Sunday, September 7, 2008

Update: Fundraising and Another QAS

QAS equals Quirky Awareness Stunts (QAS)

A news article about a dad from South Africa doing a "Jail4Bail" fundraiser caught my eye and I couldn't resist blogging about it. I've blogged about Quirky Awareness Stunts before and may do so again and again. I'm intrigued by how effective this type of fund and/or awareness raising event seems to be--especially in attracting media attention.

Earlier this year I wrote a post about a dad from Canada who spontaneously (or so he said) walked about two hundred miles in the middle of the Canadian winter to his nation's Capitol, Ottawa, to raise autism awareness. My favorite QAS , however, is when a basketball coach, coached a game in bare feet to raise money in order to make sure children in Africa had shoes. This stunt had nothing to do with autism, but it definitely was quirky. And "quirky" is a word that parents of children with autism know well.

The blog worthy stunt of the moment is being put in jail to earn money for my favorite cause: autism. This one took place in South Africa. Here is an excerpt of the article for this "Jail for Bail Event:"

"Gerhard Pieterse, executive director of Autism Western Cape, is a free man after being released from the jail cell he occupied for 74 days to raise funds and awareness for the organisation. Pieterse was locked up by the Table View police on June 16 in a cell at the Bayside Mall. His goal was to raise R1-million* for Autism Western Cape and the Table View Community Policing Forum. He earned Autism Western Cape about **R600 000 and Pieterse is thrilled with this."This is a challenging economy, and we raised about ***R8 000 a day," he said."

My thoughts: My husband mentioned that while Mr. Pieterses efforts, may be considered noble by some people, his stunt could be viewed as undermining the criminal justice system. I wonder if police officers, judges, lawyer, etc. would agree with him?

My own reaction was that while the basketball coach hurt only his bare feet, the other two performing the stunts I wrote about were men with families that seemed to suffer as a result of their respective efforts. If you click on the link for the article of Mr. Pieterse, "the prisoner", then you will see that he has an eleven year old daughter with autism who missed her dad while he spent 74 days in jail. She missed him to the point that her behavior deteriorated over the time period of which he was gone. When he returned, her behavior improved.

In contrast the neuro-typical Canadian daughter of the trekking dad expressed pride. That was after his performance. During the performance she felt something much different: anxiety about her dad's well being. On her Facebook site it was evidant that she felt a great deal of anxiety about her middle age dad who has health issues, especially when she asked for readers of her site to help her track and look out for him while he was out walking. Apparently, the Canadian dad just set out on his long, cold walk without really communicating his intentions with his family.

I mentioned before that it if weren't for my family I'd trek across this country to raise money and awareness for autism. However, I suppose hens like me usually don't wander far from the nest for too long when young ones are still in it. While I'd love to contribute so greatly to a cause close to my heart, I'd also consider the cost to my family.

*R 1 000 000 =$124,300.86


**R600,000 =74,580.52


***R8000=$994.41

1 comment:

Marla said...

Yes, I don't think my family would take it lightly if I decided to do some wild stunt such as these.

Lucky for them it is soooo not my style.