibly retired ten years ago, my husband found a part-time job to earn extra money. Our lender contends that we make "too much money" to qualify for a lower mortgage payment. Yeah, right.

3. I wrote several books and self-published them. I am still writing freelance for anyone who approaches me. I have a good reputation and I try to relieve the stress factor by keeping my work load light.

4. Over the years, I have approached various organizations for writers with my requests for grants and free money. We got help replacing our hot water heater from one request, but not so lucky with other requests. Self-published writers are not seen as equals with published writers in the writing world.

Specific Needs

We need some money or a source that will pay off the two bank loans and one month of mortgage payment I mentioned above. The other $6,000 we might be able to handle - by the skin of our teeth.

Our fear is that the IRS might require that we pay income taxes on any money we receive. It is unclear what the answer to this dilemma might be. If anyone knows, please tell us.

Business Ideas

I have a website where I write on freelance writing topics for beginners. It is my dream to learn to put together salable, small websites instead of pathetic, ugly ones that sell for less. The courses are online, but they are still beyond my pocketbook.

I also have given some thought to becoming a certified grant writer. With many non-profits and universities in my city, there are opportunities for someone like that to turn a profit while doing a good deed. It might as well be me.

MS runs in my family and I would like to be in a situation to help others stand on their own two feet with dignity and a sense of purpose. Right now, I am limited in how I can help. I'd like to explore this further, but I need to keep writing right now.

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May 18, 2013
Computer donation
by: Don from Accessible.org

Hi Julie,

Last year, one of our contributors needed a laptop to replace his failing unit. I put out a call to friends on Facebook. Someone from South Africa responded and managed to get it across the ocean to our friend in need in the States.

Feel free to post a request on our FB page similar to your comment here and I will share it.

I hope this helps a bit!

Don from Accessible.org

May 17, 2013
A plan on paper
by: Julie


I have spoken to you about my sister who also has MS. She lost some of her work hours at a particularly grueling job, which is better for her health but not for her wallet. However, I'm thinking that this could work in favor of both of us.

I really could use clerical help so that I can write more and file less. She has strong clerical skills and I can trust her. If I could fund a small workstation with an inexpensive HP Laptop, pay off two business-related loans and I could afford 8 hours of her time - although she lost 10 hours from her job.

The money (grant) required to cover this and pay for her services, which will be freelance so I only need to issue a 1099-MISC at the end of the year, is $8747.46 total.

Your direction and advice would be greatly appreciated at this point. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Julie Scott

May 12, 2013
by: Julie

Thanks Don,

I have all the work I can possibly handle - and some waiting in the wings. Everything I make pays some of the bills along with my little SSDI. Actually, it's smaller than 'little' and I am doing everything I know how to help us out of this sinkhole.

Most of the grants for writers make the applicant prove a lifetime body of work, which I don't have because I self-publish my work. I don't even have the time to update the first book I co-authored four or five years ago because I can't spare the time to go without income.

I want to thank you for your help so far and hope something pops up in our direction soon. In my naive opinion, it may need to come from foundations or philanthropic individuals rather than government grants and sponsorships.

Keep those thoughts coming. One of them is likely to be a game-changer.

Julie Scott

May 12, 2013
by: Don from Accessible.org

Hi Julie,

You've got excellent writing skills. This can be quite an advantage for anyone wanting to make a bit of extra money operating an online business from home.

A major player on the Internet offers a sponsorship whereby they provide you with all the tools and services you need to build a successful online business. This is all at no cost to you except for your own time. Learn more here:


A key part of the services you get for free is a market research tool that allows you to find out where the demand is for whatever you're passionate about.

If you decide to apply for the sponsorship, be very thorough in completing the application questionnaire.

Let us know if you have any questions, okay?

All the best!
Don from Accessible.org

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