Dear Friends of Joel Gillespie

Dear friends of Joel Gillespie (date4/28/17),

My name is Jeff Koenig and my wife Gill and I are friends of Joel Gillespie. Joel grew up in the same neighborhood as Gill and they have been friends since high school, and it has been my pleasure to get to know him over the last few years, first as a gardening client and now as a personal friend.

As many of you know, Joel is scheduled for knee surgery for torn meniscus next week. If he has the lesser of two possible procedures (which can’t be determined until the surgery), he should be able to walk gently in a few days followed by another six to eight weeks or so of very limited work as his knee heals.

I have asked Joel if he would be open to my reaching out to those who receive his gardening newsletter, and to other friends, in hope that some might be led to help him meet the considerable financial challenge that he faces.

Joel has health insurance through Blue Cross with a high deductible and a $5700 yearly out-of-pocket maximum. He has some funds set aside in a health savings account, but beyond that he will be responsible for an additional $3700 for this benefit year for the surgery, anesthesia, facility charges, physical therapy, biopsy and so forth.

Joel now employs seven people in his garden restoration business and is committed to keeping them busy earning money while he is out. He is so thankful for those who have proposed work that his team can do in his absence. But his own income will be drastically reduced while his knee heals and he is away from on-site physical work, which could be as long as two months.

I am writing to ask for 1. your prayers for his surgery and recovery and 2. your prayerful consideration of helping Joel financially for his medical and living expenses during this time, which we estimate in total to be $12-$13,000.

To facilitate this help, I set up a checking account at Bank of America to deposit financial gifts and make disbursements to Joel to pay health providers and meet his living expenses.  A ledger will be kept for all deposits and disbursements and will be available for auditing at any time. Once Joel is through with everything, we will be prepared to provide a full accounting.  Drawing on his own experience as a pastor, Joel has asked for a process that has high accountability and transparency and which is set up with tax and any other pertinent legal considerations in mind. Personally, I have had the privilege and experience of helping others in this way, and with the additional help of Ken Wingate, a local attorney, and Ted Reading, a local CPA, we are confident our approach meets those high standards.

If you would like to be of help to Joel during this time, please make out checks to: Jeffrey W. Koenig and mail to:

Jeff Koenig
1521 Shady Lane
Columbia SC 29206

I will send an email acknowledging receipt of all contributions and if you have any questions, please feel free to send an email ( to me or call me at 803-318-4539.

Please feel free to forward this letter to anyone you think may want to pray for Joel or help him financially.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support as you are led.

Cool Products


Hi everyone,

I’m writing to offer a brief update on Joel.  His knee surgery went well and thankfully, the procedure was the less complicated of the two which means his recovery time will be as described in the prior letter, and not extending out even further.

He is extremely grateful to all who have helped through prayer and financial support to make this situation less burdensome.  To date we believe we have medical costs covered and are on our way to covering his living expenses.

Joel expects he will be ready for vigorous on site work around the beginning of July, and continues to solicit big clearing out/jungle taming/mulching jobs to keep his employees employed.

I’ll update everyone again in a few weeks.

Blessings, Jeff ; date: 5/18/17

If you have work that you would like for Joel’s team to consider:

Joel’s cell phone # is: 803.767.0575

His email address:

His website;