Member Profile

James Shuman
Name James Shuman
Age 21
Joined 389 days ago
Hobbies Helping others, being organized, and playing video games
James Shuman
Have You Been Inspired to 'Play It Forward'?
389 days ago

Hello Ellen, I am watching your show right now (July 2nd, 2013), and my mother told me to tell you our story of our struggling life. I, however, cannot find where to submit my story on your site, so I am posting my story here.

I am the second child of four. My mother, Joy, had a child right out of high school in 1991 and also married my father, Steve, the same year. And this is where we started our struggle. My father bought an engagement ring that he couldn't afford and had a standard wedding payed by my grandmother. As we grew up in Pennsylvania and Ohio, we struggled to pay bills, go out to eat, and even pay for the basic necessities. We've had our home foreclosed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, two in Florida, and we are currently going through foreclosure here in Claremont, NC.

My sister, Emilie, and I are trying to go to college in August, but we can't afford $160...0 a semester. I would like to become a mathematics teacher and my sister wants to be a graphic designer or something related with computers. My youngest brother, Spencer, is starting his first year as a high school student, but is scared because my siblings and I, except my older brother, Christopher, were bullied since elementary school and even know, a year after we graduated in 2012, we are still bullied on the internet and through my little brother (comes home and tells us what he heard from someone at lunch about us).

My older brother is a NASCAR pit crew man for Michael Waltrip racing, but Michael Waltrip is putting him on bad teams that never get higher than 24th place. He has been in trouble at school with students and teachers because he doesn't like to stay in one place for long and he had to drop out of school and get his GED in 2010 because someone picked a fight with him. My family are currently having fights because of money.

And finally for my father, he is an auto mechanic who gets payed by the job rather than by the hour (if a job is 2 hours and he finished it in 30 minutes, he still gets payed the 2 hours, but if he gets a job that takes him 45 minutes and he does it in 2 or 3 hours, he only gets payed for the 45 minutes), so he can work as much as 200 dollars a weeks, but on the other hand, the lowest he has ever worked is around 30 hours because no one goes to the mechanic shop anymore, they usually buy a new car and sell their old one.

We currently are -$400 in the bank and we have 3 mortgage payments and because of the stuff I posted above, I have to use the money I get from my minimum wage job to buy food and buy gas for my dad and mom.

As a frequent watcher (through the internet at a library because we can't afford internet connection and television), we always see families just like us who get money or something they really need. My mother always gets depressed when she sees this. My mother and I have depression and we get frequent panic attacks, but because we don't have insurance, we can't afford the medication.

So please read this and notice the concern for your help. I hope to hear from you soon and I hope you can help. Thanks, James Samuel Shuman