Monday, March 30, 2009

The Power of One

This week's Central Park Challenge superstar is Julie, who has a disability and lives in a YAI group residence in New Rochelle. Every year, Julie (pictured at left with Papa Baffour-Awuah, a member of our CPC team) raises substantial funds for the Central Park Challenge using old-fashioned grass-roots methods. We spoke to Julie earlier today to find out the secret to her success and what keeps her motivated.

CPC: How much have you raised this year, Julie?
Julie: So far I've raised over $3,000!

CPC: Wow, that's so impressive! How have you managed to do this?
Julie: I go out into the community independently, I talk to people, let them know what YAI is and how it helps people with disabilities. I tell them that the Central Park Challenge raises money. If they say, "no thank you," I just say, "OK, have a nice day." But most people do give me money.

CPC: How long have you been doing this?
Julie: Since either 1987 or 1988, around there.

CPC: Why do you think it's so important to raise funds through the Central Park Challenge?
Julie: I live in a group home, I think it's important to raise money for group homes, to keep them looking good and so that people can have everything they need, if they are high-functioning or if they are low-functioning. We have great staff here, they're always so good to talk to and support me. It's a great place.

CPC: So what do you do when you're not fundraising?
Julie: Well, I don't like watching TV or going to the movies, because I get bored. But I do have a new landscaping job through YAI and I get paid every two weeks, which makes me feel very good. I got laid off of my old job last year, so I like working again!

CPC: What's your favorite thing about the day of the Central Park Challenge?
Julie: I like being in the park -- it's so big and beautiful. I like hearing the band play oldies music and walking around and talking to people. It's a really nice day.

It's amazing that Julie is able to raise so much money all by herself -- simply by asking. Julie is also spreading a message that she believes in to members of her community. We know that not everyone has Julie's stamina, which is why, for most people, fundraising online is the way to go. If you haven't already, set up your personal page today!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Julie rocks! I am so proud of her every day! She is the best sister ever! ~ Eileen

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