Clay Aiken fans are the best people around. They are always looking for what they can do to help others. They also look for ways they can support the National Inclusion Project and Clay and his career.
“Sometimes change begins with something as simple as a concert ticket.”
The Way We Make a Difference began with a simple idea – that of fostering the cause of inclusion with a donated concert ticket. The program was created by a group of Clay Aiken fans that represented many of the active Clay Aiken Fan Boards. With the beginning of Clay’s first Solo Tour in the summer of 2004, the program was launched.
The goal of TWWMAD is to promote inclusion by offering a chance for people with and without disabilities to share in the excitement of seeing Clay Aiken in concert.
The project has accomplished much more than their members ever dreamed it might. During the first tour, almost 1500 people were sent to see Clay perform. The committee of dedicated ladies worked with local chapters of Best Buddies, Special Olympics, YMCA, Ronald McDonald Houses and local group homes and centers for independent living.
According to the website for this great program, the volunteers thank Clay Aiken fans for their support.
“In your own way, each of you who has contributed to this project, whether it be with a ticket donation, a CD, a kind word or a prayer for our success, you too have stood up for those without a voice and we’re so very grateful to you for that. What you have done with your support speaks to the very heart of what Clay is trying to accomplish.
…what we’ve learned most of all…is how powerful we can be when we work together to make a difference.”
These wonderful ladies were back for the Tried & True Tour, supporting Inclusion for all. TWWMAD promotes inclusion by offering a chance for people with and without disabilities to share in the excitement of seeing Clay in concert.
Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to establishing a worldwide volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The following is from the Best Buddies web-site and describes the Best Buddies Program:
Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States, and in 50 countries around the world. Best Buddies’ seven formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies, Jobs and Ambassadors – positively impact nearly 700,000 individuals with and without disabilities worldwide. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute, at no cost to their communities, support services that equate to more than $164 million USD.
As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with IDD secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships.
These two wonderful organizations worked together in San Francisco. TWWMAD donated tickets to Best Buddies, San Francisco. It was a great team effort as many members of Best Buddies were able to attend the Tried and True Tour concert on March 12th.
On Thursday, Best Buddies – San Francisco blogged about the tickets and their relationship with TWWMAD.
Twelve lucky Best Buddies participants from the Bay Area were able to attend the Clay Aiken concert on March 12th, 2011 at The Warfield in San Francisco. This opportunity was made possible by an organization called The Way We Make a Difference. (TWWMD). TWWMD was formed by a group of dedicated Aiken fans that wanted to support his belief in inclusion for all by offering a chance for people with and without disabilities to share in the excitement of seeing Clay Aiken in concert.
Reception for the free tickets was outstanding! Buddies and Peer Buddies that were able to go to the concert had the time of their life. UC Berkeley College Buddy Huong Nguyen and her Buddy Cindy Fass found the concert a great opportunity for a Buddy Pair activity.
Huong said of the night, “The Clay Aiken concert was amazing and my buddy had so much fun! He sang a bunch of love songs from the 50’s and 60’s, which seemed to be right up her ally and a nice change of music from the stuff I usually listen to.”
Many people know of Clay Aiken as a singer and former American Idol contestant, but do not know about his passionate work with inclusion. The committee of women who comprise The Way We Make a Difference project has accomplished much more than the members ever dreamed it might. During the Clay Aiken’s first tour, almost 1500 people were given free tickets to see Clay perform.
Please visit the site and leave a message. This exciting experience was made possible by both organizations working together to “Make a Difference.” You can visit HERE
On 4/16/05, Clay took part in activities surrounding National Youth Service Day. Clay joined young people with intellectual disabilities and their Best Buddies in the planting of trees in Hollywood, Florida.
The following is montage is from the wonderful site, Clay Aiken Kids.