Happy Update: Helping a Colleague Recover

(Update: We have removed the donate button because this campaign has concluded. We are beyond grateful to all our friends and colleagues who have contributed. We are happy to report that Álvaro  now has a full-time court interpreting position in California and is doing much better! We raised more than $10,000 for Álvaro and his wife. Hard to believe, but true! See  here for the final update).

This last post of the year is, without a doubt, our most personal and most important entry. It's a follow-up to our post about the donation efforts for Álvaro   Degives-Más. The last 48 hours, since we posted a blog entry about our dear colleague's medical and financial troubles, has generated so much interest that we've barely been able to catch up on e-mails! We have cried a lot -- but it's happy tears. Every time a donation hits our inbox, our family (we are on vacation in Los Angeles) cheers loudly -- even while driving (OK, we will stop that). The outpour of generosity has been so tremendous that we now have renewed faith in the goodness of humanity. We are absolutely floored by our friends' and colleagues' response. Álvaro Degives-Más and his wife Trish want each and every single donor to know that their gratitude can simply not be expressed in words. Here is a short overview of what's happened:
  • We posted the blog post at 11 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, December 28. By the end of December 29, we had raised $400. By December 30, we were up to $960. As of 8 a.m. Pacific today, the last day of the year, we are up to an astonishing $3,000. It's hard to believe, but it's true.
  • Yesterday, we spoke to Trish,  Álvaro's wife, who was moved to tears when we gave her the good news. She really did need some good news!  Álvaro was sleeping, trying to recover from his heart attack. We transferred $1,800 of the funds raised yesterday (we kept some in the fund because we received some e-checks that had not cleared). Since then, we've raised an additional $1,200.
  • We've sent a thank-you note to every donor. The donations are coming in faster than we can send out notes -- wow!
  • We have received donations in a wide variety of amounts, from $2 to $475 (really).
  • The donations have come in from more than 20 countries: Israel, Peru, Argentina, Denmark, UK, Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, Ireland, US, etc.
  • How did we do it? We blogged, twittered, e-mailed hundreds of friends and family, and asked permission to post this information on listservs of several professional organizations, including the American Translators Association. We are still completely floored by the response. 
  • Even though PayPal charges some fees, we've been happy with their service. Our IT guru did some research and found that it was indeed the best way to get donations from around the world.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. We've included the donate button once more in case you are interested in supporting this cause. Have a happy and health 2012!


Emma Goldsmith on January 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM said...

This shows the power of social media - in its best light.

Anonymous said...

The issue of health insurance is an important topic for freelance translators in the United States. Perhaps this might be worth addressing in a future issue. How do freelance translators get adequate health insurance, including dental and vision?

Anonymous said...

Thank´s social media! and...Yes! Health insurance is an important topic for freelance translators in UUEE.

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to discuss this issue. We cannot rely on other people's generosity, and of course everyone needs to have their own medical insurance. I don't know the particularities of this colleague's case, why he did not have his insurance, but of course this is very important to discuss - after all, there are two things certain in life - death and taxes! I would even add a third certain thing in life - medical bills! Maybe it could even be something offered as part of the ATA or any other professional association... Would this be possible?

Anonymous said...

Fast recovery Alvaro! - A colleague from the public defender's office.

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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