Thank You

Last night I got a text message from my mom that simply read “Grandma cooking.”
I understood that this was not an invitation but a declaration, and so I rearranged my
plans to go to her house. As I got closer to my grandma’s house, I saw the new gated
townhouse and the condos and started to get that panicked feeling, that all too familiar
feeling of we are not wanted here. Started thinking about how gated communities with
new neighbors could mean even greater police presence and how that will impact the
safety of long term residents. But I walked in, saw my family gathered at that table, sat
down on that familiar couch, and relaxed. For a moment I almost started to cry and I
couldn’t quite figure out why.

Then I realized that my family had almost lost this house where so many memories
have been made. I own this house now and that is possible only because of the support
I received from my family, friends, and extended community. We did this together. In
44 days – with 208 individual donors, over 400 people participating in events endless
amounts of hope, and a belief in interdependence – I received over $32,0000. That was
enough to pay off the balance of the house and cover some of the initial loan I took out. I
have paid the sheriff’s office and I am just waiting to receive the deed.

I feel pretty sure that it will take a long time for the magnitude of what we accomplished
to hit me. Saving my grandma’s home was such a monumental task that I didn’t afford
myself many opportunities to actually feel what was happening. I was worried that if I
spent too long thinking about it that I might start to believe that it was impossible. That if
I started to let myself feel anything I would start to feel everything, and I was working on
a deadline.

So much of life under capitalism is like that. Making us feel like sometimes you gotta
go a little numb to get through the hard times and then deal with the feelings when and
if there ever feels like there is space. But then the space never comes because there is
always another crisis. What I can feel is an incredible amount of relief that my grandma
gets to stay in her home and a huge amount of thanks to the community that made that
possible.

I want to say thank you for having my back even if you don’t personally don’t know me.
Thank you for being the kind of folks and community who respond quickly. Thank you for mobilizing networks, thank you for asking your aunties, thank you for asking for donations in lieu of birthday presents, in lieu of holiday presents. Thanks for flipping pancakes. Thank you for donating art. Thanks for donating space. Thanks for donating time. Thank you for donating your decorating prowess. Thanks for donating food. Thanks for alerting the media. Thank you for party planning. I am thankful for dance parties, DJs, and brothers who are always down to MC. Thanks for bartending, watching movies, discussing the complexities of gentrification, thanks for encouragement from across oceans. Thanks for offering access to your bail funds and settlements. Thanks for offering to gift things from your home to people to donate. I am thankful for queer community. Thanks for baking. Thanks for being a stress-free place to come home to. Thanks for talking me into fighting as I sat in a closet and you were in another state. Thanks for being bold enough to believe that this was doable.

With gratitude that reverberates across generations,
Kim

P.S. Thanks to these organizations, artists, and practitioners :

Vix emporium
Corrina Dross Artwork
PJ Roane Photography
Irit Reinheimer Pottery
Inja Coates Massage
Media Mobilizing Project
The Beaumont Warehouse
DJ Phsh
Reclaim Printshop
The A-space
The Rotunda
The Philly Collaborative for Reproductive Justice and Support
Philly Stands Up

Grub for Granny’s: Brunch Fundraiser to save Kim’s Granny’s house from foreclosure!

Sunday Jan 15, 11am-3pm
Pancake Brunch (view flyer)
(with vegan and non-vegan pancakes and virgin mimosas)

Please come at any time during the event.

Media Mobilizing Project Offices
4233 Chestnut St. Philadelphia
$10 for adults, $3 for children, $2 mimosas (virgin)

$3 raffle tickets (7 for $20)
There will be a number of great raffle items!
This event is family friendly!

RSVP not required but if you have a chance let us know if you are coming
lundenabelson@gmail.com

over market street and through the city
to granny’s house we go
Letʼs work together, to save grannyʼs house
from foreclosure!
See you there

Ghostbusters/Attack the Block Double Feature

Ever wonder what happens when a Sumerian god shows up in Manhattan in the 80’s? Who would win in a showdown between inner city British kids and alien invaders?

