8/9/10 Update: Wow. I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity that this post generated. Thank you so much to those of you who donated; it meant the world to Lane, and it's going to enable him to really make the most of his trip. He's having a really wonderful time there; he's fallen in love with the Bay Area already, and is figuring out which schools besides Stanford he should apply to this fall :)
If you were one of the people who donated, please know that he's more than willing to do some work for you in return; for those of you who are local, he's available for physical labor as well as technical support, and for those of you who are remote, he can do web, coding, or even boring data entry work.
This also will serve for him as a great example of how generous people can be, and I hope that he'll be able to pay it forward himself in the future.
Again, my thanks to all of you.
Lane left Wednesday for a two-week trip to San Francisco and Palo Alto. It's his first trip on his own, and while we paid for tickets and arranged for places for him to stay, spending money was up to him. He put away some money over the summer, but wasn't able to find a job (despite applying at multiple places)...the economy and the influx of college/hs students home for the summer made it tough for a 16-year-old to get his application noticed.
Despite the fact that we gave him some spending money for the trip, it's only taken him three days to realize that (a) San Francisco is a lot more expensive than Rochester, and (b) if you don't pay attention, your money can disappear awfully fast into food, drink, admission fees, public transportation, and more. Unfortunately, he's come to this realization at a time when our monthly budget is already stretched a little tight because of the trip Alex and I just took, along with some other unexpected expenses.
To make matters worse, he managed to spill liquid on his laptop, so he's computer-less right now...and thus unable to post his own plea for digital piecework or advances on wages for local chores.
So, I'm helping him out with this post. If you've got some work that you'd like him to do here in Rochester, or something that he could do for you remotely, he's available for hire at whatever you consider to be fair wages. Or, if you just feel some sympathy for a 16-yo who's learning some hard life lessons this week, you could chip in a couple of bucks to make his vacation less stressful.
Thanks! (from both of us...)