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Belly-Up BROKE and Paying it Forward

dan-pearce-author-bloggerDear friends and readers,

I have been so very blessed of late. I have had tremendous opportunities come my way. I have had really awesome readership growth. I have had excellent blog traffic. And, I have both an awesome kid and the Farmer’s Daughter by my side…

And yeah, I have my ups and downs, and I have my drama with family and friends from time to time, and there are bumps in the relationship road to deal with here and there, and I screw up as a parent sometimes, but… life is so good.

Anyway, enough about how awesome my life is. Something interesting happened over the past little while.

I launched a new membership program here on Single Dad Laughing. No biggie. It’s just an option for those who want an ad-free experience here and who want to support the site, but it’s not make or break for me as a blogger. Memberships are never going to be a major part of the business plan here. In fact, my goal is that for those who don’t want the benefits of ad-free browsing, they will never see much of a change at all.

But anyway, this isn’t a blog post about that, it’s about what setting that up and launching it has made me think so much about. I mean… the reason I finally made it an option is because I recently received news that they were making drastic changes to the way ads work (particularly for mobile viewers, but on the main site as well) that would potentially affect my income, and how much it would affect it is very much still unknown.

And… I am blessed enough to know that even if they take away 25% or quite possibly even more of my income with the new regulations, I am still going to be okay as a blogger. Like I said on the membership page, “’I’ll (with gratitude) make a buck or two off of your visits whether it’s ad-supported or membership supported. I’ll still be able to run my servers either way. I’ll still be able to put frozen casseroles into the oven at night. And I’ll still be able to take Delilah for a spin when I need to clear my head.”

In other words, I am blessed with far more than I need to survive at the moment, and that’s a blessing not everyone has. There are many bloggers who these changes will drastically affect. There are many who will see drops that do affect the food on their table or their ability to keep going the way they have. And while I do this blog as a business, and most of us do our blogs for businesses, I will never fail to appreciate that I am more blessed than most. I will never forget that it was large amounts of luck and good fortune that brought me here. I will also never forget that it really wasn’t all that long ago that I almost had to give this thing up because I was so far in the hole trying to get it going that keeping it going was not going to be a possibility.

And, I will never forget that it was all of your generosity that kept this alive and opened up the doors that made this thing actually work for me.

In my memoir that I recently finished writing (and which I now have decided that I will likely go the publishing route instead of self-publishing), I talk about that period of time in which I was poorer than I ever had been in my entire life.

I talk about a moment, in the midst of it all, when I couldn’t afford to run my air conditioner, and in the dead heat of summer I was lying on my tile kitchen floor trying to cool off. Depleted of energy, tired, worn out, barely able to continue functioning.

Things had gotten so bad financially that I literally didn’t know if I would be homeless the next day. I had lost all hope, whatsoever. I had sold almost everything I owned. I was not eating much of anything some days. And I had exhausted every avenue of trying to build this business and make at least some money from it (all of which fell through or failed) to the point that I didn’t know what else to do.

While lying on that tile floor, I fell asleep. I don’t know how long I was asleep for. Time was lost to me more often than not back then.

And then… SNAP! A mousetrap that had been set under the edge of the cabinets went off about eight feet from my face. I opened my eyes when I heard it, and I watched as a mouse flopped wildly back and forth, spasming in the trap. I just watched it, emotionless, and after it died I went back to sleep. I didn’t have the energy or the hope or the whatever to feel anything in that moment. I was belly-up broke, and nothing else mattered. It was an awful feeling. (And, believe it or not after reading those paragraphs, the memoir is actually ridiculous and funny, haha.)

It was shortly after that that I came to all of you and asked for a buck or two to keep the servers going. It was do or die time. I couldn’t keep putting my kid through such circumstances in the pursuit of a dream that wasn’t happening.

And you selflessly gave to the tune of a couple thousand dollars. And from there, everything started clicking into place. And immediately, like within a few days, things just started working, and I suddenly had a real income from ads and I’ve had an income ever since.

And now, a year and a half later, I am making more than I need to be comfortable, let alone survive. And I can’t help but think back to that moment when I had my face pressed to the cold tile watching that animal die in front of me, and feel that it’s time to give back to those who are at just such a point.

Because, you see, the industry is making changes that could really affect my income, and even if they do, I will still have enough. That is what I have been thinking so much about. I have been blessed beyond blessed.

And so, today I am going to give back.

I am going to personally give $100.00 to forty (40) of you parents who are belly-up broke.

And it’s all going to be on the honor system.

To 40 random people who meet the following requirements and fill out the form on the next page, I will send you (via PayPal) $100.00.

