Dear Spectrums Readers – A Special Financial Appeal –
We need your help! Our Winter issue was our largest issue to date with 48 pages, 10,000 copies and distribution to over 360 drop-off spots in seven Oregon and Washington counties. It is estimated that 25,000 people will read this issue either through print or online. We see this as an autism community win and are excited about our community growing stronger together!
That being said, of all the pieces written for the Winter 2016 issue, this was the most difficult for me to write. Ideally, it should have been the easiest.
As an autistic woman parenting two sons on the autism spectrum, I see the world differently than a lot of people do. Because the way I focus my attention is different, I am often able to notice patterns and concepts that others miss out on. I see big pictures and butterfly effects and find that to be a true gift. However, because I’m not always attuned to others and because I am often intensely in thought, I tend to miss out on social cues and hidden societal rules that other people find as obvious.
When I approached my husband, John in 2011 and shared that I had a calling from God to make positive change in the world through a proactive and uplifting autism organization, he supported the vision without hesitation. Autism Empowerment’s four foundational pillars which we use to build all of our programming on are Accept, Enrich, Inspire and Empower. Together, with many other devoted volunteers in the autism community, we work daily to help, encourage and empower others to let their light shine and to contribute to building a positive community culture where autistics, allies and families can thrive.
This is not about me, my husband or our volunteers. This is a movement on behalf of the Autism Empowerment community. It’s not a little us. It’s a BIG US that includes ALL OF US. We are not in competition with other autism organizations. We are here to support and collaborate and build each other stronger, so that our world may benefit through increased opportunity, reduced ableism and the belief that all of us have strengths and gifts to positively contribute to the society we live in.
Sometimes I am able to articulate this. Other times I need support. Today I need your support and your help.
This letter was supposed to be an inspiring annual appeal to ask for your financial help for Spectrums Magazine and Autism Empowerment. As an organization, we need to raise $150,000 to keep Spectrums Magazine going and growing in 2017. That’s before we pay people and it’s critically important to us that the autistic adults and other members of the autism community that are working on this publication and our other nonprofit programs earn a fair living.
For analytical people out there, we have lots of great statistics to share. For our visual visionaries, we have beautiful impactful photos. For our bottom-line drivers, we have a pretty impressive list of accomplishments. But will any of that encourage people to give?
This letter was meant to be unique and encouraging and respectful of the diverse community we live in, where people of all faiths, races, ethnicities, income and ability levels are valued. I wanted everyone reading this to know that Autism Empowerment and Spectrums Magazine appreciates you and looks forward daily toward contributing toward our vision of an inclusive society that values, respects and embraces all people.
How do I put that all together? How do I inspire and encourage YOU, the one reading this sentence right now to give? The truth is, I just don’t know. So I’ll ask you sincerely to write and tell me what inspires you to give.
You may have noticed that in this particular issue (print version), for the first time ever, there is a white donation appeal envelope. It is our hope that if you have found value in Spectrums Magazine that you will reward that with a financial end-of-the-year (or anytime of the year) donation.
It is our desire that if you see the value and potential in the work that Autism Empowerment does to promote a culture of acceptance and empowerment in the autism community, that you will join in and embrace that work with a monetary gift.
I initially thought of writing a “Dear Sensitive Santa” letter with a list of all the reasons we’ve been nice and wish list that Santa’s elves (our readers) could fill but a dear and respected friend cautioned me that I may alienate some communities.
As someone who has felt alien in my own world the majority of my life, it would never be my intention to do that. So I wrote and rewrote and wrote again some more and this is what I came up with.
Autism Empowerment needs the financial support of people like you in order to continue to innovate and bring you quality programs like Spectrums Magazine.
Would you please find that envelope in the magazine, click the green donate button at the bottom of the page or visit www.autismempowerment.org/donate and make a generous tax-deductible gift today? The autism community thanks you. I thank you.
From my heart to yours,
Karen Krejcha, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Autism Empowerment
Editor, Spectrums Magazine
Federal Tax ID# 45-2455219 – Autism Empowerment is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity.