Created by and for people with physical disabilities.

Telethons-good fundraisers, but bad images.

Jul 07, 1999

This is an archival transcript of one of our past meetings. We don't have scheduled topical meetings anymore, but we're not opposed to the idea of bringing them back if someone is willing to commit to hosting them on a "long term" basis.

Participants already present:
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Lonewolf: Ok hello everyone
Lonewolf: Our meeting this week is on Telethons-good fund raisers, but bad image.
Lonewolf: This is a subject that has been thrown around before. To me it is the perfect catch 22. Different organizations need the money from telethons to continue research and, in some cases, care they provide. Then you have the other side:
Lonewolf: 1. Is it right to parade the crippled children or adults in front of audiences to be gawked at?
Mooooooo: when you're trying to raise funds for anything, people need to see what its going foe
Mooooooo: for
Lonewolf: true
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Lonewolf: Karen
Kark: I don't think that they would get the funds if they din't show there cause
mom: and what's wrong with a little in-the-face-education?
Lonewolf: go on Karen
Lonewolf: nothing mom but some people feel it is using the kids or whatever
Lonewolf: reader
Reader_13: I always worried about the money actually reaching the individual...
Kark: Well you need to tug on heart strings to get people's attention
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Kark: yes reader, I think that way to
Lonewolf: unfortunately Karen this is true
Lonewolf: how much does actually reach the kids???
Kark: I think people have become robots and need a clear reason to feel
Mooooooo: all depends on the charity
Mooooooo: some give 100%, some give none
Lonewolf: Daniel I know Carly raised an excellent point about this once do you remember what it was
mom: that's where making sure the charity is & does what it says it does.
Lonewolf: Every year in my hometown they have a telephon for the local crippled children's center
Lonewolf: they always have a celebrity or two etc
Mooooooo: nope, i dont
Kark: I don't like the name
Lonewolf: then on sunday morning early they parade in the kids
Lonewolf: Naturally contributions increase greatly
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Lonewolf: esp from churches etc
Lonewolf: its really hard on these kids-you can tell some of them are very embarrassed
mom: (sounds like the telemarketers calling you at dinner time, or bedtime...they know where you are likely to be.)
Lonewolf: the question raised is that it appears they are begging for money
Lonewolf: exactly mom
Kark: yes I see the point, does sound like begging
Lonewolf: this center was originally for polio victims but nowadays it covers all severe disabilities
Lonewolf: reader
Reader_13: Everyone knows that it's the organization that's begging because they can't get the governmental funding needed...
Lonewolf: true but they wouldn't get squat without the emotional pull of the kids
Kark: I here funding has been cut a lot
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Lonewolf: yes it has
Reader_13: exactly,the hook
Lonewolf: so is this an ethical practice
Lonewolf: 2. Is it right to go for the sympathy plays?
Mooooooo: if it does the good that is intended, its ethical
mom: so, the end justifies the means??
Lonewolf: daniel were you ever used in a telethon of any kind?
Woz: yupyup again
Lonewolf: max
Lonewolf: were any of you?
Lonewolf: reader
Reader_13: I was used by a radio station to help raise money for my first motorized wheelchair in 1970
Lonewolf: pictures on ads or just over the air?
Kark: We were asked but my mom wouldn't let me
Reader_13: just over the air and it was very embarrassing because they taped it
Lonewolf: why Karen?
Lonewolf: and played it over and over?
Mooooooo: nope
Mooooooo: never
Mooooooo: but i did walk for march of dimes
Reader_13: yes, and it was in another city where they raise it (my aunt's doing)
Lonewolf: IC
Kark: I guess its the parade thing she didn't want me to feel like the outcast
Lonewolf: that's the point exactly
Lonewolf: reader
Reader_13: The money raised helps children or adults that could never afford equipment that the rich or celebrities are seen using, I tend to think it's good up to a point...
Lonewolf: what point reader
Kark: A group of us use to put flags on all the graves in the Military Cemetary for memorial day and the Newspaper want my picture and my mom would let them take the picture unless it was with all the kids and they didn't want it
Reader_13: who among us can afford equipment that Reeves uses?
Lonewolf: true also
Lonewolf: I enquired into a service dog
Kark: she wouldn't
Lonewolf: in
mom: or all the specialists & surgeries that michael j. fox has had
Lonewolf: inquired
Kark: I left out the n't
Lonewolf: and one organization wanted me to find a charity to subsidize it
Reader_13: The point where the child or adult is ridiculed more than being shown as he/she actually is...
Lonewolf: by some sort of fundraiser
Lonewolf: I didn't want my face platered on some jar in the grocery stroe so I declined
Lonewolf: plastered
Lonewolf: They wanted $10,000
mom: justification for greed?
Lonewolf: reader
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Reader_13: The heart being played but with an educational background is probably the best way to go...
Lonewolf: hard to decide
Lonewolf: I think it can be done with dignity but sometimes isn't
Lonewolf: 3. What other ways could money be raised for these organizations?
mom: (but who is deciding the comfort level of whom?
Lonewolf: that's a tough one mom
Reader_13: I lived in a crippled children hospital and I disliked it when they brought celebrities around cause I was working on healing my self image...
Lonewolf: karen
Kark: May I ask for clarification on the celeb thing reader?
Reader_13: in what way?
Kark: sorry, Why didn't you like them
