Friday, December 16, 2011

Mission Two Recepients Revealed!

Almost from the moment we had decided to do this as a 'Random Sequence' selection process, I think it is safe to say that we had some reservations about it. Not because of the fact that it leaves so many things in the hands of chance (as Special Needs parents I think we all have had just about enough of that thank you very much) but for a much more profound reason.

Because after you read people's STORIES, they always have an impact on you.

Should have known better. Like I always say...I get too wrapped up.

BUT...then you look at the flip side of it. Had this been a giveaway based on a person's story, I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to actually CHOOSE. It would have been an almost Herculean effort to whittle it down to a mere two Recipients to receive the devices from such a deserving list of Applicants.

This will throw you for a loop, mainly those people reading who were around back when the original iPad Contest happened. You know the one I mean, the one that was held at 'that other place', the one that went wrong. The one that actually sort of led to the creation of this group.

This experience made me wonder about something. I've often wondered what happened to the person who was running that gig. Was he the real deal and did he just get in over his head? Or was this some kind of a James Ford thingamabob? A long con? I will never know. I CAN never know.

But I can tell you this. For the first time in this WHOLE chunk of time, I can see how easy it might be to start making promises you just can't keep, so that you don't hurt anybody. Believe me, I am not making any rationalizations or excuses for what happened over there...I'm only telling those who have been here from the beginning that when you do this kind of thing, on this side of the fence, you are afforded a perspective that gives you insight that you would not believe.

Things here, though, have to be different.

We can't make promises that we can't keep. We've got two iPads right now and only two.

But only right now.

So to those people who were not fortunate enough to finish in the top two slots let me say this...hang in there. We do plan to tackle a Mission 3. We do plan to make it much larger than Mission 2. The parameters will not be just a random thing either. And we do plan to do it with vigor and intensity.

And the best news of all is, fund-raising is not only already IN the works and happening behind the scenes, but Mission 3 will not have the gap between Missions that the first and the second one did. We plan to get started very quickly after the first of the year putting our third, and hopefully best thus far, effort forward.

But enough jibber-jabber. You want to know the results. And I am going to get to them, but there is one last piece of business to attend to. And it is very, very important.

There were 23 people, I refer to them for the sake of clarity as Applicants, who submitted entries. I was only able to accept 22 to submit to the Random List Sequencer to generate the Recipients.

I wrestled with this, and it was discussed internally at length, but the decision was made that we HAD to disqualify the last entry, since there was no valid e-mail address. That does not mean that Anthony would not be eligible to participate in any future giveaways here, but I had to be fair to the majority of the families on the list of Applicants.

In the rules it did state that a valid e-mail address was required, and many folks actually posted their e-mail in a follow-up because they forgot to do so, or e-mailed it to me privately, just to be sure. I didn't ask for much as far as entry qualifications, but if I had qualified that entry and it was one of the Recipients, I would have no leg to stand on if one of the other Applicants was upset that one of their qualifying entries had not been selected.

And putting the entry in decreases the odds for the other Applicants, all of whom met the Entry Requirements.

This was not an easy decision to make, and I do hope that there is a level of understanding about this. We had to do what we thought was the most fair to the most people.

The final list of Applicants was compiled and created in general order of submission and looked like this list below, with everyone assigned a Number.


This list was then taken to and I used the List Randomizer, which generated the following results:

That means that Daniel, whose mom Carolyn entered on his behalf and Helene, whose Mom Suzie entered on her behalf, are the Recipients for Mission 2. Congratulations to you both. Your iPads are going to be wrapped up today and shipped out if we can hear back from you and get all of your requested information. E-mails have been sent to you both right after this blog was published.

To all of the other Applicants. I am...pardon me...fumbling about, trying to figure out how to proceed with my words here. This is new, uncharted territory. It breaks my heart to not be able to turn around and say 'Hey! Wait! iPads for everybody!' What I wouldn't give for that kind of power. That kind of wealth and ability. I'm sorry that we couldn't help you this time, but I pray, with all my heart, that there will be a next time.

So please, like I said, hang tight. Another Mission is around the corner, and frankly? You're're children are my inspiration to work that much harder to make this group grow into something bigger, something that we can serve more people in this community. Thank you so much for sharing them with everyone.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season, full of joy, love and most of all...hope.


On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mission Two: Special Needs iPad Giveaway for the Holidays 2011

Who'da thunk it? Here it is at last.

Got a bit sidetracked earlier in the week. A bit of a cold bug, which I wrote about in my own personal blog. No need to go over it here. So here we go, on with the actual giveaway parameters for the launch of our second iPad Mission.

