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$100K Needed to Save the Day - Award-winning charity StarJam

5 August 2013

$100K Needed to Save the Day

Award-winning Kiwi charity launches international crowd funding campaign

Award-winning charity StarJam is looking to the web to raise urgently needed funds to help it out of a financial squeeze. The Kiwi charity that empowers young people with disabilities is launching a campaign to raise $100,000 through international crowd funding website Indiegogo.

The two-minute video featuring Simon Dallow and 20 of StarJam’s children will spearhead the campaign which will launch on Monday 5th August and run for a month.

Celebrating its 10th birthday last year, StarJam has changed the lives of thousands of young people with disabilities over this time, with 300 disabled children and young people (known as Jammers) currently involved in weekly performance workshops in singing, dancing, guitar and drumming across four centres, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

However funding cuts and increasing demand for the charity dollar have left StarJam a $100,000 short this year and in need of additional funds.

StarJam founder and CEO Julie Bartlett, recipient of countless awards including NEXT’s Woman of the Year for 2012, says we believe people will want to help out if they understand that we are living hand to mouth.  We need to provide certainty for our children and their families.

“People often think StarJam has good financial reserves - the sparkly hats (from the $2 shop), the celebrity involvement, the impressive stage productions, all create this misconception. The truth is we rely entirely on the generosity of funding bodies and people who love what we do.

“We currently have places for 300 young people involved in our weekly programmes, at a cost of about $2,000 each per year. This goes towards things like venue hire, reimbursing volunteer expenses, training for tutors and volunteers and purchasing musical instruments.  And the programmes’ waiting lists get growing.

“If we reach $100,000, we can keep operating at our current levels. Without it we cannot guarantee our programmes will continue into 2014.

Over the years StarJam has enlisted the involvement of international and local celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Eva Longoria, Tom Cruise, Coldplay, Rachel Hunter and Sir Peter Jackson. 

Julie says 15 celebrities including Sir Graham Henry, Simon Dallow and Shane Cortese, Greg Murphy, Kate Hawkesby and Michael Galvin have lent their support to the campaign, offering ‘perks’ for larger donations.

A $25 donation will pay for Jammer’s starter pack with the donor being acknowledged on StarJam’s website and Facebook.   A $2,000 donation will fund one lucky Jammer through a whole year, with the donor receiving a personalized thank you video from one of the celebrities supporting the campaign.  While a $20,000 donation helps 10 lucky Jammers for a year and gets the donor ten personalized thank you videos from the campaign’s celebrity list.

Julie says the charity is in the process of setting up new fundraising programmes which will in time yield financial stability.  “Our families can’t imagine what life would be like without StarJam in their children’s lives. It means so much to them when their children find friends, often for the first time, and a new-found confidence from being in the performance programmes. They definitely don’t want that to stop.”  

For more info:
«     The Save StarJam Campaign info is here on Indiegogo (frequently updated)
«     Here is a two minute showreel
«     A StarJam flashmob viewed by 70,000
«     Queen of Hearts is a song written and sung by 11 Jammers
«     Here is a 6 min showreel about a road tour in USA with clips of Tom Cruise, Danny DeVito and Julie Andrews.


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