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ME/CFS and Beating the Clock
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Sock It To ME: a community public art project to raise awareness and funds.

Discussion in 'Advocacy Projects' started by creekfeet, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Okay, I'm a little burned out so I'm afraid if I try too hard to organize my thoughts I'll never get them out at all. It hurts when I try to use my right brain. So I'm going to try to just loosely present some ideas from a topnotch nonprofits consultant who I'm lucky enough to call friend.

    Why humor?

    She loves the project idea, and notes that while it's similar to the AIDS quilt its feel is maybe more fun, because of they element of whimsy; socks, puns. She asks us to consider, "why the humor?" It's a strong point and we might want to be aware where it comes from and what it does for us.

    I just nearly deleted all that and barely rescued it so I'm going to do this in small bites, one post each. So that's it for this one.
     
  2. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Organization and Money: Association with Treasurer.

    My consultant whiz tells me it's not necessary at least for now to become a nonprofit, or even be a project belonging to a nonprofit. There's a ton of initial and ongoing paperwork she'd hate to see us saddle ourselves with. The benefits of being a nonprofit corp boil down to contributions being tax deductible which, studies show, matters little to people who donate.


    "Association" is good enough. We don't even have to do a "dba" (doing business as, legal statement). Just call ourselves the ___ Association and open a bank account in that name for donations to go and expenses to come out of, and keep basic, simple records.

    So we don't really need an accounting whiz or a lot of executive staff or any nonsense. Just a Treasurer.
     
  3. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    I LOVE the humor. It's a nice counterpoint to the mistaken belief that we're all just tired and depressed.
     
  4. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Simplicity and Small Size can still = Press

    It's true that a huge demo like, say, a Million Sock March in Washington DC, gets publicity. We can aim for that as a future goal.

    But to start with we can get a lot of mileage out of Small Gatherings in Many Places.

    Like, Earth Day, there are always tons of local actions, small, spread out, and each gets local attention.

    Or Turn Off The Lights for Earth Hour, March 27, 8:30pm. People do it individually, or as corporations, all over the globe, and it gets big press internationally.

    We're sick, we have limited energy, but we could maybe get a few good stories out of it if we started by having say, 7 regional chapters each display a garland of 30 socks, just to start with. (Those numbers are off the top of my friend's head.)

    If we have several regional chapters, that divides up the labor of receiving socks and assembling garlands. And when we want to we can say, okay, every chapter who is able, get your garlands to Washington DC by July 4 (or whenever). No fuss, no pressure.
     
  5. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    No Worries

    My friend stressed this (if "stressed is the right word here :D )

    No worries. If any aspect like keeping track of socks for instance or coordinating displays or something sometimes gets to be too much, we need to let ourselves take it easy, be very laid back about the whole thing. We're here to be supportive of each other and not too demand too much of each other. I think we're on the right foot from the start with this, everyone's super supportive and patient and helpful with each other, but I also think it's very cool of her to have seen that that will be important to us ongoing so No Worries is an attitude to foster.
     
  6. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Yeah!

    I don't think I could do it if it weren't funny. Enough stuff we deal with really is depressing and the humor in this helps give it energy, for me.

    Good point, gracenote, that the humor will help our image from the outside as well.
     
  7. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Collateral Piece

    I always get the FundSpeak confused. When I hear "collateral" I think we're talking about, like, the tote bag you get when you give to your favorite public radio station. But that's something else. Premium, that's the word, right?

    Anyhow... a collateral piece is like the brochure/card being designed that we can just hand to people and it explains briefly what ME is, what CFS is. Only we'll want one that explains the whole sock project in brief, so we can have it to hand out to passers by every time the socks are on display.

    My friend had this great idea that we could get a printer to donate the printing and have the piece dye-cut (die-cut?) (anyway) into the shape of a sock!

    One side could have the brief explanation of the disease and some contact for more info on that, and the other side could briefly explain the sock project, how to participate, who to contact.
     
  8. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Project Definition/Case Statement

    To me it's like a talisman. My friend thinks we need to just make a brief statement that says why, what, how. It can be used on the web site, on the collateral piece, in letters and such. I'm not sure how this would differ from a mission statement, maybe it's the same thing. Anyhow, we'll want to keep it simple.

    For example, Why, How and What could be...

    ME/CFS is misunderstood even by medical professionals, research is underfunded and patient services are scarce

    so

    we are raising awareness and encouraging support

    by

    creating this fun, participatory, public art project for patients and communities.

    And even that is probably twice as long as it needs to be, right? But I'm trying to go easy on my brain here, so enough thinking by me about this part for now.
     
