| Here's our first list
of suggested guidelines and an update for the Your Day Away chapters.
You are all involved in the start of a remarkable charity event, one
which will bring a much-needed memorable day to parents of children
with special needs all around the world. The response to this event has
been truly stunning and we are looking forward to an extraordinary day
on November 15, and a very bright future for Your Day Away as an
now we have about 30 chapters around the world, from YDA Brooklyn to
YDA Namibia, and it's still growing... (so please continue to spread
nonprofit Your Day Away organization is sponsoring a worldwide event
where parents of children with special needs are provided a one-day
respite from their stressed out usual routine. Donated services (things
like spa, dinner, makeover, concert, yoga class, sporting event, movie,
hotel, etc) will be collected by the YDA chapters and offered to the
parents, who will be recommended by=2
organizations, schools or social services.
WEBSITE: We hope to have our new website (www.yourdayaway.com) up and ready within
the next two weeks. Each chapter will have its own section and its own
email address at Your Day Away.
LOGO: We are currently having students from a school for communication
& language disabilities design the Your Day Away logo. That should
be done within the next two weeks. We will get that logo to you as soon
as it is ready so you can use it for email or hard copy correspondence.
The most important thing to know is that you do not have to overdo
this. Do not take on more than you can handle or more than is realistic
for your particular region. We are suggesting that you do not work with
any more than 12 families this first year. But if you can only service
one family that is great, too. Making an impact on one family is
perfectly fine. This event is happening all over the world, and it will
be a cumulative experience and success.
Start collecting your contributed services. We suggest that you make a
list of the types of services that are available in your region. You
can certainly go out of your region to the nearby big city if you'd
like. There are some services that we will be collecting through the
national organization (such as concerts through Live Nation) that will
be available as well.
You can use
descriptive information sheet we sent you (let us know if you never
received it) that you can include in correspondence with local
businesses. You can also create your own custom-made-for-your-region
information sheet, if you feel that is more appropriate. E-mailing the
companies you are soliciting services from is the easiest way to go,
but if you feel your passion about this event will translate well in a
personal visit or phone call to these companies, we would recommend
that. We are finding that people are responding to this event very
strongly; one common response is that it is like “make a wish for
parents of children with special needs.” Your Day Away is a nonprofit
and all contributions are tax deductible.
What companies will get out of this? Companies donate to events like
this all the time, so many of them are used to this type of request and
do it because they are inclined to and it is part of their business
culture. Also remember how large the special needs community is getting
and how likely it will be that you'll encounter businesses that are
impacted by a special needs child, and will perfectly understand why
these parents need a day away. We will include the logo of all
contributing companies on the website, along with their contact
information, and will include them in all of our press (both
international and local) when appropriate.
Resources that might be helpf
would include trying to get a printing company and/or public relations
firm to donate services to your chapter. If you can get a local
newspaper to sponsor the event that would help you a lot. They would be
able to be another outlet for publicity for the contributors. If this
is an approach you want to take, let us know at the main office if you
need help with this. Plus any pre-publicity will be helpful in getting
both unsolicited and solicited contributions. Some of the chapters are
already working with newspapers, and we'll be happy to pass along
information on them if you would like that.
Each chapter is autonomous. You can build your chapter any way you
want. That means that you can also get funding for your chapter if you
want, if you are that ambitious the first year. We, at the main office,
can help you with suggestions for that as well. In most cases, setting
up a great event this first year will provide you with what you need to
solicit money sponsorships for the ongoing operations of your chapter
in the future. Some chapters might only want this to be an annual
event, while others will want this to be ongoing, with a paid staff.
Consider if you want to supply limo or car service to the parents that
day. Perhaps you'll want volunteers to be drivers for the day. We
understand that there will be differences between the services
available through chapters like YDA NYC20and chapters like YDA
Aboriginal Australia, and remember, any one thing you can do for your
parents will be appreciated, you don't have to overdo it. if the
parents only receive a nice dinner for a couple of hours--you've done
Please keep in mind that it will not be just couples, and that many of
these parents are single parents. Please be sensitive20to that.
Again, if you have the resources, you might want to consider getting
perks to the babysitter or caretaker who will be with the child that
day -- perhaps a dinner delivered to the house. Again, only if you have
the time and resources. While we want to provide services to the most
needy of parents, our number-one goal this year is to have this first
year be manageable. We don't want to overwhelm the chapter coordinators
and we want the event to be a success. In the future, we will be
providing homecare services for the families who do not have a
babysitter or caretaker and who can't afford one. But unfortunately, we
can not provide that service this first year. We are suggesting that
all families must be able to provide their own caretaker for the day
for this first year.
Start thinking about organizations or schools or local social services
that will provide the names of parents who will be the beneficiaries of
the day. In many cases, you might know those families yourself.
recommend that the=2
services for the parents be collected by October 15. And then mix and
match with the families.
if you find that you need the YDA main organization to help out with
any aspect of this, please let us know. This should not be a
time-intensive prospect for you. Do it at your own speed, and do not
take on more than you can handle.
me know if you have any questions, and good luck -- Keep us apprised of
your progress along the way, and we will update you as well. We'll let
you know when the updated website is ready as soon as that happens.
of luck, and good work everyone -- Robbie