These are my requirements.

1) You must be a parent. This is important to me because it was the desperation I felt as a parent that finally made me get over my own pride enough to ask for what I needed not just for me, but for my child.

2) You must be belly-up broke. Not just poor. Not just not making enough money. Not just living paycheck to paycheck. I mean you must literally not know if you are going to be homeless tomorrow or not. I can tell you that there are few worse feelings than that, and I know how hopeless that feels. I also know what a difference even a few dollars makes to the situation.

3) You must promise to one day pay it forward. In your own way, whether with time, or talents, or service, or money.

I believe in the honesty of all of you. I believe that this money will all get to the right places. And I believe with a following the size that I have, there are more than enough people who need this $100 as much as I needed my miracle when I did.

That’s all. No strings attached. No jumping through hoops. Just a few extra bucks in your pocket while you figure things out.

I would be ungrateful for the miracle you all gave me so long ago if I didn’t.

Just know that this comes from a place of gratitude for how blessed I am at this point in my life. Nowhere else. It is coming straight from me, from my bank account. No sponsors. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I have no goal in this beyond giving back.

I love you all, and I’ll never forget what you did for me.

Simply fill out the form on page two and tell me that you fit the criteria, and that you need this.

Thank you for letting me finally pay it forward to all of you. I will leave this form open for at least a few days so that whoever really needs it will have time to find it.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I’ve added the form on page two so that it doesn’t load for every single person who reads this. That would seriously bog down the server.

PPS. Please note that after I send the money, PayPal will have to pull the funds from my regular bank account which means it may take a few days to clear into yours. Also, please be aware that there will likely be more than 40 people who fill out the form. If that is the case, please know I wish I could send some to you all, and that filling out the form is (unfortunately) no guarantee that you will be a recipient.

FOLLOW UP NOTE: TUESDAY JUNE 04 10:10PM – due to an overwhelming response (of nearly 800 people hoping to be a recipient), I had to remove the form today.

Picking the recipients proved to be challenging. There were many fraudulent and repeated requests that I had to filter out (thank goodness for IP addresses), but there were still 500 or so people who are, right now, at that place I once was. Single moms and single dads. Parents who were still married or together and still struggling. Young people. Old people. Americans. Canadians. Europeans. Asians. Australians. There were those who came to where they were gradually and those who came hard and fast.

In the end, I could only give $100 to 40 people. I think that was the hardest part of all of this. I wanted to give it to all five hundred. But still, I am thankful for those people who I could pay it forward to.

I’ve included a list of recipients on the next page where the original form was. Seven or eight of the transactions are showing “unclaimed” in PayPal, so if your name is on the list and you don’t see it in your account, make sure you contact me.

883 comments
LaurettaB
LaurettaB

>>>

ArianeAndersonMullen said

LaurettaB OH....I'm crying.  I missed this orginal blog post....catching up on my SDL tonight.  THis is so great.  I love this. I love this.  I love this.  God bless you Dan and everyone you helped....My prayers go to you also LaurettaB, and PetraBean.




Thank you @ArianeAndersonMullen!

joyfulgritsgirl
joyfulgritsgirl

A level of accountability...eh, maybe. But I love this saying: "What others think of you is none of your business." Do what you want (esp if it feels right) and screw the ones who b*tch and moan. You're one of the good guys and that's just fine by me.

Jill Beagen Carpenter
Jill Beagen Carpenter

Dan, you are amazing! Thank you so much for your kindness & generosity!!! You truly made a difference for so many people, and that's awesome!!! So much appreciated!!!! Much love to you!!

GingerM
GingerM

I miss being able to do things like this :(  I used to leave $80 tips at restaurants for the people I knew were roughing it when I could.  Now I'm definitely doing the paycheck-to-paycheck thing.  But what doesn't kill us makes us wiser, right? :)

Lorie K
Lorie K

You are a truly amazing human being and I thank you from the bottom of my soul.  I can't wait to pass your gift along to my sister.  May you continue to be blessed all the days of your life.

PetraBean
PetraBean

What an email to wake up to! I'm still crying. While I did  fill out the form, and I am struggling on so many levels, I did NOT expect this. You are such a beautiful person, Dan. This means so much to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Like Lauretta, I was going to privately thank you, but I also think that standing up for you seems nescessary.

LaurettaB
LaurettaB

After spending the day helping watch a friend's foster kids and then helping my sister pack for moving, I checked my email and started crying..  there was an email from SDL on PayPal {You've got a little somethin' to help you while you figure things out... I am one of the blessed ones that received help.

