Saturday, September 4, 2010

Your Generosity and Some Thoughts from Erika

Photo by Erika of Ivory Hut
I spoke to Erika for the first time since the fire on Thursday afternoon. After the initial relief of hearing her voice, I told her about the money you all had raised for her in the past 24 hours. Her response was, “Whaaaaaaat?” Then silence. She couldn’t believe it; couldn’t quite wrap her head around the magnitude of your generosity and love. “Do you want me relay a message to the blogging community on the Friends of IvoryHut website?” I asked. “Mags, I don’t know what to say” she said. “Thank you isn’t enough.” I replied, “You don’t have to say anything at all, but if you do – it doesn’t have to be anything fantastic or profound. No one expects that.” She paused for a moment, “No, it’s not that I’m worried about saying the right thing, I’m just afraid I can’t put a coherent sentence together.” But it’s been a few days since our first phone call and she’s had a moment to process her thoughts and feelings.

Last night Erika wrote an e-mail to Alice and me. To say it was beautiful, insightful and selfless is an understatement, but that’s Erika. I wanted to share with you a short excerpt:

“Some people used to label bloggers as self-absorbed because we mostly write about our own lives. I tell those people now that nothing could be further from the truth. And I want to thank every single person who, in the last few days, has warmly embraced me and my family and made me proud to count myself a part of this incredible community. You have built us up in more ways than I can express. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” - Erika

I have spoken to Erika several times over the last few days and she has sounded stronger, more upbeat and positive with each call. They are staying at a hotel and will be moved into temporary housing next week. I also wanted to tell you that I transferred the first of your funds to Erika last night so they will now have nearly instant access to that cash – what a blessing.

As Alice said in her last post, our goal is to reach $10,000 by the one week mark (Wednesday,September 8) at which point we will end this initial fundraising campaign. Although Erika and Tom have homeowner’s insurance, this will not cover their living expenses in the coming months while they piece their lives back together. As mentioned, Erika earns much of her income through freelance writing and photography, which will be difficult, particularly as her prized Canon 5D MarkII and brand new MacBook Pro (and the irreplaceable files on them) were lost in the fire. Their living costs will remain the same (if not higher than before) despite the decrease in income, so please consider a donation. We’ve had nearly 300 donations ranging from $2 to $500 and we are equally grateful for each donation, no matter the size.

Thank you for your continued support – in so many ways. We are amazed, yet not surprised at your incredibly generosity. In addition to monetary donations, please keep Erika and her family in your prayers.

With Thanks,

Maggy and Alice


  1. Thank You for writing this piece and keeping us up to date in Erika and her family. I am also proud to be a part of this community.

  2. I just checked my feed and am just finding out about this tragedy. I'm so glad she is safe, and will be praying for her and her family. Thank you for setting up this site to keep everyone posted and giving us a way to give what we can. Thank you.

  3. Thank you, Maggy and Alice, for keeping use in the loop and working to keep all of this organized. I'm sure this will be a slow process for Erika and her family, with many ups and downs, but her positive spirit is bound to get them through this on the other side. Please tell her there are so many people thinking of her and her family.

  4. I am encouraged from your update posts and tweets regarding Erika and her family. Thank you for keeping us all informed. She is a very gracious woman and I am inspired by her strength of spirit. I am honoured and humbled to be part of this community that is so quickly at the ready whenever the need arises.