Two months have passed since the #saveteecycle fundraiser at Sprecher. I still find myself doing some everyday task in the kitchen, taking the garbage out or raking leaves in the backyard and think, I’m doing this at our house.
Just a few months ago, the idea of moving back home seemed like a dream. It still does.
We couldn’t be more grateful to Sue, Katie and everyone who made that dream something to be thankful for every day.Posted in #saveteecycle | Leave a comment September 26, 2010
It blows my mind that it has now been one full week since the #saveteecycle fundraiser at Sprecher. I have been worrying that all of the memories from the weeks leading up to last Saturday, and most importantly the event, would escape my head, until I saw this:
Tons of thanks to Kyle Buckley and Flipeleven Creative for the awesome work on the video!Posted in #saveteecycle | Leave a comment September 19, 2010
One of the many highlights from the fundraiser last night, was the priceless looks on Tim & Jess’ faces as we unveiled their “looking almost brand spankin new” house in front of the #saveeteecycle crowd last night – LIVE!
Huge thanks to Dan & Sherry Wilde, Sue’s husband Karl, and Craig Vermeulen for whisking away Tim & Jess’ family – without Tim & Jess knowing it – and taking them to the almost finished home!
If you were in back and couldn’t see the screen, or weren’t able to attend, here’s how it happened.
This morning, Sue and I had the privilege of joining the crew of the new TV show Real Milwaukee on local Fox affiliate, WITI Fox 6 – did you see us?
If you missed our interview, here’s what we had to say!Posted in #brewcityflood, #saveteecycle, community, News | Leave a comment September 4, 2010
The outpouring of support the past six weeks, has been nothing short of amazing. Hell – it’s been truly amaziballs.
We were fortunate to be contacted by the local NBC affiliate – WTMJ4 – for both an in-person and taped interview. The interviews were conducted on Sunday, August 29 – Live interview at the WTMJ4 studio, the taped interview at Tim & Jess’ house.
Below is the live spot, as well as an interview that aired on Monday morning.
Thanks to Melissa McCrady, Jeff Gallagher and WTMJ4 for the opportunity to spread the good word about #saveteecycle!
#brewcityflood, #saveteecycle, community, News | Leave a comment August 21, 2010
Behold the poster my co-worker Sharon Grace whipped up for the Runraiser for Brew City Flood Relief.
Pretty sweet, huh?
The Runraiser is a 4-mile fun run, 7 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 8th starting at InStep Running and Walking Center in the Third Ward. Registration is $10 minimum, but anything above that amount is gratefully accepted. Oh, there will also be BEER at the end.
ALL funds go to The Red Cross and my neighbor Fran Verito, whose first floor was also flooded out. Fran is not very good at accepting help, but she needs it. InStep is also donating $10 from the sale of every pair of shoes to the Runraiser fund.
You can register at the event or click the button below to register:
The Runraiser is the brainchild of two kindhearted runners, Mike Wiz and Trenni Kusnierek. Both Trenni and Mike had never organized a run like this before, but they just knew they wanted to help, and this was a way they could enlist fellow runners in the cause. You can read the backstory in Tom Held’s Off the Couch blog.
To me, one of the coolest parts of how the Runraiser and #SaveTeecycle has come together is how people with various backgrounds are contributing different talents, human connections and ideas. Like how my designer co-worker — who happened to be a friend of my neighbor — was able to create this poster.
Can we get a Gooooooo Team!?
I’m also really happy that these fundraisers will be fun and bring people in the community together. That’s important. Life is too short to take yourself too seriously, even in the aftermath of a disaster. Especially in the aftermath of a disaster.Posted in #brewcityflood, #Runraiser, #saveteecycle, community | Tagged InStep, Red Cross, Runraiser | Leave a comment August 15, 2010
Let me come home.
Home is wherever I’m with you.
Today we went back to check on the house.
It’s weird every time you visit your own house when it’s not home anymore. The only feeling I can relate it to is going back to your old school when you’re an adult, and everything seems both utterly familiar and completely foreign. It’s a little surreal.
I get this every time I go back to make sure the dehumidifiers that are running 24/7 haven’t blown up or to meet Craig to scope out what we need for repairs.
This time my mother in law came along. She hasn’t been to the house yet. She hasn’t been able to bring herself to see it.
As we were getting ready to leave, I saw she was crying. I asked her what was wrong.
“You need a miracle,” she said.
Yeah, I guess we do.
It’s easy to see the crumbling floor, the exposed plaster, the holes and cracks in the walls, the bubbling paint, the random splinters of wood where we ripped off wet and moldy doorways and baseboards. It all seems dizzying and overwhelming. This is not the welcoming place it once was. Not even close.
But it’s still comforting to see our house, no matter what needs to be done. It’s where we began our little family. It’s ours, damn it. It’s home.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last three weeks, it’s that home is not just walls and a roof. We’ve been incredibly cared for and showered with love since Day 1, from family, friends, and strangers. Incredible people we will never be able to repay. Because of that, our family will get through this, and the home that we rebuild will have a whole new meaning.
A miracle? We’ve already have one.
We laugh until we think we’ll die,
Barefoot on a summer night
Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you
Last week, we were pretty blown away by the support for #saveteecycle. You bought enough T-shirts from Teecycle to get some cash rolling in to help Tim, Jess and Clara immediately, donated some excellent silent auction/raffle items and Sprecher Brewery generously donated their space for the September 18th fundraiser event. We were off to a stellar start and happy because Tim and Jess started feeling a bit of relief, from the wonderful support gathering around them. This week, though, you amazed us even more. We laughed, we cried, we talked about it over beer, and brats wrapped in bacon, and because Tim, Jess and Clara are who they are, we are more committed to this cause and determined to set their home right than ever.
