Why AIH started
Our Executive Director started the camp in July 2017 after living with two children that love to sing and dance and also have special needs. She saw how much they would love show choir and believed that they should have that opportunity. In La Crosse, WI, where the first camps were held, there are opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be active in a hobby of their choosing from sled hockey to horse back riding to fishing to soccer. These camps started to be just another piece to the puzzle in creating an inclusive environment in the La Crosse community.
Our first camps
The first camp was in the summer of 2017 at Onalaska High School with eight participating students, who are a part of their schools' special education program, between the ages of 11 and 21. The camp was three days long for about three hours each day, and it concluded with a performance on stage in a local show choirs' annual camp show. The camp was such a success that a second camp was held the following February with double the students. The camps are now annual. The second summer camp was held last summer with such large numbers it had to be split into two, and there is a camp planned for the winter.
How we continue to grow
Since starting the camps, the organization has received requests from all across Wisconsin to bring these camps to their communities. In the summer of 2019, Abilities in Harmony will be holding about eight camps across Wisconsin and Minnesota. Because of the organization's growing budget and additional locations, they have incorporated as a 501c3 tax exempt non-profit organization.
1. Tell them who we are!
We hope that the day is near when Abilities in Harmony will be a household name, but until then, they need to hear what we do. This is all you need to say "Abilities in Harmony is a non profit organization that provides adaptive show choir camps to middle and high school students with special needs in Wisconsin and Minnesota."
And then you could say a little more "Performers are paired one on one with a high school or college student, and together they learn vocals and choreography performed in the camp's concluding show."
2. Why does it matter to you?
They won't donate unless they know why you care! If you were in show choir all through high school and now get to volunteer, tell them! If your child has always wanted to do show choir and hasn't been able to until now, tell them! It is your personal connection that will draw them in.
3. Tell them how they can help!
Make sure your post direct them to our GoFundMe page! Give them a call to action like...
"Give more students the opportunity to experience the joy of show choir by donating to their GoFundMe page today!"
Here is the link https://www.gofundme.com/abilities-in-harmony
4. Pack it full of information.
Link the post to our Facebook page, GoFundMe, and/or website! Then they can choose to learn more about us, and your post doesn't get to be too long to read.
5. Give them a visual!
If you have a relevant picture, USE IT! Your friends and family are way more likely to donate if they see your smiling face. Pictures from camps, with participants, or even you doing show choir, are all appropriate!
Still not sure what to post?