Stephen R. — Donations Closed!

$7,570 of $5,000 raised

Need:

Vehicle, tools, housing

Circumstances:

On Jan 31st, Stephen R. was walking out of the Wimberley H-E-B with groceries when he noticed a young woman in the parking area, her face distraught. Stephen is a naturally considerate man, and true to his nature, when he saw her a little later on RR 12 by the ACE, clearly in distress, he pulled over to ask her if she was okay. She told him she needed a ride “really bad” to Temple. Stephen was headed to South Austin to work on a house remodel, and she hopped in when he offered to take her that far. His Toyota Corolla CE was on empty, so he pulled into the Brookshire’s for gas. Then he was up at the payment booth, and she stole his car. Stephen tried to catch her, screaming to anyone who could hear him to call 9-1-1. Thankfully, he said, a red-headed lady was there and called the cops.

This happened at the worst possible time for Stephen R. He’d just separated 3 weeks before from his long-time girlfriend of 11 years. They’d grown apart, and he was interested in living a cleaner, loving life. That’s how he found himself in the predicament of having all his worldly possessions in his Toyota Corolla. He’d been sleeping at a friend’s house in Canyon Lake, living out of his car filled with tools, clothing, all his personal records. He’d just taken the job in South Austin, where he was now staying for several days and had already left his luggage and clothing there.

Stephen R. has lived in this general vicinity all his life. He finished high school at Dripping Springs High School in the 80s. Right after graduation, his first job was at Cypress Creek Cafe with Bruce Caulkin as the owner. He’s done every kind of job from delivering dog food across the state of Texas,  managing several different Wendy’s fast food restaurants, to being a roadie for 12 years with the rock and roll band, Joe King Carrasco. He came back to Wimberley in 2008, to work on a mosaic tile project for a friend of his and lived there while he finished. While living in Wimberley, he started working as a handyman and learned from some of the best people in the trade. He treasured the tools he’d gotten from family and friends, but especially the red toolbox given to him when he was born, which was filled, as his father could afford it, with gifts of Craftsman tools. When Diane Lunow answered the phone call on January 31st from Stephen, her friend and worker, she was surprised to hear him crying. “I lost my tools,” he said. It came late in the conversation that his car had been stolen. She told us he is one of the best men she knows, and she has to help him.

Stephen is the guy in town who everyone can count on, charging $20/hour, putting his customers before himself. Coach Dick Smith has lived and worked in Wimberley off and on since 1988. He’s hired Stephen for odd jobs around the house and for other properties he manages. Coach told us he’s the fastest worker you’ve ever been around. He doesn’t work long, mostly working 3 hrs, but he works hard. A repainted bathroom took him 2-3 hours and it was high-quality work. He has a wide skill set of carpentry work, painting, plumbing, and yard work. Coach said, “The first thing I notice about a person is if they look me straight in the eye and tell me the truth. Stephen has never lied to me. Always shown up when he said he’d show up. Always been there when I needed him. People I’ve referred him for work also give him great recommendations. And he’s been a great friend.”

Even though Stephen R. is only in his late 40s, he has some serious health limitations, so that he can only work 3-5 hrs a day. Two and a half years ago, he had a life-saving surgery, and his health problems frightened him enough that he stopped drinking and started eating right, but there is lasting damage. Stephen doesn’t have children. He’s embarrassed to be getting help this way and never asked for help except from friends here and there. His father had just bought him two new tires so his car could pass inspection. He doesn’t want his parents to know about the theft, especially because they couldn’t really afford the tires. They live off social security income, out at a friend’s ranch in a trailer.

 

Stolen:
2004 Toyota Corolla CE  with rear body work. The front hood is dented where one of his clients hit it with a tractor. He told them not to worry about fixing it. It has over 200,000 miles. Diane Lunow says he needed a new car, but Stephen loved that car.

Items stolen inside car:

  • Straight Talk Android phone — iPhone donated
  • Circular saw, sabre saw — donated
  • DeWalt cordless power drill — donated
  • 2 toolboxes full of tools — donated
  • Old socket ratchets – wrenches — donated
  • Carpenter squares, hammers, tape measures, 2 levels, hand tools — donated
  • Wood hand saw, screw driver set, accessories — donated
  • Battery powered blower — donated
  • Steel-toe work boots (size 11) — donated
  • Battery powered weed eater, 3 batteries and chargers — donated
  • Jumper cables — donated
  • Sharp shooter shovel — donated
  • 2 igloo coolers — donated

Donate:

Please help Stephen with a new vehicle. We’ll try and raise between $5000-$10,000 for a dependable used car that he can live in at camp sites until he gets on his feet. Help him with used replacement tools to finish jobs he has lined up. Please deliver tools to Mail Stop in Wimberley at 13501 Ranch Road 12. Help him find housing with a roommate or as a property manager, working only half-days. Any extra money raised will be used to buy Stephen R. additional tools for work. If you have more questions, or would like to help him in other ways, please call us: 512-648-4400.

