Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pay It Forward..the continuation

Thank you to everyone that has read this blog over the past week plus.
This has been an amazing ride, but it is just beginning.

I wrote about Paying It Forward, as a Thank You to all those that stepped forward in faith and helped my family. Over the past week I have read the stores of @teecycletim and @robertjames1 (both from Twitter) the struggles they are facing and the amazing stories of the Milwaukee community stepping up to aid them.

Based on what has happened (and the fact my wife decided to throw in the movie "Pay It Forward")I want to see this through and really take it to the next level.

Much like my topics of "Give This New Year Away" have been meant to encourage..I want my vision for the "Pay It Forward Project" to do the same.

Will you please consider joining me on this journey, one that will hopefully begin a positive revolution in our community!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More updates...Paying It Forward!

What a week this has been…if you had told me 7 days ago all that would have transpired in this time, I would have laughed in your face.

Last Thursday night, I was feeling like I was at one of the lowest points of my life (but believe me there have been lower). Our mortgage company bearing down on us, I totaled our van and our basement was flooding.

After a weird moment of clarity in the midst of things (and after numerous offers for help) I decided to create a blog post, what has now become not only a Twitter trending topic, but now the inspiration for an upcoming local article (more details on that later)

One of my good friends, and someone who has been a mentor and inspiration for me over the last 6 years described me as “Milwaukee’s George Bailey”. I was and still am extremely humbled by the comment. When I envision Jimmy Stewart’s character in “It’s a Wonderful Life” I think of the young man who gave up his dreams and ambitions to stay in Bedford Falls, run his father’s building and loan, and in the end helping and positively effecting the lives of many in his town.

Over my life (especially the last 20 years) I have prided myself on helping where I can, volunteering, offering support…while trying to stay out of the “spotlight” (OK the Channel 10 auction is the exception…lol). I guess during that time I have either not been as humble as I thought I was, or more people that I realize have been paying attention to what I have been doing.

That’s what makes what happened starting Saturday even more amazing to me. As I posted our “request” for $1 each from my social media friends, I could have never imagined the response that came in. To date, we have been blessed with over $1,900, meaning I will be going to the bank for the first cashiers check for our mortgage company (which I will be posting a picture of on Twitter right before I send it)

Along with the financial donations, we have been blessed with a few amazing offers as well to help us with our vehicle needs.
More importantly, this has opened my eyes even wider to the needs of others in our community. Two Twitter friends come to mind, who have experience huge losses in the last month.
@RobertJames1 of First Priority Printing saw his building burn down after a tragic lightning strike in Mequon about a month ago. @Teecycle_Org had his house suffer catastrophic flood damage.

These are two of the many stories we are all hearing about, and I feel they are much worse that the situation that my family is in.

We all know others, people that aren’t followed by hundreds of people on Twitter and Facebook, people that aren’t using social media to let people know of their situations. I feel called to help these people in anyway I can.

If you know of anyone that needs help, get the word out, take some time to offer help (doesn’t always have to be money). Offer to make them dinner. If they have kids, offer babysitting for a few hours. Cut their lawn for them so they can get a break. Anything would be appreciated I am sure.
Milwaukee has shown me personally how amazingly caring they can be…let’s show the world what we can do and start a revolution of Paying It Forward!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Update on our situation and some clarification!

Great Sunday morning!!
First of all let me thank all of you for the love and support you have shown my family. It is times like these that really make you realize how special the world can be.
I do need to offer a little clarification on my last blog post, because it has taken on a life of its own.
Yes..we need to pay a lump sum to our mortgage company ($2100 by August 3 and then 3 subsequent payments of $1100 between Sept-Nov.) to halt the beginning of foreclosure proceedings. With my current work situation, this has been a struggle, but we are working this out.
Yes...we need help to be able to obtain a new vehicle for the family (since I totaled the other one on Thursday). We are talking with someone about a used minivan for about $2,000

That's where the $4,000 number came in...but somehow that number came up as the number that was needed for the house.
I have been 100% open and honest during this's where we are:
The main priority is a vehicle for us...we will only be able to have the loaner for a few more days. The house is a very close we had figured that we could probably scrape up the money for the payment, but have to let a few other things go to do it.
The money that has been donated to this point has relieved a huge burden of trying to figure out what will get paid...and for that we are extremely grateful.

The amazing support we have literally is like the final minutes of "It's A Wonderful Life" when the whole town comes to the aid of George Bailey (Thanks DC for the reference to this).

I promise you...this is the beginning of something great. A few people have mentioned paying it forward...that is definitely not a question. Our family has always helped where we can, when we can...despite financial hardships. We are dedicated to doing more, more often.

Once again...from our entire family we say THANK YOU!! For everyone that has forwarded our story, has told their friends and have given the $1 (or more).

To close...while this has been amazing, please remember there are families that are in much worse situations than ours. I am fortunate enough to have a large network of friends via social media. Many families have been devastated by the recent flooding and have lost years of memories, thousands of dollars in possessions and much more.
Thank you again and God Bless!!

Jon & Holly Kurozawa
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

~ 1 Peter 5:7, NLT

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our family needs your help

This is hard for me to do, especially in a time when so many families are struggling financially and many more have been flooded in SE Wisconsin.
Desperate times require us to humble ourselves and ask for the help of others.

Within the last 8 days, our house has been flooded twice, our minivan (and sole family vehicle) was totaled in an accident and we found out we have 10 days to pay a large lump payment to our mortgage company. For those of you that know me and my work situation, you know this is difficult for us to handle. We have been blessed by help and offers from some amazing people.

We are in a situation where we need to come up with about $4,000 quickly. Due to lack of income and tough decisions...our credit is no good for loans.

I have over 1,100 friends on Twitter, 575 on Facebook and over 200 connections on LinkedIn. This is what I am asking...
If each of my friends on each of these social sites donated $1 each...well it would help us tremendously.
Our main goal is to get a new (ok a good used and running) minivan to transport our entire family.
$1...not much to ask for...can you help us?

I am humbling myself to all of you in this unusual forum...hoping that you can help us.
If you have any questions, please email me at, on Twitter @JonKurozawa

UPDATE: per numerous requests...we have a PayPal account setup. go to and you can send funds to Thanks all and God Bless!!