I’ve written this letter at least 100 times. I know you are probably wondering why you don’t have it given the number of times mentioned, but the truth is I’ve only written it in my head. I do my best daydreaming, thinking and “writing” while driving. And then forget everything I said/wrote once I get to my destination – much like walking into a room for something and having to go all the way back to where you started just to recall why you went there in the first place.
I watch your show as often as possible and I am never surprised by your overwhelming generosity and willingness to help people. You have a loving and giving spirit that really surpasses all measure. And it’s because of your giving nature that I have “written” to you so many times…I’m sorry I never mailed the letters. 🙂 But, I’m sure you understand.
The truth is, Ellen, I could easily write this letter to you asking for help for myself. I had a life long dream of owning a business and finally had the chance in 2005 – working on everything to buy it until I finally signed on the dotted line in September 2006 only to be forced to close in April 2008. I pay a ridiculous amount of money each month for the SBA loan I had taken for the business and it’s a 20 year note – so I pay every month for a business I no longer own. I went back to work in Corporate America, but it is not my passion and therefore I do have a small business that I work evenings and weekends so that I can continue to follow my dreams while paying off the loan and paying down a debt to the IRS.
But, I’m not writing this because of me. I’m writing this on behalf of my mother and my brother. My mother (and step-father) is the reason I had the opportunity to buy the business in 2006. Her faith and understanding and ability to believe in me allowed me to make the leap. She put her house on the line for me and almost lost it because of me. She helped me financially so often throughout the short time I had the salon and I can never, ever repay her. She lost her job because of me. My mom had come to work for me and the plan was for her to have a nice, fun, relaxing job until retirement and I ruined that! I caused her and my step-father not to have as much money as they would/should have and therefore they have not been able to do as much as they should have at this stage in life. I would give anything to present her with a pile of money to thank her for all she did!
And, as for my brother. He has been creative for as long as I can remember. He is a super talented artist and in the past few years has become an amazing wood-carver and designer. He moved to Maine several years ago with his ex and he helps to raise their amazing son. My brother works very hard at his full-time job and then comes home to fill customer orders for his business Wickedly Wooden (along with his girlfriend). Unfortunately, the wages he earns in Maine are about less than half what he was earning in Connecticut and he cannot seem to get ahead. He can hardly take days off because he can’t afford it, and what he’d like more than anything is to be able to quit his job and do wood working full-time. In a perfect world he’d have some money in the bank and be able to open a co-op where artists can come together and sell their wares and hold classes for the locals as well as hold vendor shows and artists markets.
I have a long list of small business owners (I am a huge advocate for entrepreneurship) I’d love to help if one day I’m so lucky as to win the lottery or have so much business come my way that I have gobs of money to share/spare.
Ellen, I know you believe in people. You believe in helping people achieve goals and overcome obstacles and that’s why I think it’s important for me to send you this letter (finally). I admire what you and Portia do for people (and animals) everyday. You believe in the short the tall; the fat the thin; the rich the poor; the gay the straight…and everyone in between.
If you could do anything at all for my mother and brother I would be forever grateful as they are two very deserving people and people who I love very, very much!
With sincere gratitude for all you do,