I woke up this morning to a flood of wholesale autism sticker orders. I guess somebody was chatting it us up oline yesterday evening. The orders come from a wide range of states, so I know the promotion had to be online. I got the orders all processed as soon I got to my desk and just came back from the post office, all are mailed.
While I was at it, another 100 free autism stickers were also mailed out. It's good news that so many see the benefit of having these stickers in home and car windows.
I recived good news today, the order of 5,000 additional autism stickers has shipped via Fedex. The shipment will be arriving earlier than expected. This weekend is going to be very busy, getting everything in order so the first orders can be put out as soon as the stickers arrive.
I want to thank everyone who placed a wholesale order for the austim stickers. Every time a wholesale order is placed, it helps to offset the cost a little bit of sending out all the free stickers. Not including the cost of the stickers themselves, each free sticker costs fifty cents for the envelope and postage. Multiple that by 2,000 free stickers and the cost to me personally is $1,000, just for the shipping of the sticker.
I don't mind the cost, but I can distribute so many more to families in need when those little wholesale orders are placed and getting the larger wholesale orders will fund many more free stickers. Those little orders of 5 stickers for $1.50 including shipping, really help and we have an extra five stickers displaying somewhere in America, furthering the cause. Thank you!
Yesterday, I thought I was down to the last 100 requests. Planned to manage what came in today and finish those 100 from the flood gates opening. It was not to be. I got to the last request in the 100 and relized I had over 300 more, not including those I got today.
I had over 300 I had read, weren't showing up as new in the folder, but they were there when the last of the unread had been sorted. So, today I got half way through the 300 and did the 100 from before and all that came in today.
There are times when reading the requests, I have to stop to cry. Some of cases are heartbreaking, such as the autistic teen who was murdered in Texas. I can tell you, when I decided to offer these stickers, I never envisioned the personal notes. Now that I'm getting them, they've given new meaning to the mission. I thank the hundreds of people across the country who shared a piece of their life with me through their notes.
Onward . . . this is far easier than some of the lives that have touched mine through my free stickers.
To the many, many, many Grandmothers who requested a free sticker for their autistic grandchild or grandchildren, there is a special place in heaven for grandmothers like you.
Per Facebook: "Meet Blaize, he's 18 years old and has autism. Blaize's dream was to be a police officer, and on his 18th bir...thday the local police gave him a tour of their office, a ride in their car and a uniform to wear. The officer in this photo, Mike Hill, visits with Blaize on a regular basis. We think these cops deserve some respect for being so upstanding and making someone's dreams come true, LIKE this if you agree." More
This job has been more difficult than I ever thought it would be. When one request came in here and there, it wasn't overwhelming. By overwhelming I mean, it's difficult to read the stories of so many people who have a much more challenging situation at home than I could ever imagine.
Some of these kids of ours have challenges much deeper than severe autism, with additional neurological issues as well as medical issues to overcome. Grandparents like myself raising multiple grandchildren, all on the spectrum, some of those with multiple health issues in addition to ASD.
When I first decided to give these stickers away, it seem like a good idea at the time. Now, it's an idea I feel an urgent need to bring to fruitation. There are so many urgent needs, so many voids in the care of these children. There is so much young parents don't know to expect yet. With each dawning day, they learn, we learn, I learn what being autistic means when the condition is severe. We begin to guess what challenges might be ahead, but mostly we respond with knee-jerk reactionism. No two children are alike, no book can be written to explain what autism will be like tomorrow for any one child.
Where there is not a void is the out-pouring of love I'm hearing from one end of this country to the other. Most of us are in agreement on one issue. We love the child exactly as they are, for all their unique traits and their endearing personalities.
For those of us raising severe autistic children, the days are long, the sleep is too little and the love from the babes exceeds our wildest dreams. We are the blessed people in this scenario. We were the chosen ones and that was no mistake.
I have only 100 more requests to read. They are sorted into three folders. Once the last request is sorted, I'll look through the urgent folder and make sure everyone in that folder should be in that folder. Any in the wrong folder with urgent needs I know of will be moved to the front of the line.
