Unlike other organizations, we don’t send out many fundraising appeals. Usually over the course of year, we’ll ask for you to participate somehow in our annual benefit, and we’ll ask you to read this fall letter. GRASP does not charge for membership, nor do we charge admittance to any of our meetings or programs. Everything GRASP does for our members is free.
Why? Because compared to other major autism/Asperger organizations, GRASP’s (now over 7,000) members endure disproportionately greater economic challenges. Those members—you—are primarily the adults themselves. And were we to bombard our folks with appeals, we would risk feelings of inadequacy from some of you; the very emotions we work to abolish.
But GRASP is not “fine” without the help of those who can give something. We need your donations, especially in such times when the budget cuts of foundations and School Boards, as well as the general economic malaise, has so impacted us. Our fall email campaign is your chance as much as it is ours.
Have we done enough this year to deserve your donation? Has this inordinately passionate organization in our autism world done enough to honor its Mission? I think so, and I know GRASP needs your help. Some highlights from the year are as follows . . .
And as always, GRASP has created a place for adults on the autism spectrum to explore, share, socialize, feel safe, feel brave, and awaken our long-dormant capacity for empowerment and purpose. We may seek better jobs, better relationships, or to share with others how we accomplished those very things. We may want a cause to belong to, or a sense of purpose, yet sometimes all we want is to be amongst people with similar experiences. And in respecting your choices for which of these you want and do not want, we strive for you to enjoy better, more inclusive lives.
Thanks to GRASP, if not the whole changing world, more and more adults are finding things to be thankful for. As the anxiety, depression, or anger decreases through the increasing ability to trust (that others understand us) . . . GRASP members, like everyone else, might find themselves able—if not find it strategically wise—to be grateful for what they have 365 days a year; not just one.
But our budget is still woeful when compared to other, larger organizations in the autism/Asperger world.
If you are an adult who has benefited from our free subscriptions or support groups, and who has the means, please give so that others can enjoy the same boost in self-esteem, empowerment, self-advocacy skills, and the same feeling of strength or happiness that you might enjoy.
If you are a parent or relative of a child on the spectrum, GRASP was the first and is the largest autism organization to focus primarily on adults. If you want your children to enter a world that accepts them for who they are, as opposed to who they are not, then you will need GRASP to continue to seek acceptance for the behavioral differences inherent in these diagnoses.
If you are the parent or relative of an adult on the spectrum, then you will need GRASP to continue to give adults the power of face-to-face shared experience, the ability to trust, and to share. You will need GRASP to continue to preach its mantra of self-advocacy, not victimization, when faced with a world that still presents negative consequences for the characteristics we share. Without invalidating the challenges inherent in the diagnosis, nor the reality of the consequential pain, you will need GRASP to spread the internal trust that the world is not out to get us; and to teach the outside world that our behaviors are not a cause for threat, suspicion, or ridicule. You will need our contribution towards a more behaviorally pluralistic world.
If you are a friend of someone on the spectrum, and simply agree with GRASP’s platform, please help. Given our success rate, think of what we could do with the budgets of larger organizations . . .
Thank you for listening. If so willing, please write a check made out to “GRASP” and mail it to our offices at
666 Broadway, Suite 825
New York, NY 10012
Or you can make a secure online donation here: http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=2223
GRASP is a 501(c)3 and your contribution is tax-deductible.
Thanking you for your consideration, wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons, and with fingers crossed, I am
Sincerely yours, y’all,
Michael John Carley