Good evening everyone,
There has been no greater experience in my life than joining what I consider the greatest team in the stuttering community, the National Stuttering Association. I firmly believe that four days in Long Beach, Calif., forever changed my life in so many ways. As a chapter leader, I have the honor, but more importantly, the calling to help my teammates strive for the realization of their goals. Until I found the NSA, at the lowest point in my life, I couldn't have cared less about the world I live in. I now know that I can affect the world and bring positive change. My teammates' success are their success. Stuttering is my power....my desire, and my ambition to showcase the very best of those who stutter.
There is no doubt that the NSA is on the verge of something very special. We celebrated our 30th anniversary in Atlanta, and our roads have led (and will keep leading) to a time where stuttering will be embraced and wholly accepted. At our upcoming conference in Scottsdale, we have so many teammates presenting new workshops, some of whom will be inaugural presenters. It makes me cry happy tears to see what's going on. And now, more than ever, we need YOU to be part of this: by giving to the NSA.
I don't need to tell you that right now times are very bad. Companies are cutting jobs, unemployment is rapidly increasing, and we're getting impatient waiting for change to come. I firmly believe it will, and we just have to wait it out. But for the NSA, there's a never time to wait. We understand the world right now is facing tumultuous times. And during times like these, we have to decide what's important and often extra essentials are eliminated. But if you stutter, the NSA is essential. The NSA gives teammates hope. It gives them power. It gives them an opportunity to laugh and smile, being in the company of others who get it. When I read about a parent who writes to the NSA saying "You gave my son/daughter the time of their life," that above all else, is priceless.
As a nonprofit organization, the NSA does not get funding from any sources: state, federal, county, or local. We're all member-driven. In many ways, the best analogy I can give is we're similar to public television. You may have seen those Saturday night pledge drives where they have great programs, but they can only provide that service because of "Viewers like you." Well, we need teammates like you-who will stand up and be counted.
You may be wondering what can I do? If you'd like to donate, there are so many opportunities. You can donate an item to be auctioned off. You can donate with a one-time donation, or our very special "Change for the Better" program-a monthly amount where you can pledge with a credit card to the NSA. Unlike public television, we can't offer you a flashy umbrella or tote bag for a certain level. But we can waive your membership fee for the NSA, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping us to become the preeminent organization for stuttering-period.
If you have been inspired by my words, and want to give, please log on to http://www.westutter.org, and you can find all the contact information there. There are so many teammates around the world who stutter, who feel trapped and isolated in darkness. Let's bring them to the vocal light, and have their voices heard.
My name is Steven Kaufman and I am a person who stutters. Until next time, stand up and be counted. Make your voice heard.