If you’re still thinking about how you can help, perhaps some updates from week two will help you decide.
T-shirt donations kept coming in; huge thanks to AJ Bombers for acting as a primary T-shirt collection point and to Iron Cupcake Milwaukee for planning a special T-shirt drive on August 16th. One person commented that he was sorry they could “only donate T-shirts” because he is going through some hardship himself. Note: there is no such thing as only. Every t-shirt donated, every cash donation of any size, every silent auction or raffle item, every person that comes to the event MATTERS in a big way. Not just because Tim and Jess need to raise a lot of funds. But because, as Jess said, she was having a setback at the house yesterday, and “got through it by thinking of all the hope the kindness of friends, family and strangers have given us.”
Some cash donations came in as well. One person asked “how much do Tim and Jess need to raise?” We don’t know yet. Contractors are still doing assessments and estimates. The short and fast answer: a crazy large amount. We know for sure that the roof and all of the floors and baseboards need to be replaced, along with some or all of the windows. Plaster walls and the electrical wiring therein need to be repaired. Some of the furniture was ruined. The garage is pretty much totaled from standing water. The heating, ventilating and air conditioning are being evaluated for water contamination, in which case they will need to be replaced to restore air quality suitable for baby Clara. The backyard is pretty much a total washout, but that is the least of their worries right now. If we are lucky enough, in the end, to raise more than they need, the extra will be passed on to Tim and Jess’ neighbors, who sadly are in similar situations without the huge support network.
All of that, as you can imagine, is pretty overwhelming for Tim and Jess. But, enter many amazing supporters, and suddenly there is a rising swell of hope. It’s honestly difficult to find good enough words to express our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. You each deserve a huge shout out but a few folks have gone so far above and beyond the “call of duty” that we’d like to share their absolutely awe-inspiring generosity with you in hopes that you will be inspired by it as we are. Feel free to get creative with your donations, as some of these folks have.
Craig Vermeulen of William Ryan Homes, @williamryanRE on Twitter, is working his butt off to secure building materials free where possible or at cost. He’s already confirmed some very expensive doors at no charge to Tim and Jess, as well as shingles and windows at cost, and is working on other materials. If you have a lead or a source for more help with building materials, please let us know. Craig is a Superman, but he can’t rebuild an entire house by himself. Well, he probably could, actually, but shouldn’t have to.
In other news, how’s this for an amazing moment of serendipity? When we got together with Tim and Jess Thursday night at a Team Challenge Wisconsin event to talk about how things are progressing, emotions were running high about their HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) situation. It is obviously unthinkable to take baby Clara back to a home with bad air quality. Turns out, the gentleman who happens to be sitting near us? HVAC CONTRACTOR. (Checking with him to see if we can publish his name.) Uh-huh. For real. We talked with him about the situation, followed up by the next day and he had already arranged for free air quality testing and full assessment of the furnace and air conditioning. It feels like the universe is working with us on this, and all of you are pushing it along!
Also want to give a shout out to Theresa Nemetz of Milwaukee Food Tours, @MKEFoodTour on Twitter. We are not professional fundraisers; we just play them on Twitter. Theresa is giving very generously of her time to help with the execution of the silent auction/raffle and has already helped bring in some pretty special items. We are definitely still looking for more items, so please let one of us know if you have an idea or something to donate. Earlier this week, the awesome Tweetup Girls auctioned off a pair of PGA passes on with the proceeds going to Save Teecycle; they even matched the funds themselves.
The love came from supporters in the Hoosier State, as well, where Girls Pint Out organized a fundraiser event at Sun King Brewery and delivered diapers, wipes, clothes and gift cards to Tim, Clara and Jess’ door. Many thanks for Tamre Mullins aka @holliesmommie and Leah aka @lshef.
We were very touched yesterday when Jeff Carrigan of Big Shoes Network reached out to us, after already donating generously to the silent auction, because he wants to do more. So, Big Shoes Network will be donating a portion of the sales of each job posting on their site September 1-17 to Save Teecycle. Wow. We’d love to see more of that.
Again, our intent here is not at all to single out one donation as some how “better” than another and we hope you won’t take it that way. We hope to spread the awesomeness that we’ve been experiencing and in the process inspire more of you to give whatever you can. Please keep the kindness coming. Thank you!!!
COME TO THE EVENT » Posted in #brewcityflood, #saveteecycle, community, News, teecycle.org | 1 Comment July 30, 2010
On July 22, 2010, torrential rains hit Milwaukee, flooding neighborhoods and destroying homes.
The Whitefish Bay home of the Cigelske family — Tim, Jess, 12-week-old Baby Clara, and Bella the Beagle — was completely trashed. It is now unlivable, and overwhelming for this wonderful young family that gives so much to our community.
We’re fighting back. * Rolls up sleeves & cracks knuckles *
We decided to help by organizing a fundraiser on their behalf. We all wish we could help every family, every person that has been affected. If we all pull together, and give all we can, perhaps we can spread the love even farther. That has been our motivation from the very start – and our mission as we continue to move forward.
You can help in several different ways.
Used t-shirts can be donated to be sold on www.teecycle.org at AJ Bombers, Molly Cools or at a special t-shirt drive at Iron Cupcake Milwaukee on August 16. They can also be collected on the day of the fundraiser event.Posted in #saveteecycle, News | Tagged #brewcityflood, #saveteecycle, donate, flood damage, help, teecycle.org | Leave a comment