‘My name is Michael Trujillo who was watching the news and saw the segment and felt inspired to help. I have been in contact with ABC news so that every dollar will be used to help Emily get housing and back on her feet. The plan is to use the money to work with the United Way and LA Homeless Services Authority to ensure she gets any other services she may need in her transition,’ the fundraising page says.
Trujillo said it’s the first time he’s set up such a fundraising page but he ensured ‘every dollar is used appropriately.’
Zamourka says she’s overwhelmed by the overnight fame and outpouring of support, calling the sudden turn of events ‘a miracle’.
Zamourka moved from Russia to the US 24 years ago and ended up on the streets when she suffered serious health problems and had to pay for her medical bills.
The artist, who taught lessons in piano and violin, was forced to take up numerous jobs while busking to make ends meet.
Zamourka’s revealed that her life derailed two years ago when a vandal destroyed her violin, and with it her means of making money.
‘It was my treasure, and it was my income, too. It was everything,’ Zamourka said to ABC, adding the violin was worth $10,000.
She was performing on the street when a man grabbed the violin and ran off with it. Bystanders who were watching Zamourka play the instrument outside Clifton’s restaurant in downtown LA said they ran after the culprit. But he then threw the violin on the ground, destroying her prized instrument.
‘All of a sudden I just hear her scream and I look up, and that’s when I pick up my phone and a guy that had been watching her, he just grabbed her violin and ran down the street and these two young men ran after him,’ Whitney Smith, a friend and fan of Zamourka, said.
‘And I was standing there with her, saying “Don’t worry about it, they’re going to get him.” Well, they did catch up to him, but the guy threw the violin down violently, which broke it,’ she added.
‘That’s when I became homeless. When I could not actually pay any of my bills and could not pay anymore of my rent,’ Zamourka said to NBC.
After the incident she played with an electric violin for some time, but then fractured her wrist when someone pushed her on the bus, and she hasn’t touched the instrument since.
‘This was a very horrible, bad thing to do and that’s the cause of me being where I’m at now,’ Zamourka told a local news station who had tracked the out of luck musician down for interview her about her life.
Since being evicted from her house she has been homeless ever since, sleeping rough, using cardboard as a mattress in a parking lot. Still she has dreams of taking her talents to the stage.
Without an instrument Zamourka began performing for commuters in the subway because ‘it sounds so great’.
‘I am sleeping actually on the cardboard right now, in the parking lot,’ she said. ‘I am sleeping where I can sleep… I have people that feel sorry for me, but I don’t want to be a burden to anybody.’
Hope springs eternal: Zamourka gushed that the outpouring of recognition and support has been a ‘miracle’.
A few days ago, an LAPD officer spotted Zamourka singing in a subway station in Koreatown and filmed her before posting the clip on Twitter. She soon becomes a viral sensation but did not realize her new status until her friends gave her the news.