The FERGUSON-WHITE FAMILY
Nominating Organization: UnLocal
My name is Crystal Ferguson. I have always been a daddy's girl. Ever since I can remember I would follow my dad around the house. We would always watch cartoons together, and our favorite was Bugs Bunny. When I was a little girl, my dad would wake up for work at 4:30am. I used to sleep with my parents back then and I would feel his side of the bed empty early in the morning. I would then find him in the living room and we would sing Michael Jackson songs together while he made breakfast and drive me to school. He didn't want me to miss a day. My dad always made sure I got my education. He is the reason I went to college because he said, "You are too bright to not further your education.”
In December 2009, I was told my father was being deported to Trinidad, a place that he hadn’t been since he was 12 years old. I thought I was stuck in some sort of nightmare. I was expecting my dad to come home and he never did. I was so sad. I was the last to know. My mother or sister did not want to tell me because stress is one of my triggers for a Sickle Cell crisis, a disease that I suffer from. I felt like I would never see him again.
After my dad’s deportation, my family fell on hard times. My dad was a financial supporter for my family, and without him working, we couldn’t afford all of our bills. He always made sure we had food and clothes on our back. He made sure the bills were paid. Now all of us, my mom, sister and I, have to chip in together on the rent. Other bills and necessities fall by the wayside because we have to make sure the rent is paid. Every year the rent goes up so it’s hard to pay the cable or have enough money to fill the fridge. I am behind on many of my bills. My mother has many debts and has borrowed money from her pension plan in order to pay for things like rent, immigration forms, clothing, toiletries and food. We are always behind on the bills, and it is very stressful. We also try and send my dad money as much as we can, but we just don’t have that much to send him. He gets paid very, very little in Trinidad. I know my dad is suffering greatly in Trinidad, with little access to health care despite ongoing medical issues. I know it is his deepest wish to see us again and tell us how much he loves us face-to-face.
My dad’s lawyer from UnLocal, Inc. is working on his case to bring him home, but we don’t know how long that will take. In the meantime, we have not been able to afford to go visit him in Trinidad given our financial situation. More than anything, I would love to hug him for the first time and see his face. It is a face that I have not seen since 2009. My mother, Valjean, my sister Tanya and my nephew, Elijah are desperate to visit our father in Trinidad; we can't take another day without him. We want to laugh again and remember what it was like to be a family. The four of us always used to go out together as one group. My mother misses him so much. He brings my mom joy and without him she has changed. She misses her best friend. It will be great for him to finally meet his grandson who has only seen pictures of him. I miss my dad; he was my friend and supporter, someone I could talk to about anything. Please help reunite our family and give us hope after all of these years apart. Thank you so much for your support.
HELLO VUELO IS RAISING $4,000 FOR FLIGHTS/LODGING TO SEND THE FERGUSON-WHITE FAMILY TO TRINIDAD IN APRIL!