We’ve joined #GivingTuesday and Indiegogo to give back and raise funds for our autistic writers’ empowerment program, the Penfriend Project. #GivingTuesday is a national movement to harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.
Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Taking place December 2, 2014 – the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday – #GivingTuesday focuses us on the true spirit of the holiday giving season “making it about community and not just consumerism,” according to Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation.
Giving back to the autism community was our family’s reason for starting our charity Geek Club Books, autism storytelling for positive change. Giving back to the autism community was our family’s reason for starting our charity Geek Club Books. We’re excited to be a part of #GivingTuesday because it gives us an opportunity to shine a spotlight on autism through our Penfriend Project: The Autism Byline. Our autistic contributors’ monthly columns connect us to their humanity and help us see beyond a diagnosis or disability.
Jennifer Cook O-Toole, award-winning autistic author, speaker and founder of Asperkids, endorses Geek Club Books Penfriend Project:
I am so very grateful for the chances I’ve been given and there are so many more autistic writers who deserve the same. Enter Geek Club Books Penfriend Project.
If we truly believe in universal human dignity and equality–of race religion, gender, sexuality, AND neurology, then there is nothing to do BUT encourage and give audience to the diverse spectrum community. You see, the Penfriend Project isn’t a gift generously bestowed upon a group of autistic writers. The Penfriend Project is the powerful gift spectrum voices will bestow upon you…if you will only listen.
We are currently piloting the Penfriend Project with three autistic contributors. They have their own monthly bylines at GeekClubBooks.com: Lydia Wayman (Autistic Speaks), Megan Amodeo (Autism Insider) and James Sullivan (‘Tud’ Sense). Each has a unique and refreshing perspective of life on the spectrum. Our goal is to grow to 20 contributors in 2015 and when funded, pay our autistic writers a freelance fee for their contributions. #GivingTuesday is our launching point towards reaching that goal.
Megan Amodeo and Lydia Wayman recently expressed what writing and the Penfriend Project means to them and the autism community:
If you’d like to sponsor an autistic writer, go to GeekClubBooks.com/penfriend.