  9. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Replicable

    All the bits we're creating and that we have created so far are going to become practically a package we can hand over to anyone who wants to start a regional chapter. A case statement, a collateral piece, patterns and instructions for socks and garlands, a logo, premium concepts like the little sock pins: all replicable so this can build through sharing. They can plug in their local info to some standard pieces, link to the main website and hit the ground ... well, in motion.
     
  10. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    lots of great ideas

    ....one thing though is that someone mentioned Zazzel - absolutely NO WAY would I EVER use them again for anything!!

    .....last time I ordered from them, they only sent 2 out of 3 things, then tried to blame me for their mistake & were very insulting & rude in their response (& I was very nice when I contacted them, so their reply was in no way related to my tone, or anything), then they hemmed and hawed about sending the remaining item I had ordered (took several emails to get them to say they would send it again & they were in no way prompt about returning the emails, and there is no other way to contact them), then when they finally agreed to send what I had already paid for and they failed to send, they said they would put it back in the que (since it was thier error, I think they should have said they would get it out immediately, esp consdiering that the que took a very long time in the first place)

    .....then several weeks later when I still had not received it and contacted them again, they told me they never put it back into the que - that they would do so now.......when I did finally receive my shirt (a very, very long time after I had ordered and paid for it) the quality of the shirt was terrible - very thin cloth, stitching tore after one wash, and the letters started coming off after one wash, too

    there are other companies out there that do the same thign as Zazzel, so I really hope that if we need to get one involved, it is not them
     
  11. talkingfox

    talkingfox Senior Member

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    Verrrry wise idea that! Also means that the patients are NOT bearing the burden of keeping it going. Smart lady.
     
  12. With Zazzle in mind I would think that Cafepress.com would be a better route to use for those areas. What do you all think?
     
  13. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    I absolutely agree!
     
  14. talkingfox

    talkingfox Senior Member

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    I agree. I've used both and Cafepress has a much wider reach as far as web traffic. Zazzle has stepped its game up recently, but still I'd go with Cafepress.
    And speaking of premiums...buttons can be got in bulk at Cafe press way cheap :)
     
  15. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    Most definitely, Cafepress would be better!
     
  16. yay buttons! sorry i collect them so my ears perked up when i read it..
     
  17. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    Here are some buttons for you Puppy almighty. Do they make your tail wag?


    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the forums.
     
  18. yes they doooooo the blue swirly one yay!
     
  19. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    creekfeet said
    - she just can't get away from this idea! Creek, you are amazing. Please look after yourself. We need you!

    My sister and brother are both health professionals, and at different times have both said (in so many words) that ME people have no sense of humor. Huh? How come I often get them giggling then? But anyway, my point is that we are seen as a miserable bunch in general, and I think the humor is important, for that reason and for many others.

    Buttons! Much easier and cheaper than bow pins, can be printed with a legend, can attach tiny dolly socks to your jacket. Practical. Yes.

    Who makes tiny dolly socks? Barbie? Mattel? How much would they sell a bunch for? Thinking out loud here people, I'll look into it. Doesn't mean peeps can't make their own, indeed it would be better homemade, but not something everyone can do.

    I've posted a link to this thread on Foggies, hope that's ok people, I want this to happen in the UK too.
     
  20. talkingfox

    talkingfox Senior Member

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    Jace, factory made dolly socks look like total crap unless the dolly's foot is actually IN them; they're just basically stretchy tubes for the most part.

    As far as buttons they should be a go. We've got a graphics designer who is volunteering his time and is working on a logo now. The idea came from an inspiration I got from one of Sarahg's posts. It's a raveling sock with the raveled bits spelling out our Sock it to ME thing. Thanks Sarahg!

    Bow pins made with real ribbon can be made for a few cents and about 5 minutes. As far as tiny socks, I'd be happy to make a lapel sock for whoever on the boards wants one. I also have a knitting pattern made up for whoever wants to make them for themselves, others or to add to the donation premium pile we're starting to amass. I know there are at least 3 more knitters in my immediate circle that are willing to make lapel socks as well :D

    Jace, if I sent it to you could you post it please since my system is still being recalcitrant ?

    Also, if anyone knows how to crochet, a crocheted lapel sock pattern would be awesome as I have several (healthy!) friends who crochet that are willing to hook wee socks.

    I think a UK branch would be absolutely wonderful ! You go!

    I think the humor thing is spot on in this as well. Gee...HUMOR??? From Depressed People???? Hmmmmm... I think that tackling a stereotype is important :victory: O' course I can't help the smart arse thing...I think it's hardwired.
     

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