I can promise you this. If you told me your child is non-verbal, severe, has other serious health issues in addition to ASD, your sticker will be going out first. The envelope will be stamped, addressed and ready to go when the new batch of stickers arrive.
A select few will be getting more than one free sticker, due to their urgent, unique situation. I hope when you get your sticker, you'll stop by this blog and let me know it arrived. Each time I hear one is being put to good use, it'll make my day.
Finally made it through the process of finding my original artwork, making modifications, approving three sets of proofs and paying for the shipment. There is a four- business day turn around on the printing and three business days of shipping. That puts the arrival here maybe January 31 or February 1.
This gives me plenty of time to get things ready to roll here. I'm thinking USPS will have my stamped envelopes here before then; the sooner the better. That's a lot of addressing to do.
I'm so excited to know these are getting into so many homes with fully or mostly non-verbal kids. I will sleep better at night knowing the stickers will speak when others can't.
Still have some sorting of requests to do to figure out who the first 600 free stickers will go to. The plan is to get 1,200 free stickers out the door by end of February.
We have the NWA AIM autism awareness event walk/run in April. I'm expecting to distribute another 1,500 stickers locally at that event to make a big impact locally.
Do you have an autism awareness event in April? If you need more than 100, I will give a HUGE discount on 1,000 stickers or more. How does $0.10 each sound? It would make a great corporate gift to your local autism support group hosting an April awareness event. Only need 500? $0.12 each. Free UPS shipping, of course :)
With the artwork on file with our printer, we should have a 10 business day turn around, from order placement to our door, no problem. If you want a sample, fill out the form and let me know you're considering a wholesale order. Let's get these stickers out to those who need them most, in every community coast to coast, border to border.
I can say with absolute certainty that I've never read so many emails in a single day, in the 21 years I've been on the web. Wow! The requests have touched me deeper than I can begin to convey. I've read 912 emails today and sorted them into the priority folders.
I'm troubled by the number of people who came to make the request, via a link to my contact page, after the address section was removed and the link was provided at the top of the page to a form just for requesting the sticker. There have been thousands of requests and I can't begin to respond to all those who contacted me. If there is no information to ship a sticker, I had to just delete it. If you were one of those who did that on Monday, please submit the sticker request form.
Then, there were those people who submitted the form before I added the specific reason for requesting the sticker. That addition was a big help to me for sorting the requests into priorities. However, the early requests, some told me their situation, though I didn't ask (thank you!) and others said nothing.
Unfortunately, that means those who shared their situation got put on the rush list. Those who didn't share, I'm considering them supporters, which we love, but will need to wait until all the non-verbals, severe and moderate autistics get their stickers first. I have considered that this means some who didn't share their circumstances, may actually have non-verbals in the home. I'm sorry. This too is your chance to change that and resubmit the request.
There was one other scenario I never considered as a possibility, those who would be rude or downright ignorant when they submitted the form. There was one woman that a textual meltdown because I was offering the stickers on a website designed to give caregivers a wake up call about child predators and keeping our non-verbal babes safe from those who'd victimize them, simply because they are silent. She hates the website and she hates me. I'm pretty sure if she has her way, I'm going to hell. Thankfully, there were at least a thousand who blessed me, thank you, which hopefully will carry a bit of weight when the time comes.
I still have 532 emails to read tomorrow, along with the all the new requests. Getting a handle on the flood, at last.
Windows Live Mail dumped 12 emails during a system crash about 5:10-5:20pm this evening. That will knaw at me all night, wondering if those were families with non-verbal autistics, requesting a sticker :(
This hasn't happened to me in the over 20 years I've been on the web. Why now? Sigh. If you submitted the request around that time today, please resubmit. I'm terribly sorry.
I just realized an article was written about my autism stickers and is being viewed on Autism United. This explains how the scales have tipped in my traffic. At least 80% of the requests are now coming from families with one or more autistic in the home.
This is an amazing turn of events. Finally, the target group has been found. My thanks go out to the person that gave Autism United a head's up. We are cooking now!