Stephen R. approved this posting. WGN finished a background and reference check.

Breakdown of the budget and expenses:

Stephen R. Project Budget

Stephen R.– Thank You

###

THANK YOU

Your donations have made such a tremendous difference in my life. Your support pushed me forward to see the future with hope and to better my life. I didn’t ask for any of this and was hanging on before, making do with what I had. I am so blessed to have the friends I have who helped me reach out to the community when I was in trouble and for the new friends I’ve made. You guys replaced all of my tools and more. I got crowbars with handles so now I won’t hit my hands prying up floors and taking off sheetrock. The van has space for all the tools, and I can sleep in there if I have to. I thank you for all of this from the bottom of my heart. —Stephen

In Stephen's own words:

I’m going to miss the red toolbox my father bought when I was born and filled up with gifts of Craftsman tools and old wrenches
SB

Sandra Balacek

February 10, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
KA

Kathy & Gary Arnold

February 10, 2022

Amount Donated
$103.30
MK

Mary Lynn Kennedy

February 10, 2022

I hope this helps. I can donate a few fast food gift cards if that will help but would prefer to give them to someone associated with this unfortunate gentleman or him directly … Read more

I hope this helps. I can donate a few fast food gift cards if that will help but would prefer to give them to someone associated with this unfortunate gentleman or him directly. I can bring to location.

Amount Donated
$51.33
CM

Cathy Moreman

February 10, 2022

Amount Donated
$200.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 9, 2022

Amount Donated
$36.35
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 9, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 9, 2022

Amount Donated
$1,020.71
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 9, 2022

Amount Donated
$510.51
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 8, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.80
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 8, 2022

Amount Donated
$1,020.71
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 8, 2022

Amount Donated
$40.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 8, 2022

Amount Donated
$500.00
LP

Laura Polivka

February 8, 2022

Praying you Stephen

Amount Donated
$25.82
JP

Joani Pepper

February 8, 2022

Stephen, I've heard about you for years from my friend Diane. I am so very sorry this happened to you and here's a little something to help out. I am really sorry you lost … Read more

Stephen, I've heard about you for years from my friend Diane. I am so very sorry this happened to you and here's a little something to help out. I am really sorry you lost the tool box your dad gave you. Pepper

Amount Donated
$102.35
JP

Jamie Pettit

February 8, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
CH

Christine Hofer

February 8, 2022

Wishing Stephen R. the best!

Amount Donated
$51.33
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$103.30
JE

Jodie Eisenhardt

February 7, 2022

God bless this man ...

Amount Donated
$25.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$25.82
SB

Shelli Beck

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$103.30
CS

Chris Sharp

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
ME

Myra Eppright

February 7, 2022

So sorry this happened! Praying they find the car and put her in jail!

Amount Donated
$102.35
JM

Jennifer Morris

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
CR

Crystal Reynolds

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
JB

Jennifer Bolden

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$20.71
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$255.41
KR

Katherine Rakowitz

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$55.41
LD

L Drott

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
FH

Fred Hagemeier

February 7, 2022

Best wishes, Stephen R. We hope you recover well from this unfairness you have just experienced. It seems that you have many new friends who are wanting to help you get back on … Read more

Best wishes, Stephen R. We hope you recover well from this unfairness you have just experienced. It seems that you have many new friends who are wanting to help you get back on your feet and be successful again.

Amount Donated
$25.82
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$153.37
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
JK

Janet Koch

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$26.06
JT

Judith Thompson

February 7, 2022

Thanks Diane, I will never forget your help during the flood.

Amount Donated
$75.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
KL

Kathie Carlson and Mike Lukowiak

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
OH

Olga Harwell

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$50.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
AO

Anna O'Farrell

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$25.82
KM

Kayle Miller

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
RF

Rosemarie Fitzpatrick

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$103.30
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.80
MW

Mindy Webber

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$5.41
MW

Mindy Webber

February 7, 2022

Amount Donated
$5.41
LL

Laura Lorek

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
LJ

Lydia Johnson

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$25.82
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$10.61
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.80
KW

Kimberly Watson

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
LB

Lynne Boze

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$102.35
SB

STEVE BILLICK

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
CM

Carrie Merritt

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.80
RM

Rose Mendez

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$51.33
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$40.00
Anonymous User

Anonymous

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
LS

Linda Swedberg

February 6, 2022

Best of luck to Stephen. Will be contacting him later for handyman work and will poll friends to see who may have excess tools to help him work again.

Amount Donated
$103.30
AD

Anne Dobbs

February 6, 2022

Hope you can get the things you need.

Amount Donated
$51.33
Jeffrey Harper

Jeffrey Harper

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$100.00
RT

Rene Tennison

February 6, 2022

Prayers for your amazing future and blessings!

Amount Donated
$102.35
AB

Ava Braslau

February 6, 2022

Amount Donated
$20.00