We're handling this Mission a bit differently, like I said before, because, well, Mission One was more of a Restoration Effort. From here on out, we get to do what we want to do. And since Mission Three is much broader in scope, Mission Two is much tighter, because of the time frame.

Essentially, we've got two iPads to give away.

These are the 16GB, Wi-Fi models that we gave out in Mission One. Not the 3G capable kind. They are both black. The color is not negotiable because we have them in hand already. They were each received by Heather via unique and interesting circumstances, and I'll be sharing the stories here in the coming days.

In order to become eligible to enter this giveaway, you need to do the following:

1. Take a photograph of your child or use an existing one you already have and host it somewhere on the Internet.
2. Write a statement of no less than 100 words about what your child's communication-related disability is and why you believe your child would benefit from this groundbreaking technology. Why the request for the photo and the text? WE WANT TO GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE WE SERVICE. Plain and simple. We like pictures of kids, and it is important to not just be names and numbers. This is still about community.
3. Post a link to the photo of your child at the end of your comment.
4. Post the entry here.
5. NOPE, the link doesn't count as part of the 100-word count, silly!
6. Please limit your comments in this blog post to entries only. I have a separate post, called Mission Two: Questions and Answers, all ready to go if you have any Questions (or even comments). (EDIT 12/03/11: Comment away and ask your questions here. I gave it some thought and after seeing that there wasn't really a deluge, and also realizing that I was making this whole thing a bit more complicated than it needed to be, I'm revising #6. Hey, so I made a wee bit of a mistake...happens. :) )

If you are selected as a Recipient, you MAY be asked to fill out an Eligibility Form, Release Form, etc., similar to the ones we had up previously on our site (I will get the revised ones up shortly with Mission Two specific parameters), and this may or may not include various documentations such as a letter of need from a Speech Therapist or Physician in your child's life. (But don't sweat any of this kind of thing PLEASE...and remember...full Privacy applies to this part, any of that kind of info stays private.)

These types of things are vital so that we can verify that any Recipient is a child in need of an iPad and that said child does indeed have a communication-related disability. We are, after all, trying to fulfill a Humanitarian mission here, and we don't want to just give out iPads to everyone, though that would be super radiliciously awesome if we could, 'natch.

This giveaway starts as soon as this post goes live and the acceptance for entries will remain open until Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST. It is open to U.S. Residents only this time around I'm sorry to say. But I assure you, all future Missions are not going to be limited in that fashion.

Yup, that's 2 weeks. 2 iPads. 2 families. Mission 2. It's liked I PLANNED IT!!!!

(Or if you prefer: The Specific Rules of Entry)

- Only one entry per household, even if you have more than one child with a disability.

- No entries will be accepted past the deadline. There will be no exceptions to this whatsoever, sorry.

- A valid e-mail address is absolutely required. If you leave a comment and you do not have a valid e-mail attached to your commenting name (as in you already write a blog or some such), then you MUST leave your e-mail address in your comment. If there is no e-mail, your entry will not qualify. (ADDENDUM: If you feel weird about leaving your e-mail address in a public forum, you can send it to me privately at I have no problem accepting it there.)

- We will assign everyone who enters a number after the giveaway is closed, and using the website we will determine the Recipients. We will announce the Recipients here on this site, and if they respond and are reachable, as soon as we have confirmation and verification and all the ducks are a'quacking (that means everything checks out) we will ship out the iPads.

- If you are chosen as a Recipient, and the announcement is made of such a position, it is your responsibility to be available and able to be contacted regarding the details of the winning the giveaway (see above RE: valid e-mail address!) If you do not respond to our post or our message to you about your status within 24 hours of our announcement, you will become ineligible and the next family in sequence will become the Recipient of the iPad.

- As stated above, because of the short time frame, if you enter this contest, BE AVAILABLE. And be sure you have an e-mail that works. If you are worried about your e-mail functioning, then privately send me your phone number. Because as I said, if we do not hear back from a Recipient in 24 hours, another winner will be chosen. The idea is to get an iPad into the hands of two families for Christmas, not Easter!

- As a Recipient, it will also be up to you to move quickly as well on the paperwork side of things. I am going to work it out so that you do not have to mail it for this Mission. I am going to work it out so that I can have you send me what I need electronically. The forms will still be there, for reference sake, but I will work with someone so that at least for this Mission we have the ability to just do a transfer of info very fast. But if you do not have the Eligibility info available within 7 days of being informed of becoming a Recipient, you will become ineligible and the next family in sequence will become the Recipient of the iPad..

- These rules are flexible, as in subject to change and variate as the giveaway progresses, and there is no fee for entry.

That about covers it. If you have any question, fire away. Other than that, go ahead and get started!

Good luck!


On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group