America’s Giving Challenge has come to an end and the National Inclusion Project, co-founded by Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, came in a very respectable 13th. Congratulations to all who participated. Overall, the Challenge generated over $1,000,000 in total donations and brought attention to many worthwhile organizations. A thank you goes out to Causes, Parade, The Case Foundation and W.K. Kellog Foundation for sponsoring the Challenge.
The National Inclusion Project finished just under the Top 12 and they were well represented. While the final numbers for National Inclusion Project are not official, the Project ended with over 1,500 individual donations and $25,000 raised.
At the 2009 Champions Gala, Jerry Aiken, Executive Director of the National Inclusion Project, outlined the impact of contributions:
“All contributions are important and your support is key. For the little girl who often looks on at the swimming pool, unable to participate because of physical restrictions, $20 will give her the opportunity and assistance to enjoy an experience of her peers that she’s only hoped for. Every day a young boy sits at home, held back from playing with his friends at camp, because the facilities and staff there are unprepared to deal with a boy in a wheelchair. Your $25 donation will provide a staff member training to help that camper achieve his full potential at a camp with his non disabled peers. A donation of $1,000 will train the entire staff. Children with disabilities have the same desires that we do. Being stigmatized as a helpless person who always needs assistance can be hurtful. Your generous donation of $2,500 can fund a “Together We Make a Difference” program in a local classroom and can help remove the stigmas from a child with a disability by allowing them to serve alongside their peers”
So, what can $25,000 do? The $25,000 raised can give 1,250 children with physical restrictions the chance to swim. $25,000 can train the entire staff at 25 camps. $25,000 will fund 10 “Together We Make a Difference” service programs. $25,000 makes an impact in the lives of so many children.
Mr. Aiken also stated:
“From my first hand experience visiting camping and service programs, I can tell you that their effectiveness is real and that the benefits are obvious. One look at the smile on a child’s face when they enjoy an experience that they have been left out of for so long is all the proof that I need to know that we are doing very important and valuable work.”
Congratulations to the National Inclusion Project and all who worked so hard to make America’s Giving Challenge an amazing success.