The Legend of Toby Williams
$12,292 raised
25% of $50k goal
149 contributors
100 Weeks left
Hello, Everyone!

I’m writing to you today on behalf of one of my good friends, Toby Williams. Toby and I have been friends since ~2002 when we met at Northeastern. After we graduated, we worked together at American Street Mortgage for a couple years.

Toby has severe cerebral palsy, which limits the speed of his speech and movements, though his mind is extremely fast and sharp. Toby has had to overcome difficulties in life beyond cerebral palsy, including growing up in a fatherless home with very few resources in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, dealing mentally and emotionally with the daily incorrect assumptions people make about him, and of course, the continual practical difficulty of simply getting anywhere. His special ride-share costs him as much as a limousine, and frequently arrives 1-2 hours late to pick him up. I witnessed this numerous times while working with him. His life is not only not easy, it’s flat out hard.

In 2010, a writer for The Chicago SunTimes was inspired by Toby’s life, and she published an article about him entitled, “The Legend of Toby Williams”:
Since this well-written tribute, Toby has struggled to maintain consistent employment, despite graduating with a master’s degree. It’s very difficult for people with his level of disability to find and maintain steady employment. Complicating matters, his mother developed dementia, and she now escapes their apartment if someone is not home with her. Because their family can't afford special care, Toby is essentially forced to stay home to watch her. Toby’s sister, a nurse, supports their mom financially, in addition to caring for her own three autistic grandchildren. But she is at her capacity to help, and looks to Toby to carry his weight.

So Toby works online jobs to pay bills, but he is in an increasingly tight financial situation, especially now that the State of IL cut his disability aid by 5%. He used to also sell inspirational poetry to supplement his income, but I think he may be the one needing inspiration these days because I haven’t seen a new poem in quite some time.

Toby has been forced to take out debt to pay for basic things like rent, heat, and food. He pays his bills, but I estimate the interest on his debt to be 40% of his monthly income. If he could wipe out this debt, he could breath a bit from the standpoint of interest savings alone.

So here I am, sharing This information about Toby with you because I care very much about him, and because I know how very generous you are. I thought to myself, if I were in Toby’s situation today, what would I do? In all likelihood, I would probably reach out to you, because you not only care for me, but you also have the capability of providing help. Toby recently told me he doesn’t have many people in his life that fit into both of these categories.

That’s when I realized that I’d like to do for Toby what I would hope he would do for me if our situations were reversed... and ask if you would you be willing to join in helping Toby by giving him a financial gift.
As a group, and out of our abundance, we can make this dear man’s life a little easier. We can help lift him up as he weathers this difficult time. In doing so, we will experience a certain happiness that money can’t buy as we see Toby blessed by our much needed assistance.

Thank you for reading this, and thank you in advance for your consideration!

Dan Chookaszian


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$20 USD
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I have gift cards to Chili's and The Chessecake Factory as thank yous.
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