FOR LAURIE WEISHAR, A LIFE-CHANGING EVENT HAS INSPIRED a fundraising effort on behalf of children with special needs. The Scrapping 4 Inclusion founder works with the Bubel/Aiken Foundation to combine her two passions—scrapbooking and making a difference in the lives of kids.
The mission of Scrapping 4 Inclusion is to combine one of the fastest-growing hobbies in North America with the need for creating awareness and raising funds on behalf of children with disabilities and their advocates at The Bubel/Aiken Foundation. The Bubel/Aiken Foundation provides services and financial assistance to promote the full integration of children with disabilities into the life environment of those without. The Foundation strives to create awareness about the diversity of individuals with disabilities and the positive results that inclusion can bring. It was the relationship that entertainer Clay Aiken, a special education teacher by training, developed with 13-year old Mike Bubel and his mother Diane that inspired the charity. Aiken and Bubel felt strongly that if they could open doors and open minds to the value of inclusion for all children, with or without disabilities, the world would be a better place.
Weishar founded Scrapping 4 Inclusion in 2006. The vision for Scrapping 4 Inclusion is to develop a network of volunteers across the USA who will organize a community scrapbooking event creating awareness and raising funds on a regular basis for the Foundation. Currently 55 U.S. cities have Scrapping 4 Inclusion organizers who are actively planning their events for dates throughout 2007 and 2008.
The Scrapping 4 Inclusion program is flexible and simple. Each organizer can customize it to meet the community’s needs. At all events, scrapbookers will have the opportunity to work on their projects, use tools they do not own and enjoy interaction with peers and members of the industry. Consumers pay to attend the Crop or to support the activity through a donation that goes directly to the Foundation.
Retailers and manufacturers can support the Crops, and at the same time showcase their products and increase their potential customer base. A Crop Planning Manual details all aspects of planning a Scrapping 4 Inclusion event. Supplied marketing materials include a press release, donation letters, brochures and more. A Web site at scrapping4inclusion.com is updated regularly and links from bubelaiken.org also promote the event on a large scale. A private message board has been set up for all organizers so that they can network with each other.
In addition to the Fundraising Crops, Scrapping 4 Inclusion is developing an inclusive scrapbooking program for children of all abilities called Let’s ALL Scrapbook. This additional program will be finalized and offered in 2008.
This article is used with permission from Scrapbook Retailer magazine, an F&W Publication. It originally appeared in the October/November 2007 issue. www.scrapbookretailermagazine.com.