I awoke this morning to an email that had my original, printer-ready artwork attached. Sweet. It's been uploaded to the new printing company and I'm awaiting the new proof. Hopefully, it's going to be nice, crisp, clean and as wonderful as the original print order. I expect the proof later today. If things go as plan, I will be mailing out the next 100 stickers by the end of next week. Those envelopes are ready to go. The shipment of 500 stamped, addressed envelopes from USPS should be here by the end of the month.
The print shop has quoted me another price, based on the new design and quantity ordered. I stopped breathing for a few seconds when I read the quote. It's awesome LOW.
Now, if only I could get the postage much cheaper. Letter prices go up on January 27. Have some leads on how discounted pricing might be possible. Until then, we pay USPS full price.
I want to thank all the wonderful people who requested a sticker overnight and this morning. The new request form and your honesty has made it easier for me to sort the requests into priority and get these into the hands of the families that need them most first. At this point, it looks like many supporters will have stickers sent out in the next batch of 600 mailing.
In looking at the price quote for the 5,000 stickers, it looks like I'll be able to offer additional stickers for those who've requested to a buy a few extras at 5 stickers for $1.00 ($0.20ea) plus $0.50 for shipping and handling. That will provide the extras for the second car, extra child in the home, extra bedroom windows, grandma's house, or whatever the specific needs are. Ten extra stickers will be $2.50 including shipping ($0.20ea).
I will be changing the bulk pricing too for wholesale to reflect the new great price I'm getting. At these prices, there is no reason we can't get these into every autistic home in America, if those who love the family, buy a little pack as a gift.
These are some of the first requests we received on Sunday. They were on their way Sunday night after a late night post office drop. Then the flood came on Monday :)
Everybody knows somebody on the spectrum and the requests show the love and involvement of the extended family. Who do you know on the spectrum?
"I really think this is a good thing you are doing. I agree, the other decals do seem to give too much info. We just found out within the last 6 months that our daughter has autism (still don't know where she falls on the spectrum). It's nice to see how parents stick together and lend a helping had to one another. Thank you very much for the decal. I hope it never has to be used, but if it's necessary I hope it helps."
"Thanks. my son has autism"
"Thank you. My daughter is a non verbal autistic cutie pie. Thank you!"
"My 7y/o son is autistic."
"This will be great for my Autistic nephews"
"I am parent of an autistic child"
"My son was recently diagnosed with Aspergers, would like this to get more awareness to our community!"
"I have an autistic son"
"any chance you could throw in a large blue puzzle piece sticker too?always wanted one on my spare tire cover of our van." [Ah, no. Blue puzzle pieces, we don't stock :)]
"My daughter has autism"
"Thank you, my son has autism"
"My little cousin has autism so I'm sure my aunt would love this sticker!!"
"I have a niece that is on the autism spectrum!"
"My son has autism, everyday is a battle but i wouldnt change him for the world i love him just the way god made him"
"I have a granddaughter that is on the spectrum. Thank you so much"
"This is for my 14 year old Nephew"
"Most people assume I'm "normal" cos my high functioning autism isn't evident but its there. High functioning people with degrees exist too is what I'd love to say. This decal will help say it for me! Thanks again! xx
"Thanks for this, my son is on the spectrum"
"My son is autistic"
"Thanks for providing these free. My cousin has a daughter that I know will use this. Thanks again!!"
"My 3 year old grandson has just recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum. I am trying to learn all I can about this and help him to have a better future. "
"Thank you. My son is autistic"
"I have a three year old autistic son"
"Our son Michael has autism. Thanks for this wonderful freebie"
"We support kids and adults who have mental disorders, such as ADHD, Autism, Asperger's, Eating Disorders, ADD, and many, many more. My son has ADHD and ODD - but I want one to share with my group...and I'm also sharing this link. Thanks so much!"
"My son was recently diagnosed with this! Thank you!"
. . . and there were more . . .