Come join me at the Rotunda to watch the city battle it out with the supernatural and extraterrestrial.

Popcorn,cotton candy, soda, and specialty drinks will be served.Doors open at 5:30pm and Ghostbusters will start at 6pm

Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go toward preventing the foreclosure of my grandma’s home. More info at:http://lolashouse.chipin.com/preventingforeclosure.

Please check out other events happening at the rotunda at TheRotunda.org .

Update about My Grandma’s House: A Community Success

Hey Everyone,

In this season where many of us come together to celebrate miracles, the spirit of hope , the resilience of community, and the presence/return of the light when we are seemingly in our darkest hours I feel blessed to count you among my extended family and community.  I appreciate everyone who has donated, passed the message along, and has been keeping me and my family in your prayers and thoughts. I wanted to let y’all know that through our collective efforts we have already raised $9,107. That’s 28% of the goal of $32,000 with six weeks left to go!

I am feeling really hopeful about the possibility of reaching my goal by February 3rd and feel buoyed by the messages of solidarity from friends and strangers. In order to stay on track my goal is to have raised $11,000 by 01/01/2012. So if you were thinking about donating but it slipped your mind or meant to forward the email but got sidetracked by life now is a great time to take that opportunity. Here is the link to the Chipin page:

http://lolashouse.chipin.com/preventingforeclosure or mail checks to

Kimberly Murray
1004 South 49th Street
Philadelphia,PA 19143

Me and on the ground crew in Philly and our Oakland satellite have been brainstorming additional fund raising ideas. On this website soon you’ll soon be able to get information about upcoming fundraisers including: bi-coastal dance parties, yoga classes, hot chocolate socials, and pancake brunches.  I will let you know when that’s up and running.

Love,

Kim

Fundraising Update

Hey All,

Thank you so much for the outpouring of community support from far and wide. Chipin does not allow me to add donations that I received offline so we set up this website so you can track progress. We are actually at $7,002 which is over 20 percent.

Help Save Grandma’s House

For the past two weeks I have been trying to save my grandma’s house from foreclosure. As a last resort, on December 6th, I went to the sheriff’s sale and put a down payment on her house and I have 60 days from the date of purchase to raise the remainder of the money: $32,000. While making this appeal in some ways places me in a vulnerable position, I am stepping out on faith to make it because I know that faith requires personal action. This email is an appeal to harness our collective resources so that I can raise the rest of the money that I need to ensure that my grandmother is not evicted.

Historically, My grandma Leola’s neighborhood is a working class Black community,
made up of families that moved to Philadelphia seeking economic opportunities and
fleeing the domestic terrorism of the Jim Crow South. My great grandfather is a part of that migration. Currently the neighborhood is being gentrified in the form of land grabs by developers and as a community we are once again facing displacement due to institutionalized oppression.

My grandma has lived in her house for 42 years and raised six children there. Many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, myself included, have lived there for periods of time. My grandma’s house is really the center of our family life and my Grandma and Pop Pop worked hard to get it and keep it. She is the bedrock of our family. She has never missed an important moment in my life and has been a solid backer, a constant friend, and a role model.

While this struggle/tragedy/potential foreclosure has been really hard to deal with, I feel hopeful that we can win, because for the first time in a long time there are mainstream conversations about the re-distribution of wealth, about bank greed, about the need to organize collectively for our collective survival. We are seeing the coming together of strangers to fight back against foreclosures and assert that housing is human right. Many people are coming to understand what many of us have always known: we are more powerful than systems of oppressions and we survive and thrive because of each other.

My family I will be hustling up funds and hosting fundraisers in Philly, but I am afraid that our efforts alone will not be enough to raise such a large amount of money in a short amount of time. This is where you come in. I am asking folks to donate any amount that they can to help keep this house in my family and ensure that my family is not uprooted.

So please consider giving:

1. no one deserves to be kicked out of their home
2. because community is powerful, more powerful than wall street.
3. one win gives us all hope for more, and fuel to keep on keeping on

Thanks you all for taking the time to read this.

In the spirit of hope,

Kim