Ron Heldwig


My SMART Story ~ Ron Helwig, owner of the Shire Silver(external link)

Having come upon financial hard times, I was essentially forced due to circumstances into living at a place in Grafton NH that was a bit "rough". It took me two months to get running water, and even after living there for 6 months never got hot water. The heat was by wood stove.

My primary goal in the remote location was to try to rebuild my ability to concentrate. Over the past few years I've developed something like ADHD, making my primary education in computer science pretty much impossible to use. I had planned to get Internet access, and try to rebuild my work capabilities with no distractions or excuses. Unfortunately, that didn't work out - distractions moved in and while I did have some uninterrupted time, it was nowhere near what I needed.

Then, a few weeks ago I was put in full time charge of my 18 month old son. By this time I had lost my car, which really limited my options. There is only a gas/convenience store in walking distance, and essentially no work. And even if I could find work, the babysitting options were very limited. And being a full time caregiver for my son meant I had maybe a half hour to an hour of available working time each day.

Finally, it started getting cold. I had very little wood for the wood stove, and no other way to heat the house. If it was just me, I would have tried to stick it out for a while longer; but I had my son with me and I wasn't taking chances. I needed a way out.

Figuring the most immediate need was a car - which would open up a lot of opportunities - I decided it was time to sell off one of the last items of value I have to try to buy one. I posted on Facebook and asked some friends, but no one was both interested and had the money. Then I remembered SMART. I posted there and got responses. In about a week I had sold the item and gotten the money. The mere promise of the money allowed me to make the move from Grafton down to Manchester where there's a lot more amenities and opportunites close by and lots of fellow liberty lovers, many of whom are well acquainted with my son and willing to help.

In addition to the ability to raise cash, the simple knowledge that there was help available was an incredible relief. Just a couple weeks before taking over care for my son, I had started getting panic attacks. Since I received help from SMART though, the panic attacks have lessened significantly.

So now I am trying to work my way out of the mess. I am still the primary caregiver for my son, which takes up most of my time; but some local friends are helping and I'm getting more time to try to work. I still don't have a car, but I have been able to borrow one when I need it.

So SMART not only helped me with financial difficulties, but it gave me the emotional support and breathing room that I've needed to regain hope and see more of the opportunities that are out there.