We topped out our fundraising goal, and the fundraiser has now ended! Thank you all for your donations! The only outputs so far have been the car and the hotel. We're going to be able to pay for a year of Jim's insurance (including collision!), and he'll let me know on Monday how much that's going to be.
I know some of you didn't get a chance to donate. I have a GoFundMe going for him, or you can mail/drop off a check to my house (just message me). Whatever is easier for you. Jim is very grateful to all of you for giving him your hard earned money. He mentions it often.
I want to be clear about one thing: Jim is back in his car for the next couple of weeks. His hotel stay ended as of yesterday morning since he has the Element. It's not ideal, but he's probably better with it than we are. The biggest issue he has right now is that his cigarette lighter doesn't work in his new car, so he can't charge his phone. He's going to use the portable battery Hoa gave him to do that until it gets fixed.
Yesterday, Jim and I went to a gathering of a bunch of Marines from my job. He had a fantastic time, and it was nice to see his grin and hear his laughter. Jim opens up around Marines in a way he doesn't around others. In fact, he admitted to the Dispatch reporter that the fact that I was a Marine myself was what made him open up to me. So, it was great for him to be around this fabulous bunch of people.
After the gathering, Jim and I went to Ikea. He'd never been there, and I was worried that it would be too overwhelming, but he LOVED it. The set up rooms were really nice for him to see and gave him an idea of what is possible.
I got some idea of what his preferences are, and what his priorities are. For example, he wants a twin bed. He's been sleeping in his car for years now, and says a twin bed is just fine for him, and that it won't take as much space. So we'll go with that.
He gave me enough of an idea regarding his furniture preferences that I can do a layout on the Ikea website and see what will fit (not much--I've posted a photo of his room layout for your reference). Luckily, he's very handy (used to do construction by trade), so I can just drop off those damned Ikea boxes and leave. He can do the hard work of putting everything together and hanging everything up. 😂
As for decorating the place (the fun part!), he's very open to whatever we want to do, and Arnon Reichers has agreed to do the pretty part of decorating. I can handle the functional aspects of what fits where and organizing things for space, but decorating isn't my thing.
In regards to the party we're having for Jim next Sunday, can anyone help me with planning it? I was thinking we should have snacks or something, right? I'm hopeless about this kind of thing. I'll happy pay for what we need (out of my own money, not the fundraiser), but I just suck at doing this sort of thing (or even at coordinating with Rendezvous Lounge to find out what's permitted and what they recommend).
For those of you that want to continue to be involved in making a difference in people's lives Beyond Jim, please get involved with @starfishassign on Twitter or https://www.facebook.com/StarfishCMH/