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Karen Krejcha's Fundraiser:

Autism Empowerment Giving Tuesday End of the Year Appeal

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Karen Krejcha

THE STORY:

Hello! I am creating this event to be shared wide and far within and outside of the Autism and Asperger community. This is truly a time of year to practice an attitude of gratitude and be thankful for all the blessings we have been given. It is time to reflect upon what each of us can do to make our lives stronger and more meaningful. It’s a time to reflect upon how to better Accept, Enrich, Inspire and Empower children, teens and adults of all ages and abilities in the Autism and Asperger communities locally, regionally and worldwide.

Each one of us is an Ambassador for Acceptance in our home and in our communities. We have a decision when we wake up each day. Do we promote education and acceptance? Do we promote fear and gloom? For me, as a Mom living on the autism spectrum with one with autism who is 7 and one son with Asperger’s who is 14, two children I am raising to be their best, the answer is easy. We promote Acceptance. We promote education and enrichment. We motivate and promote inspiration. We empower to make life more meaningful.

We give a hand to our neighbor who is feeling challenged. We give support, we share resources, we host special events, we create training materials, we do anything and everything we can to say that living with autism, Asperger’s, ASD or any neurological difference may not be easy but it’s okay because we have a supportive and loving community of people who are here to help make our lives more meaningful and to provide us help and a hand up when we need it.

Unfortunately sometimes the messages we see in the autism community or on the news are negative. This is one of the reasons that Autism Empowerment was founded in June 2011. If you don’t know much about us, our passion and our authenticity, please see the following video:

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Hopefully that embedding worked! If not, try: http://youtu.be/yYrKfU4BEc4

I have trying to figure out for years now how to get the Autism Empowerment message of positivity and encouragement out to every household in the world containing one or more individuals living with autism, Asperger’s or an ASD. Many other autism organizations have the marketing money. Quite frankly, I don’t want to spend money on ads. I want our organization to spend money on serving children, teens and adults with autism and Asperger’s.
Then I came across a really neat concept. It’s called Giving Tuesday and it is on Tuesday, December 3rd.

We have a day for giving thanks. We have three for getting deals if you count Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. This year help us celebrate a day of philanthropy, altruism and feeling good about what we can do to help children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum. #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back. On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

This year I invite you to start a new individual and family tradition supporting Autism Empowerment and other charitable organizations on Giving Tuesday!

Specifically I would like you to make a pledge to make a generous end of the year gift to Autism Empowerment on Giving Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013.

As a woman on the autism spectrum who has spent a lifetime doing things for myself, coming right out and asking for money goes against my wiring. I’m not sure if it has to do with my neurology, my personality or both but it is something I need to work on in order to make sure that an incredible organization like Autism Empowerment raises money for our budget and is able to bring the autism and Asperger communities programs, services and special events that make a positive and MEANINGFUL difference.

I’ve talked to people about this. They say, “Just ask, Karen. What could it hurt?” Well… I’m not sure. I guess I worry about “imposing” on people or making them feel uncomfortable if they don’t have money to give. I’ll confess, it also hurts to be rejected by the friends and family I care about the most, something that many of us who are on the autism spectrum can probably relate to.

Then I prayed and I realized how selfish I was being in NOT asking. My fears… My insecurities… all of this was holding Autism Empowerment back from the opportunity to fund programs and services that are making a REAL positive difference in people’s lives. If Autism Empowerment is my calling, then I need to step outside myself and figure out a way to just raise the money. I KNOW we have awesome programs and ideas to implement. I KNOW we have the intelligence, strength and volunteers who want to support us. We just don’t have the money…

So here is what I’m asking. Autism Empowerment is looking to raise $500,000 for our 2014 budget so that we can hire individuals on the autism spectrum, extend our reach and launch our Autism Mentors and Autism Serves volunteerism programs. Right now, we are at the very beginning in our fundraising.

In 2013, our fundraising including grants and in-kind donations is so far around $55,000 and all our volunteers are unpaid as of present. We know in our hearts that Autism Empowerment is a calling and the right thing to do. We are focusing hard on implementing our strategic planning and learning as much as we can about the non-profit world.

We were advised to try and raise $1 million for what we intend to do so if we surpass $500,000, we will definitely go for that $1 Million mark. (Truth be known, I see another autism organization raising upwards of $60 million a year and I think it has to be possible for us to raise a million. We just need to meet and talk to the right people and let them know how serious and dedicated we are to making life more meaningful for children, teens, adults and families in the autism communities worldwide.

Oh by the way, I have something exciting to share. In case you didn’t already know, the Autism and Scouting Leadership Training Kit that our Autism and Scouting Leadership Advisory Committee just finished (94 pages + a DVD and bonus materials) will be reaching thousands of youth scouters around the United States in the next few months for FREE. In just one wee, we’ve had orders for almost 100 Kits (all sent out free) from scouting and alternative scouting units around the country that will provide training for over 9,000 youth. We have 400 kits left to hand out and we are seeking funding to produce more so we can reach every single unit in the United States and worldwide.

We started this program as a grassroots enterprise and have been able to do so much with so little $. Now it is time to expand!

Please make a Giving Tuesday gift on Tuesday, December 3rd. Every dollar counts. EVERY donation is meaningful. You are meaningful.

Do you know of a company or organization that has a matching gift program, offers corporate sponsorship, participates in fundraising or would be interested in making an end of the year gift? Do you like to fundraise?

Please spread the word about Autism Empowerment and remember to come and give on December 3rd. (If you are reading this after the fact, we would appreciate you making a gift before December 31st.)

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$20

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Accept, Enrich, Inspire, Empower 4 years ago