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Lenora, an elderly woman in Syracuse, is currently homeless. Emergency funds are needed for immediate living expenses for her and her middle aged niece.
Maisha Baddoo
Syracuse, New York
United States
1 Team Member

UPDATE! MARCH 14, 2013










UPDATE! JAN. 9, 2013






UPDATE!!!! $1600 needed by December 8th, 2012! WE need this by MONDAY November 26th!

It has been confirmed by the city of Syracuse that if Lenora can pay at least $1600 by DECEMBER 8th, 2012, that she can keep her house and go on a payment plan to repay the remaining balance within 1 year's time by monthly payments. $1600 is our  bare minimum goal and if we are successful, we will extend the length of this campaign to try and continue receiving donations towards the total balance of $8,415.69

Short Summary

 My name is Maisha Baddoo and I am posting this fundraising page for my elderly friend Lenora Monkemeyer who is in desperate need of funds to keep her home in Syracuse New York for her middle aged niece.

Lenora's older brother Karl had moved in with her last year, assisting with her home's repairs, but sadly passed away in April. Now Lenora and her niece only have each other and are left to care for Karl's four cats. This fall, her house was boarded up due it's conditions . Lenora also owes backed property tax from 2007 ( Now in the amount of almost $9,000). If she does not pay these taxes by December 8th, 2012, she will loose her house to a bidder who has already placed a bid on her property. Currently, Lenora is only in the home when working on repairs, but does not have the funds to actually do all the repairs needed. Living far below the poverty level (receiving a mere $723 a month in social security), Lenora has even been living in a home in need of serious repairs such as a damaged roof covered with a tarpaulin. She has also been living with out running water since 2008 and without electricity or gas since Jan. 2012. No running water. No heat. No electricity. 

Lenora does not have family to turn to and does not have the money for temporary housing. She is in need of immediate emergency funds for food and shelter, as well as funds to save her home. 

I graduated Syracuse Univeristy with a BFA in Film and met Lenora when I was a freshman. I casted her in one my student films entitled "Hello Harry" in which she did a phenomenal acting job for someone with no formal training. We would often run into each other on campus and she was always a nice woman to talk to. Upon graduating, Lenora even opened her home to me for two weeks while I waited for my OPT United States Work Visa to be approved ( I was a Canadian international student). She is currently on the verge of loosing her home and as someone who once helped me, feel she now deserves my help.

No one deserves to live in the conditions that Lenora has been living in, especially an elderly person in Syracuse New York, a city that receives some of the harshest winters. My hope is to see her not to have to go through this any longer.

What We Need & What You Get


Backed Property Tax: $10,000

Emergency Living Expenses: $6,000


* NOTE: our goal is listed as $17,120 to cover indegogo fees.

The exact amount of Lenora's Syracuse City and County back taxes for her property that is outstanding from 2007 is $8,415.69 ($5,348.27 plus $3,067.42 interest). This amount was through September 2012 and after this date it has been increasing with each month. For this reason, we have rounded off the total to $10,0000. This way, Lenora will have more than enough to pay it off as well as have some extra funds for herself at this difficult time. 

The $6,000 for emergency living expenses is based on a rough estimate of what it can cost someone to live in Syracuse New York for six months, modestly. Due to the fact that Lenora's home is in desperate need of repair and is currently with out gas, electricity or running water, she will need to sublet another place during the harsh winter months that have started to approach us. Syracuse New York is NOT a place to be living with out heat due to these harsh winters and we hope for Lenora not to have to live through one again in such primitive living standards.

IF the entire funding goal is not met by our deadline, the funds will go directly to Lenora to assist with her finding a new place to live. ANY amount you can contribute will be deeply appreciated!

NOTE: This will be a two-part campaign. Due to the limited time, this campaign is currently only asking for the amount needed for Lenora's backed property taxes and emergency living expenses. If enough funds are raised by our November 26th deadline, Lenora will be able to make her full payment for her back property tax on her deadline of December 8th. If this happens, we will proceed to start the second part of the campaign which will be for raising the funds for her outstanding utility bills and much needed home repairs, clean up and roof repair.

Lenora's deceased father owns a home in Jamacia NY which she hopes to officially gain possession of and sell in order to gain more funds to fix up her home in Syracuse. However, this will be a long term endouver and she is in need of emergency housing for the time being.


The Impact

For Lenora and her niece to keep their home, would mean the world to them. Though the home is in need of a lot of work, it is the only home they have. They also only have each other ( and their 4 loveable cats). They do not have family to turn to, so this is why I have chosen to turn to you and ask for the help that they need.

This is my first time starting a campaign of my own. I have supported other campaigns by simply spreading the word and have seen that fundraiser almost reach their full goal. Spreading the word is key and I ask that you help me do this.

A Little About Lenora:

Lenora Monkemeyer is 70 years old. She has been living in Syracuse New York for over 40 years years, having been a previous student of Syracuse University's music department in which she graduated from in 1973. She played violin and was both the founder and manager of the summer orchestra in which many of the participants where from neighboring colleges, high schools and music conservatories. This eventually became a course in SU's music department. Lenora worked as an organist for many years, working for such organizations as The VA Medical Center, St. Paul's Luthern Church, Grace Episcopal Church and substituted for a Catholic church. Lenora also studied and taught ballet for over 20 years. Such places in which she taught where Cazenovia College, an after school program in Liverpool NY and her own private studio. Her students put on free performances at the Thornden Rose Garden and various indoor stages. Many of these performances included original music and choreography by Lenora.

Unfortunately, in 1990, Lenora had to receive a bimoeller ankle fracture from falling in the snow and ice. A metal plate and screws where put in to hold her ankle together. Due to this, she had to give up her beloved ballet career.  She also broke her arm shortly after and had to give up playing organ while it healed. She has been unable to afford simple things like new glasses, therefore, she has not continued playing organ. The main reason for her monthly social security only being $723 a month is that all her professional jobs mentioned where just part time positions.

Despite Lenora's hardships, she has continued to give back to her community. She has worked as a Tree Steward for the Cornell University Cooperative Extension and assists the Syracuse Salvation Army with their annual Christmas fundraisers. Years ago, when Lenora's home was in better shape, she used to rent out rooms for various Syracuse University International Students as well. 

I want to give back to Lenora. She is a women who has struggled, does not have much, but has continued to make a conscious effort to give back to her own community  what she can. Now, she is in need.

Other Ways You Can Help

As mentioned, Lenora's home is boarded up and the City of Syracuse and Fire Department and is only allowing her to be in her home for the sole purpose of working on repairing it. They are with out a place to sleep.

That being said, if you are unable to contribute to this cause financially, there are other ways you can still help! If you are living in the Syracuse area (or know someone that does) and can open your home to her for a place to stay, whether it be for one night or one week, this would also be greatly appreciated. 

And lastly, please simply spread the word. You can use the Indiegogo share tools, you can post the link to this campaign on your facebook, twitter, email it to colleagues, friends and family as well. Anyone who you think would be willing to help, please tell them about this cause. Lenora and I would deeply appreciate it. 

You can also contact me or Lenora directly.

Maisha Baddoo

Toronto * Los Angeles



Lenora Monkemeyer




We have very limited time. Our deadline for funds is NOVEMBER 26th, 2012. We are trying to work a miracle in the next 2 weeks! 


Find This Campaign On
raised by 66 people in 17 days
33% funded
No time left
$17,120 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 27, 2012
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