Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Network'd.... for disabilities

A few weeks ago I started a campaign asking my friends to share a message on their social media networks that we are looking for children with disabilities to offer our free services to. The idea was simple- as one person  becomes interested enough to write about it to their own words with an explanation, hopefully someone from their circle will see it and do the same. That way, a cause spreads. Ideally of course we would hear about some Cerebral Palsy from the area. However for me it was more a device to get the word out. To tell people that we exist and what our work is. To get people to think about Cerebral Palsy, how they see it, what they know about it and what they assume. I also wanted to give my friends an opportunity to stand behind a cause that isn't asking them for money. We turn away from charity work because everybody wants us to give, give and give. It's a tough economy, but clicking doesn't cost money or require  much involvement. There's no reason not to help. Nearly 500 people read the text over the holidays.

But this experiment also showed me that I can find something else- new connections that open me to new opportunities, things I didn't even think of before. That I can network with people all over the State and the country. Our search got me in touch with most unexpected people. Like a marketer in New York, a law student with CP and another non profit in Florida that deals with that disability. And it got me to think that we should do something together. That there is a lot of small local nonprofits out there that got started because somebody's child hand Cerebral Palsy. One small voice is hard to hear, but when we act in concert, we can bring awareness. If you have Cerebral Palsy, I want to hear from you. Share your success story with me. If you have a CP nonprofit, I want to hear from you. Tell me what can I do to help your cause in your area and I will do it.  I don't drive, but if you need me there, I'll make myself available if you need to bring me to the area. I'll gladly talk about my experiences and do media appearances if you can arrange it. Tell me how we can coordinate our efforts to shed the stigma. Maybe we can  launch joint campaigns, maybe we can  fundraise together? Email me, we're wasting time already!

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