Reader_13: Because I wasn't amused by clowns or someone from Bonanza who knew nothing about me or my disability trying to cheer me up...
Lonewolf: they wanted to see the poor litle crippled kids?
mom: ...
Lonewolf: 4. What is it that moves people to contribute during a telethon?
Lonewolf: sympathy? guilt?
Kark: I think I understand
mom: probably several things... yes, those, but some may feel empathy, or that in some small way they can help someone with anonymity
Lonewolf: I think Reader is saying he was trying to feel dignity and the celebs brought him down
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Lonewolf: I think guilt comes into play too
Lonewolf: My child is normal but could have been like that
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Lonewolf: hasn't been that long ago when crippled kids were hidden away
Lonewolf: mom
mom: so your child feels guilty about being normal??
Lonewolf: no-the parent thinking this causes them to contribute
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Lonewolf: Your comfort level question is interesting mom
mom: well, that tends to be the nature of the telethon-thing
mom: g.a.
Lonewolf: maybe the contributions increase because of the audience's discomfort
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Lonewolf: every wed night without fail
Lonewolf: we have a net split
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Kark: net split
Lonewolf: yup
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Lonewolf: daniel isn't back
mom: my oldest was yelling at me for using juno... the security issue... cause it was trying to mess my computer up
Lonewolf: scott
mom: thru juno...!
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LordLinux: ooops
LordLinux: forgot
Lonewolf: scott did you have a question
LordLinux: i aint welcome here
Lonewolf: oh
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mom: the comfort level issue can be approached on so many fronts...
Lonewolf: uh what was that about
mom: n.c.
Lonewolf: yes that is true
Lonewolf: personally it would make me feel like a bug under a glass
katt: is there a topic?
mom: its an issue of how low can we go without offending too many people and still make this an entertaining program
Lonewolf: and have u noticed you never see telethons for old people?
Lonewolf: yes katt-telethons
Lonewolf: like an alzheimers telethon
Lonewolf: reader
katt: stupid question - what are telethons?
Reader_13: There are so many different causes... I'm afraid they're going to go like the talk shows--shock value...
Lonewolf: true reader and no one wants to see old people
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Lonewolf: katt telethons are fundraisers
Lonewolf: 4. What is it that moves people to contribute during a telethon?
Lonewolf: sorry
Lonewolf: was oopsie
katt: by a telephone? or any kind?
Lonewolf: 5. Tell us about telethons in your area.
Lonewolf: katt we use ! for statements and ? for questions
Lonewolf: they are usually tv programs
Lonewolf: that use disabled kids to raise money
katt: ! oh, thanks
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Lonewolf: like Jerry's kids
Lonewolf: 5. Tell us about telethons in your area.
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katt: !I've never seen one
Kark: Jerry's is the biggest one I see, not any others I know
Lonewolf: anyone else?
mom: there's one in cleveland for the local children's hospitals
mom: that is run by the local tv news celebs
Lonewolf: Have any of you ever seen a telethon for people other than children?
Mooooooo: nope
katt: !no
Lonewolf: sad but true-people are motivated by young tragedies
Lonewolf: reader since you grew up in a children's hospital could you share with everyone exactly how it felt to be paraded
mom: in our local paper there are occasional stories to elicit contribs for many types / ages of tragedies
Lonewolf: yes those are usually accidents or sudden illnesses etc
mom: yup
Lonewolf: chronic is often a different story
mom: definitely
Lonewolf: I've noticed a decline in the last 10 yrs of telethons
Lonewolf: max
Woz: decline due to overhead cost dimished returns
Lonewolf: prob
Lonewolf: reader
Reader_13: People are being overwhelmed by causes and are getting tired of feeling guilty...
Lonewolf: I think what we have is does the end justify the means
Lonewolf: mom
mom: the local sports figures around here will
mom: go to the hospitals, whatnot, and do the celeb thing, but
mom: then , they tell the cameras to turn off and go away as soon as the pictures get taken
Lonewolf: katt
katt: do they raise a lot of money?
Lonewolf: sometimes
Lonewolf: what do you all think of bucket shakes?
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Kark: don't like them
Lonewolf: does everyone know what a bucket shake is?
Mooooooo: nope
katt: nope
Woz: no
mom: > then , they tell the cameras to turn off and go away as soon as the pictures get taken then only with the staff do the sprts guys do the different wards
Kark: in Church they shake the basket in front of you for a donation
Lonewolf: people stand at intersections with buckets for contributions to something or other
mom: is that like the kettle ringers at the holidays
Kark: Move thearters too
Lonewolf: kinda
Reader_13: They're not well regulated...
Kark: boy I need sp ck
Lonewolf: we just had a case here of an organization from florida doing bucket shakes-turned out to be phoney
Lonewolf: exactly reader
Lonewolf: we have them here the weekend of Jerry's kids
Lonewolf: hard to turn down a bucket in your car window
Lonewolf: mom
mom: i have noticed that the typical ones to give $ are the ones who don't have a lot, or the huge corps that have so much they don't miss it at all
Lonewolf: yes
Lonewolf: anyone else have anything?
Lonewolf: T
Lonewolf: Thank you all for coming
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Lonewolf: and participating
Lonewolf: max?
Woz: thanks for beeing here
Woz: we need you
Lonewolf: ur welcome-see you all next week
Lonewolf: well thanks max
Woz: hehe
Mooooooo: thanks judi :o)
Reader_13: Thanks