Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Contributing to Nothing

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You may have heard in the media recently about a Kickstarter campaign recently to make Potato Salad.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it is a crowd-funding site geared towards raising funds for creative projects.   For instance I could say that I want to make a documentary about what it's like to raise Noah, make my Kickstarter with a hypothetical goal of $100,000 to produce it and sit and wait for people to throw a donation towards my creative idea with the hopes I meet my hopeful financial goal.  Along the way I can offer incentives for your donation.  I'll give you a pin with Noah's picture on it if you donate $10, and if you donate $1,000 I'll give you an autographed copy of my video signed by Noah himself.... that kind of thing.

While I'm sure there are some great inventions and ideas just floating out there in cyberspace, this idea that the Potato Salad Campaign was listed at $71,000 (now adjusted back to $42,000) towards a raised hopeful goal of $10 is starting to stir up some valid feelings for special needs families that are often primarily dependent upon donations and fundraising methods to cover uninsured therapy, medical, equipment, home modification and handicapped accessible vehicle costs.   While many special needs fundraisers find some success, others might find a handful of help, and some other fundraisers go unnoticed thereby being completely unsuccessful.  But rarely if ever will you find a special needs fundraiser that even gets close to $42,000 and currently growing in success at this very moment.

As a collective society, we're totally messed up.  Clearly if you stack any medically fragile child up against making potato salad and potato salad wins, we have a big problem.   People would rather contribute to the idea of someone wanting to make potato salad than putting hard earned dollars towards making a difference in someone else's life.   You think it would be an easy decision to make.  Contribute to an absurd online fundraiser or do something life changing.   And at the end of the day you can say what?  I gave money to some dude on the internet to make potato salad?  Or do you want to wake up in the morning and say you know what I gave some help towards a child in need.

I've heard the argument lots of times before.  Who do I really know that I'm donating to needs it?  What about fake fundraisers with children that don't really need it.   Maybe there are a few scams out there, but I can tell you living this life that most all of the pleas for help that you see are very real and very valid.  If you are willing to throw money at potato salad then it shouldn't matter to you if you happen gamble on a special needs fundraiser and not personally knowing the child or family in which you are donating to. 

The internet is full of buzz...
"You're helping this guy live his dreams"
"He's funny and charming"
"He promised us all a pizza party!"
"He's a hero"

So that's what we're missing when we ask for people to make precious donations towards something our children need that we can't otherwise obtain without generous and loving donations?  Last time I checked all of our little special needs children were heroes.  You are most certainly helping these children live their dreams.  Our children are both funny and charming and bonus come with a multitude of other amazing characteristics.  And I'll promise anyone a pizza party if you help my child with special needs.

So why potato salad?
Noah's Fundrazr started 6 months ago, continues to sit at zero donated dollars


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.