Friday was an historic day. For Jocelyn Voltaire anyway. At 11am yesterday, Ms. Voltaire was scheduled to lose her home in Queens Village - just miles from where the final Presidential debates were held just one night prior, in Hempstead, NY. The home she'd lived in for the past 20 years... The home where she raised her four children...The home in which she worked three jobs and on which she put a VERY REAL US$55,000.00 down-payment - over 20 years ago. In 2007, her mortgage payments skyrocketed from a manageable US$850 a month, to over US$2,000 - literally overnight - when her lending company - Litton Loan Service - sold out to Goldman Sachs. In spite of her oldest son, - a marine soldier - sending her money to help, she was simply unable to keep up.
And, like thousands to come, Jocelyne watched in horror as her home was put on the auction block. Thanks to the amazing video clip by American News Project, Code Pink & Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman brought Jocelyn's plight to attention.
At 9:05 am EST, CODEPINK sent out an urgent call to our their email list. AND, jaws dropped when they saw the response. Donations of $5... $25... $500... even $1,000! Within an hour, they'd raised over $10,000! And the money kept pouring in, along with beautiful messages of support.
Jocelyne was moved to tears. And the mortgage bankers, with CODEPINK's immediate promise of $15,000 at 11am, were "moved" to stop the auction - JUST IN TIME.
We The People, did it!!! While Our government has PILFERED billions of Our tax dollars to bail out the super-wealthy, We came together to bail out one desperate mother. Thanks to The People - in one day - raising over $30,000 from 650 donors, We showered Jocelyne the true American spirit - love and compassion. We modeled exactly what We wanted Our government to do - bail out FAMILIES facing personal disaster, not FINANCIERS!
However, Jocelyne still faces enormous hurdles - both financial and emotional. She must pull herself out of a deep depression from the recent loss of her eldest son. She has to recover her health so she can start working again. She has to fix up her home so she can get renters to augment her income. And, she still has to renegotiate her loan and make monthly mortgage payments.
BUT, thanks to The People, Jocelyne now has a second chance. CODEPINK found a wonderful pro-bono lawyer to help Jocelyne battle the predatory lenders and re-structure her loan. And, after wiring the mortgage company $15,000, CODEPINK will use the funds that keep coming in to help Jocelyne make her monthly payments and get back on her feet.
Jocelyne is feeling exhausted, but renewed. She is ready to unpack the boxes she has been living out of for the past year. She now feels surrounded by people who want to lift her up, not toss her out. More importantly, she wants to use her experience to help others. How's that for a renewed faith in humanity?
At the press conference CODEPINK held on the courthouse steps - surrounded by dozens of cameras - Jocelyne said, "To all of you facing similar disasters, don't be silent, don't be ashamed. Step forward and call out for help. That's what I did, and a miracle happened. These angels came to help me. We all have to pull together and help each other."
You are those angels and CODEPINK members are in awe of the generosity, the compassion, the willingness of people to REALLY stand up for Main Street Americans. Now, they're asking us to PULL TOGETHER in the coming months, as Jocelyne asked us to do, and to move Our government to do the same... BAIL OUT MAIN STREET, NOT WALL STREET!
Thanks for making miracles happen. Here's to Jocelyne, to you and to S-O-L-I-D-A-R-I-T-Y!
Send messages to these CODEPINK members: Dana, Deidra, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Medea, Nancy & RaeP.S. Jocelyne still needs all the help she can get. If you have not yet donated and are moved to do so, click here.
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!