Saturday, December 31, 2011

A new year, a new approach.

Last year on World Autism Day, I conducted my so-called One Dad Bike-a-Thon for Autism.

I decided 4 days before the fact that I'd collect pledges from family and friends for the Central California Autism Center (where my son attends therapy). It was haphazard in its planning to say the least! I hadn't ridden my bike in months....I hadn't even mentioned it to the center yet....

And despite all of that, we were able to raise over $600 in donations for them. Just like that. 

While my goal is to raise money for my son's center, I realize that there are countless parents and families out there whose children receive services somewhere else. I feel guilty asking someone across the country to sponsor me on a bike ride and to donate to the CCAC. 

In 2012, I've decided to change things up a little bit. I am still riding my bike. I am still asking for donations. This time, however, I am asking you to make your pledges and donations to your own local Autism charity. Surely there is a center near you where therapists work countless hours with kids just like ours that can use a little financial help. 

I'd like to stress that while I can't tell you where your donations should go, I'd prefer if they went somewhere local. Somewhere that has directly impacted you and or your child. There are major international Autism charities that do amazing work, but they're expert fundraisers. They money generated by this little bike ride wouldn't amount to a hill of beans for them...but for a local charity, it will definitely be appreciated and is probably desperately needed. (I'm stepping off my soapbox now!)

I don't want the money. The donations don't pass through me. They go directly from you to the Autism charity of your choosing. I'm just hoping to inspire and facilitate. 

I picture it working like this.

  • You decide which local Autism charity/provider/miracle worker you'd like to donate to. Maybe it's where your child or grandchild spends so much of his or her time...

  •  E mail me at with your pledge information (who, where and how much)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  •  I will post the pledges on this blog.                                                                               
  •  On World Autism Awareness Day, I'll do all the work. I'll ride my bike. I'll tweet from the ride (@rales9) and I'll post a map showing my progress. You can follow along if you'd like.                                                                               
  • When I'm done, I'll post my total miles and a map of the ride with my stats etc..                                                                                                       
  • You make the donation to your selected charity.                                                                       
  • The world becomes a better place. 

I've got several months to plan this out and prepare for the ride. My goal is 50 miles.