Our community is generous and beautiful. It brings tears to my eyes in that "I am overwhelmed with wonderful" kind of way, just how loving and giving my community is. We're a community with very high poverty rates, yet we take care of our own. I'm not sure where this idea of "no empathy" comes from, because it is the exact opposite of my experience. I love our community more than all the words in the world can express.
As a known quantity with a long history in our world, I have benefited greatly from how our community helps each other out, probably more than I deserve to. So. I'd like to ask those of you who can and wish to to share the love with someone you don't know, yet, but totally should.
Meet Mandy (we totally went to the same artist for internets portraits).
Mandy has fairly recently discovered the Autistic community, and she is my friend. Not just my friend though-our local Autistic community benefits from her presence. Have you ever had the kind of friend who does stuff that's hard for them too when you're stuck because friends help each other dammit? Mandy is one of those friends, helping with the paperwork and phone calls we all struggle with. We work together on the local teen mentorship program (along with others, of course) and she levelheadedly explains neurodiversity ideals, conflicting access needs, and other difficult topics to those who are struggling to understand them.
She has other advocacy and education ideas as well, but like all of us, Mandy is more than her activism. She is a genuine friend dedicated to not hurting anyone or making them uncomfortable. She has an infectious love of Egyptian belly dance (infectious being the key word here; several of her friends have tried classes because of her) and is the mother of one of the cutest kids on the planet. Oh, and we have had more than a few non stop gigglefests. In short, Mandy is awesome.
Have I sold you on how great my friend is yet? As with everyone, there is more to her story than is my place to put here. Let's just say, like all of us, Mandy needs her community. We all need people like us, safe places, safe people, environments that build us rather than drain us. And our community needs Mandy.
We would both appreciate any help you can give.
I make interchangeable beaded bands for medicalerts & other IDs and am about to start making beaded bracelets that say LEFT/RIGHT or STARBOARD/PORT. I will make a single-strand bracelet in the colors and length of your choosing for a donation of $25.
For donations of $40 or more, I will make a double stranded bracelet in the color and length of your choosing.
Please leave me an email address at which to contact you about your bracelet if it's different from your paypal primary one.
FINALLY. Here is the link to the Fundrazr page. Thank you so much!
Fair disclosure: this is coming through my PayPal bc I actually *have* a paypal & it actually works. Important thing in fundraising, that....