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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 21, 2006 11:35 PM. The previous post in this blog was A semester on the road, Part 1. The next post in this blog is Yule log on, so you'll log off. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Urgent message

Here's a disarming e-mail message that I received this evening:

Mr. Bogdansky,

I have followed your blog for some time, especially posts re: "Dr." Golovan and Ms. Boyles, both of whom are known to me. I have a request to make of you:

A member of the Slavic Community, Yevgeniya Vakarchuk, was being transported in her wheelchair by a local cab company this afternoon when she was involved in an accident. She is in Intensive Care at OHSU with a serious head injury, and she may or may not recover.

We are raising money to cover her substantial medical and legal costs. She is the mother of eight and the wife of a strong, hard working, and very compassionate man. She was in the process of gaining citizenship to the USA. They need help.

I would not be asking you personally if this was not important. Please help us get the word out, and give if you can. And five bucks here would mean a LOT more than five bucks to Golovan...

You can go to www.syaoregon.us and use the Paypal button.

Thank you again, and Merry Christmas -

Eric Kaganov
Executive Director
Slavic Youth of America

I make no warranties about this, but if it's legit, the message speaks to me.

Comments (15)

All she needs is your bank account number to free up a rather large inheritance from taxes in her country . . .

If you have any questions regarding the legitimacy of this request, feel free to give me a call. I will earn your trust however I can.

Thank you.

Eric Kaganov
Slavic Youth of America
(503)737-7627

Seems to be more legit than the Mexican woman who came to our door the other night...she had a handwritten request (in Spanish), taped to a cereal box with a snapshot of an uncle or some darn thing. Couldnt speak english either, so I get my daughter to translate, and she needs money to bring him to the US.
I get a couple of these a year in my neighborhood.

Sorry, had to pass. I dont like my money going to Coyotes.


This IS legit, folks - I work with Mrs. Vakarchuk's niece. This same niece, along with some other SYA folks, were kind enough to participate in the Community Cycling Center's annual bike giveaway for kids, so I know firsthand that they're out in the community doing good things. I urge you to go to their website and help out Mrs. Vakarchuk and her family.

I apologize for my gruff remark earlier. It was already a long day.

My best wishes to her and her family.

This is legit - and tragic. I understand the wheelchair was dropped backwards out of the van. Mrs. Vakarchuk suffered a fractured skull and other injuries. The cab company is denying responsibility.

This is a LEGAL immigrant family. We should show them American generosity if we can.

Tsk, tsk readers, for your not very attractive skeptisicm for this gentle woman's request for help. Especially in this holiday season.

My gawd, SO WHAT if they are legal or illegal immigrants and SO WHAT if they are originally from Eastern Europe or from Mexico. Do you seriously think that Buddha, or Mohammed or Jesus would have cared where a fellow human being was from before assisting them?

Compassion, people, is what separates us from the animals and the hard-core conservatives.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:8-9).”

Compassion, people, is what separates us from the animals and the hard-core conservatives.

I object to this disparaging generalization about animals. For instance, it's the rare dog that won't show a glimmer of compansion in a time of need.

Actually, on second thought, I'd rather say something different.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that ICU room rates in the ICU at OHSU are about $10,000 per day.

Raising money for OHSU and liability lawyers (the latter of whom I thought worked on "contingency fees"), which is the stated purpose of the request for collections, might not take the Scrooge out of Christmas for that many potential donors.

That is to say, my social guilt and my altruistic sensibilities tend to collapse before I can find sympathy for the cash-flow woes underlying the Mirage atop Marquam Hill or for the absence of an apéritif before a rapacious legal banquet.

It might be wiser, Mr. Kaganov, to say that all monies will be placed in a rock-solid Special Needs Trust created exclusively for the patient and her immediate family -- one that is sheltered from, and impermeable to, various carrion feeders and putrifying bacteria.

[And, yes, I see that's an inept metaphor, and agree that real-life carrion feeders and bacteria have a valuable and vastly under-appreciated purpose in the biosphere.]

Point taken, sir.

I would argue that however many hundreds or thousands of dollars we raise for the family to put towards the "$10,000 per day" bill would be money with which a father can feed his children.

Give it a rest, Woodburn Bob. At this moment, when a family is in need, no one cares if you hate OHSU and if you find their ICU room rates suspect. If you're not going to give assistance, fine. But the last thing friends and family of Mrs. Vakarchuk need right now is to read that tripe. Show some grace.

"We are raising money to cover her substantial medical and legal costs."

My deepest apologies if I offended the injured lady's family and friends.

I read the quoted words as if they were meant to be true.

I missed the idea they were intended as euphemism for trying to get a family some money for basics in a time of need.

Merry Christmas, sir.

Slavic Youth of America is a one year-old 501c3 non-profit made up entirely of Slavic volunteers aged thirty and under (two board members excepted). I have no illusions that such a young organization can completely relieve the financial burden this family must carry – but we will try, and come closer to realizing this goal than if we did nothing.

I will continue volunteering my time as long as is necessary, and I stand by my words.

Thank you to those who have given generously. Merry Christmas, and keep Mrs. Vakarchuk and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tsk, tsk readers, for your not very attractive skeptisicm for this gentle woman's request for help. Especially in this holiday season.

Sorry, but skepticism is second nature for those that have been burned in the past (although it should be for anyone)...I will help people when I can, but you have to be careful today. You can either be robbed blind, hurt physically, or sued.
So I tread lightly...if that offends, Im sorry. But I have family to think about as well.

I don't believe most personal injury attorneys would require anything more than a signed contingency agreement for a case like this...Assuming there is no evidence suggesting the victim pulled the door handle herself and the cab company/driver has some insurance and/or assets.

It sounds like a slam-dunk to me.


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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
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Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
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William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 92
At this date last year: 144
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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