>>>>Dan, THANK YOU SO VERY, VERY, VERY much!!  <<<<

My son saw me crying and asked why.. I told him a very kind, generous person is helping us with a few things. This comes at just the right time as I try to figure out how I'm going to pay the electric bill AND rent.. not to mention the sole of my only pair of shoes is flopping ½way off. 

I was going to send my thanks in a private message, however after reading your above comment about the skepticism of people (really, aren't we all too old for unnecessary drama?!?), I wanted to stand up for you, Dan. It is upsetting that people are taking your kindness and twisting it..  upsetting and sad. Sad they are not happy enough with their own life that they feel the need to do that. From the bottom of this single, struggling mom's heart, THANK YOU!

Lauretta Belk.

Nellie Peck
Nellie Peck

Your welcome .No money can't replace the joy of reading your blogs every day .We all need this. Pretty cool .And thank you. :D

Crystolli Dawn
Crystolli Dawn

Dan there's not many blogs that I would pay to read, in fact there is just one... yours! You are funny and inspirational. I'm not a parent but I've shared your blog with my brother in hopes that you're words of wisdom and hope will get him through the next chapter in his life. Thank you for what you do! You bless your readers!

Judy Grandbois
Judy Grandbois

Special people like you need to be recognized. Kudos to you. I wish I had the money to join in and help you. God will remember this.

Rebecca Orr
Rebecca Orr

Public library. Friends and family allowing them to use their computer or phone for a little bit.

Kim Shaw
Kim Shaw

I am in the same boat as all of you. Being a single parent is not easy, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Dan, you are a wonderful person. Thank you for doing this! I hope one day I will be in the position to help others like this too!

indadseyes
indadseyes

Great post. I really enjoyed reading it Dan. I am first time visitor to your site, and I must say, you have quite the following. I am from a small town in Michigan, and recently we had a young boy lose his battle with cancer. The family created a facebook page to keep everyone posted on his well being and it instantly became viral. His family's last wishes were to honor Jayden by letting everyone know to "pay it forward". That young man inspired me as a father to a 10 month old baby girl. There are so many ways we as a society can learn from our children.  Thank you again for paying it forward. I'm sure you'll be touching 40 lives in a positive uplifting way. 

Isabelle Ho
Isabelle Ho

I wonder if you read all these comments Dan! I just want you to know that i'm a nurse and when i have a bad shift (more often than not!!!) i come onto your site and my faith in humanity is once again restored. Thanks for having a blog. You're such an amazing person!!

Carol Macdonald
Carol Macdonald

way to go , you do know real gratitude !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pat Smith Cleveland
Pat Smith Cleveland

I've been that belly up broke. $100.00 DOES make all the difference. When you've been there, done that, you do this kind of thing. Some may not get it (intellectually) that's ok - don't waste time listening to them. What you doing counts big and God is watching and smiling. You get an Atta Boy!

JJ Mum
JJ Mum

wait... what? ... skeptical :-/

Helen OBoyle
Helen OBoyle

RIGHT ON! I'm doing the same sort of thing among my circle of acquaintances, to "pay it forward" to those who loaned me money when I was in desperate circumstances.

Stacie Levis
Stacie Levis

What a loving thing to do. I know the people you help will be touched.

Louann Childress
Louann Childress

Hmmm.. Im a Mom of 5, and that would buy them all wristbands to ride all the rides at the county fair. All are honor roll students, so count me in! :)

Shannon Heighton Yeatman
Shannon Heighton Yeatman

<3 I have been there. Single mom with 2 boys. Their father skipped the country so he wouldnt have to pay child support. We got through a very tough time, because my youngest sons'," Big Brother"stepped forward and bought us some groceries for a month, while my workers compensation cheque came through. And now, that Big Brother, lives with my new husband and myself, his health is not good, and we love him. Our turn to take care of him. Your story made my eyes cry <3

Joanne Sims Shively
Joanne Sims Shively

To Steven Strong, if he gives $2000 to 2 people, those 2 people can then pay it forward to 2 more people, so on and so on. Or he can give $100 to 40 people who will hopefully also pay it forward to another 40... making the world a better place:-)

Heather w
Heather w

My faith in humanity has been restored a bit this evening. You are an amazing human being.

Shai Fenwick
Shai Fenwick

I've been in a place where I had 1 week without resources, but with a place to live. $100 got me school supplies, food, gas, and entertainment before my grant money for school kicked in. Sometimes $100 at the right time is more powerful than ten times that much when you don't need it. More power to you Dan, for this great idea.