I have another 100 envelopes addressed and stamped, ready to stuff when the shipment arrives. This is a time-consuming process. So, I went online and ordered 500 envelopes that are pre-stamped and have the return address aleady printed on. That means I only have to put your address on them and stuff them. Sweet. That will give me 600 ready to go out the door as soon as the shipment arrives. By the looks of it, this number will cover all those with severe and/or non-verbal autistics in the home, those with moderate autism and high functioning autism.
Now, I'm sorting requests by priority so I know which requests to send out first. The new form submisssion asks to select why you need the sticker. Most of these I'm getting now are supporters. Wooohooo for the supporters! We love you and will get those stickers out to you so you can help us spread autism awareness.
I'm also working on a 'Buy Now' button as some of you have requested, for smaller quantities for more rooms in the house, the second car, grandma's house and car . . . all the places your loved one hangs out at from time to time. It will be added as soon as the new 5,000 stickers order arrives. Check back here, I'll announce it here in the blog when the shopping cart is up. I'm thinking, by the middle of next week.
When I started this website, it had one purpose. I wanted people to know that, many if not most sex offenders in some states, are not on the public sex offender registry. I was outraged to learn some of these sex offenders were interacting with autistic children.
My interest comes from raising my severely autistic grandson since his birth. His mother was in a car accident when he was a baby, suffered a severe, life-long head injury and I stepped up to the plate.
He's non-verbal, though he is finally beginning to say some words since I'm now homeschooling him. The school and therapists were not getting through to him for three years, he wasn't making any progress. I bought him an ipod then an ipad, loaded it with fun educational apps and he's learning at warp 10 speed now :)
After a local police officer made a presentation to our local autism support group, I came to think more seriously about his presentation. If he's in the car with me (I'm nearing 60) and I have a heart attack and crash the car, he can't talk and nobody will know that. When they open the door he will likely break free of the first responder and run out into traffic. I know, because he will do that to me everytime the opportunity presents itself. I'm on high alert when loading and unloading the car. I have a set of safety rules I follow. If I don't follow them, he's gone.
What if we had a fire in the house and I had subcombed to smoke, they wouldn't know he was severely autistic, could not respond to verbal commands. It was deeply troubling.
I decided to create a sticker to put in my windows and in my car. The minimum print order was 100 pieces. So, I began a plan to not only explain the hidden dangers of child molesters in the community, but also to give out stickers that didn't announce the child was non-verbal and could be easily lead away.
I gave a presentation at my support group meeting, handed out some of the stickers. Then, I put a form on this website to give away the free stickers. I would get a request maybe once a month, at most three a month.
Then, I woke up on January 20, 2013 to my inbox full of requests. As they day wore on, the request kept flooding in. I realized that many of the requests were from people that didn't know anyone who was autistic, but they supported the autism community.
Then there was the other group of people. Requests came from people who had a close personal relationship with somebody on the spectrum, many of those were caregivers, parents or senior grandparents like myself. All I could do was smile. Finally, these people had found me and my stickers would one-by-one find suitable homes.
As I sat and smiled, I realized, that stack of stickers, the roll of stamps and the boxes of envelopes needed to be processed and I set out to get my first shipment ready to take to the post office. A few hours later, the first 100 stickers were mailed. Finally, those stickers were going to do some good, something more profound than collecting dust.
As the day wore on, the emails kept flooding in, only slowing down after midnight. The next morning (today), my inbox was filling up. As of this moment 1130 requests are waiting to be processed. Wow!
I set out this morning to find a cheaper printer, cheaper envelopes and cheaper stamps. I needed to order 5,000 more stickers and get this process flowing more smoothly. There was a bit of a problem finding the original artwork, but it appears the old printer will be able to give it to me tomorrow. The new printer is holding my order for the image upload. Once we get that uploaded, there is a 4-5 day turn-around.
In the meanwhile, I'm addressing envelopes and getting postage on them so they are ready to stuff as soon as the shipment arrives.
Thank you so much for requesting my stickers. You've made a dream come true. Please be sure these stickers make it onto car windows near where the person with autism sits or on the house window, preferrably their bedroom window. I will be upgrading this blog with information on the lives the stickers have touched and posting shipping updates. So, please bookmark this blog page.