nothing like a last-minute plug for a good cause

Most charities and non-profit organizations know that the best way to engage a donor is to help them make a personal connection to the cause...because without that connection, it's just another donation request. I was reminded of that yesterday during a conversation with a prospective student's mother. She and I were trying to figure out the best balance between the limitations her college-student child experiences because of autism, and the membership expectations needed for induction.

Now I'll be honest...what little I do know about autism comes from reading this site. And every time Ali Edwards shares a story about her son, I am amazed at the patience and love and determination of her, her son and her family. Yet it was still something I just read about...something I didn't feel connected to. Until I spoke with this mother yesterday. And listening to her speak about the challenges her college student faces and the solutions they've created to overcome those challenges...hearing the obvious pride in her voice as she shared her teenager's accomplishments and efforts...I was so touched, so inspired. Even as she was explaining concepts like "core deficits" and "self-disclosure", I could tell how happy she was that her child was building a well-rounded life experience during college. And just like that, I felt the click - I felt that connection happening.

Finally, after reading about this incredible fundraising "competition", if you will, for a couple of months, I realized why supporting this cause in particular was so valuable.

I just made my donation. If you'd be interested in supporting this cause (or any of the other causes involved), contributions are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. Saturday night. Because maybe...just maybe...we're all more connected than we think.

(Below is Ali Edwards' badge raising money for Autism Speaks, Inc.)


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