KC Krull
KC Krull

I'm aware it's not my decision! And it's not "putting someone down". It's stating a fact. Needing money to pay for a wedding is not the same necessity as needing money days before (literally) becoming homeless. Stating that people preferred being homeless because it's rent free is an insult to the people who are terrified of losing their home. As somebody who allegedly has been homeless before, you should be aware of that. I'm also not the only one who is stunned at your selfishness and immaturity, as there's a few other people who have posted about you, with about 25 other people agreeing.

Karen Shumaker Durbin
Karen Shumaker Durbin

Dan--- I do hope that you can spread the word about linkupforliam! I am sharing on my page now!

Celeste Willat
Celeste Willat

Thank you for reminding me of how grateful I am that I can allow others to apply for your generosity. We are doing OK now. It's time for me to start paying it forward as well.

Shannon O'Connell
Shannon O'Connell

I really hope you give to at least one of the families that lost their home in the tornadoes.

Cynthia Meyer
Cynthia Meyer

Miracles happen every day. It's great that you are paying things forward!

Casandra Bowman
Casandra Bowman

Last week I had to use a gift card my daughter got for her birthday to buy groceries.... Graduating college is supposed to open the door to opportunity, not leave you broke and jobless :(

Dennis Johnsen
Dennis Johnsen

im raising my 7 year old sweet pea by myself. i hav a job that earnes me about $1,100 a month. it's just the two of us here in a cozy little spot in inner city of Phoenix. ill make it.. its just through the summer my electric bills are crazy & $100 would go very far for me

Marisa Barnhill
Marisa Barnhill

It is amazing what you are doing, the world would be a much better place if everyone whocould help out did.Keep up the gret work.

Ciara Harvey
Ciara Harvey

Dan I admire your ability to see people for what they can be...instead of what they are :) I can say i'm a bit down on my luck...however consider myself lucky enough not to be "belly-up broke"...Although I cant offer $100...I can offer to keep those that are in need in my prayers tonight...I hope those that are in need know...you aren't forgotten about...and being able to be apart of such a wonder community...I can say yall feel a bit like family...and I wish you all the best

Ronald Weedon
Ronald Weedon

wow never realized how many woman were on single Dads link.

Brittni Tyo
Brittni Tyo

I saw your update that over 40 have responded, I'm not sure how to get in contact with you personally in order to provide you with my Paypal email that I registered with earlier today but you can take me off the list, after reading the comments and so forth there are definitely families who need it more! Thanks for all you do! And prayers to all you families in need!

Christina Brundick
Christina Brundick

wonderful thing to do,I've been that broke before and was very thankful for my dad to help me out of that. wishing everyone who applied well and to get on a better financial path!

Leyla Nisaa
Leyla Nisaa

You are so awesome!! Thanks for reminding me how fortunate I am to not be belly up broke.

Debbie Beard
Debbie Beard

I have been in better places and I have been in worse places ( sold all of my books to get 40 dollars to feed my kids for a week and get formula with no idea where i was going to get money the next week). while money would ease a burden, it is better going to people to whom 100 dollars is not a matter of comfort vs necessity. if i had money to spare I would donate it to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Americans-Overseas-Domestic-Violence-Crisis-Center/109820555035?fref=ts as they are the ones who through donations sent me money orders ( i was in Canada stuck with no job and two kids and a cheating non working ex with abusive parents) so that I could buy food and who paid to get me back to the states and get started over again so I could support my kids.

ArianeAndersonMullen
ArianeAndersonMullen

@LaurettaB OH....I'm crying.  I missed this orginal blog post....catching up on my SDL tonight.  THis is so great.  I love this. I love this.  I love this.  God bless you Dan and everyone you helped....My prayers go to you also LaurettaB, and PetraBean.  


ArianeAndersonMullen
ArianeAndersonMullen

@JJ Mum WHy???  haven't you ever done something nice for someone with no ulterior motive?  Hasn't someone done that for you?  

ArianeAndersonMullen
ArianeAndersonMullen

@Helen OBoyle About 15 years ago, when I was young and irresponsible,my dad lent (with the suspicion I would never pay him back) $1000 for the down payment on a car.  Indeed I didn't pay him back.  Then I grew up.  About 10 years ago, I brought him $1000 cash and a long over due apology.  He cried a little and got really mushy and sentimental, and turns out he really did need the money...(I didn't know that).  But I'm the one who really got the benefit.  It made me feel like a REAL RESPECTABLE person.....It made me proud to be me.   I love what you're doing!!!!  I wish more people understood that when you serve the blessings are endless!!