Skip to content

June 29, 2015


Message from the Hartman Family on Crowdfunding for Blanche

Dear Sangha and Friends of Blanche:

Recently a crowdfunding site was set up to raise money for Blanche’s care. Since this site was launched, there have been some posts shared through the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, American Zen Teachers Association and other groups, that are both inaccurate and, in several cases, derogatory of San Francisco Zen Center. In particular, there is a statement on the Lion’s Roar website which seems to indicate that Blanche is $100,000 in debt, which is not true.

Blanche with Trudy Hartman

Blanche with Trudy Hartman

When the crowdfunding site was launched, it was done with good intentions—to offer a way for students and friends of Blanche to support her health-care costs. No one anticipated that there would be any controversy.

The Hartman family is very grateful to San Francisco Zen Center. We have been working closely together over the past several years to find the best ways to support our father, Lou Hartman, and now our mother, Blanche.

To clarify the current situation, while there may come a time in the next year when Blanche’s resources will run out, right now there are still resources available. However, Blanche has expressed that she would prefer to not spend this money, so that she can leave it to her children.

The fact that Blanche is residing at Age Song in a shared room is the result of the family’s decision, including Blanche, to not spend more money for a private room, or for the full-time care she would need in order to return to City Center. Zen Center has expressed that she is most welcome to return if she does have care. And we are all quite clear that because Blanche needs a great deal of help to care for basic needs, Zen Center students cannot adequately and safely provide this help.

In effect, the fund-raising has two purposes: to relieve Blanche from the feelings that she is taking care of herself instead of her children and grandchildren, and to benefit the family. The intimation that she is in a shared room because she does not have money, or because she has been banished from City Center and that San Francisco Zen Center is somehow neglecting her, is neither true nor helpful.

Thank you for your support.

Trudy Hartman

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kai Harper Leah
    Jun 29 2015

    I am wondering why Blanche can’t be brought back to Zen Ctr. and Zen Ctr. would help with paying for her care. It seems appropriate given all that she has done at Zen Center.

    Her being in a familiar place with those people who love and care for her seems like the best solution.

    Thank you, Kai Harper Leah

  2. Loretta Howitt
    Jun 29 2015

    Dear Trudy,
    My most respectful and admiring thoughts are with you and your Mom.

  3. Jun 30 2015

    We at Lion’s Roar regret the inaccuracy in our post and have updated it accordingly. Our best wishes to the Hartman and SFZC families.

  4. Lee Lipp
    Jun 30 2015

    Dear Trudy, I am so glad that Blanche has you in her life. Since I have been part of SFZC, living at City Center for a long time, I’ve directly experienced both your Mother and your Father being cared for in so many ways by the residents. I’m just now remembering that a few years ago someone contributed a motorized chair so that it would possible for them to stay in the 2nd floor rooms in which they have lived for so many years. Many CC people have visited her when she was up for it, sending her cards, showing their love and care for her.

    I thought that the crowdfunding request to support Blanche staying at Age Song meant that there were no more funds to care for her. I’m glad to know that this story, without basis in fact, can now stop being circulating. How painful it is for the Hartman family and for the SFZC community to have had to relate to this story at a time when our energy is best used to love Blanche

    Thank you for you clarifying letter to us. How relieving it is to hear about the family’s decision to use Blanche’s money for her care during this time of her life.

    May you all find ease during this time. Warmly, Lee Lipp

  5. Barbara Byrum
    Jun 30 2015

    Dear Trudy: We sat together at Blanche’s bedside at Age Song one afternoon.

    I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to support Blanche’s well being through a contribution to GoFundMe. This is the fundamental point for me – not whether her family has resources or whether Zen Center should take her in.

    Thank you for your courage and love.

  6. Daniel Kaplan
    Jul 8 2015

    dear Trudy,
    Thank you for clarifying the many inaccuracies coming from various venue. I’m happy to know that things are as they are because Blanche and you, her kids, made the decision for them to be that way.
    I’m also glad to know Blanche had such loving kids.

    Warm Regards,


  7. Jul 8 2015

    A deep Gassho from all in Belfast


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Help cover Zenkei Blanche Hartman's medical costs (Updated) - Lion's Roar

Leave a comment

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published. Comments are held for moderation.

Subscribe to comments