Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Call 2 Action - Awareness Is Not Enough

Autism impacts 1 out of every 110 children... CBS News reported a 600% increase over the past 20 years... This year more children will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder than with pediatric cancers, AIDS and diabetes combined... Harvard University reports the average cost of lifetime services and supports for an individual with Autism to be $3.2 million… Need we keep going?

We've been asking the same question for sometime, and each year more and more families, individuals and organizations are concluding that awareness is not enough anymore... the time for Action is long over due. The NEW question is how do we mobilize the willing and compassionate into action?

The Concert4Autism is a grass roots effort founded by the parents of a child with Autism, who had a life altering experience on the Spectrum with the Power of Music. This moment inspired the idea to use music as a messenger for Autism. To this day the Concert4Autism is driven by the cause to give everyone on the spectrum an equal voice and opportunity. From Celebrities, Parents and Single Moms to Advocates, Organizations and individuals...we are all the faces of Autism.

The idea is fundamental to anyone who believes that Awareness is simply not enough, and that the time for action is now. The Autism Spectrum is bigger than any celebrity or organization. Music is the universal language delivering this very message, encouraging everyone in the cause to stand together and tell the world in ONE UNIFIED VOICE "We are ALL the faces of Autism and we need your help." Music has the power to deliver this message around the globe, while connecting the cause with the willing and compassionate. The combination of live and online audiences integrated with the growing social networks for Autism on Facebook and Twitter creates an opportunity to reach the largest and most diverse audiences with our CALL TO ACTION.

Each April we invite families, individuals, celebrities, organizations and corporations to come together… not for a day or for an event but for the entire month. We encourage everyone to put their differences in approach, opinions and philosophies aside and accept the basic fact that everyone has their place on the Autism Spectrum... and that our cause is greater than just those with the loudest voices and deepest pockets. Our inclusive approach is to help organizations of all types and sizes provide services and supports to those with Autism. At the same time we realize the reach of organizations is limited and that direct assistance to those with Autism is needed too.

As part of this endeavor we ask celebrities and corporations to realize they can make a greater impact when they include others. Autism impacts people everywhere not just in areas served by celebrity foundations and supported by big corporate dollars. This is what we keep hearing from so many struggling with Autism more and more. Is it time to listen yet? We hope to cultivate cooperative efforts with celebrities, media, corporations and others enabling the greatest impact and effectiveness. By working together we can maximize the contributions and resources making the greatest difference for greatest numbers.

So let's keep one thing in mind... it may not be your favorite celebrities or bands, it may not be on the day that’s best for you or our cause… it may not be those with the biggest names who are standing with us... but those who do are doing it for the right reasons... because they actually care about making a difference... and because of that they can find the will to put their COMPASSION INTO ACTION!

Excuses are many and easy to make...especially for celebrities and corporations. However the truth is obvious to everyone. If they can step up with little or no notice for unannounced disasters around the world and other causes certainly they can find a way to contribute in some fashion to the worldwide Autism crisis, especially during Autism Awareness Month. Where the will exists there is always an opportunity to make a difference... We hope to inspire more corporations and celebrities to find the will and courage to get involved. Our experiences have shown us both the best…and the worst in people.

Let us leave you with our final two cents, especially if you are a corporate executive or celebrity representative, when you ignore people or even worse treat them poorly it reflects exponentially bad on your brand and the celebrities you represent. People are not stupid so treating them that way and making excuses only compounds the damage you do to your corporate identity and celebrities’ reputations. Honestly, do you believe the general public wants to find out celebrities got paid to represent a cause but those in need and suffering got nothing...or that companies only care about how many sales they get from philanthropic projects and not about making a difference? Continue down that path at your own peril.

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