When Rachel and Omar Ajaj founded Air & Anchor, they always acknowledged how parenthood fueled their decision to start their own business as well as how having children reminded them to focus on the important moments in life—and that is also what led them to create their Give a Cuff program.
On April 2 in observance of World Autism Awareness Day, the Rhode Island–based jewelry brand will donate 100% of the proceeds from its National Autism Association (NAA) cuff bracelet to support NAA, its Big Red Safety Box program, and families who have children with autism.
The Give a Cuff program, which is creating this fundraising opportunity, is Air & Anchor’s way to help individuals and organizations who want to raise money for groups like NAA, says Rachel Ajaj. For the NAA, the Ajajs designed the Threads of Loyalty cuff, which is blue on blue with a brass charm that reads “Hope.”
“When working with NAA, we found that the word most often used when talking about autism is hope,” Ajaj says. “Having hope for progress, having hope for new tools and programs, hope for every child, hope for all the small victories, a reminder to never give up hope.”
There are three ways people can help support NAA and other nonprofits like it through Give a Cuff, Ajaj says. First, they can purchase an individual cuff for $25, and on April 2, 100% of those funds will go to NAA. Generally, the Give a Cuff program donates 68% of cuff purchases to the participating organization.
People also can purchase a box of premade cuffs to sell individually and donate those proceeds to NAA or they can use the Air & Anchor website to design a custom cuff to sell and then donate those proceeds, Ajaj says.
“Give a Cuff is truly about giving back. The priority for us in setting up our company’s nonprofit program was to truly make a difference by creating an initiative that was project based,” Ajaj says. “We wanted to create a product that could be wearable by everyone and show your support; but we also wanted to be able to donate a large percentage of sales, true fundraising at its core. This approach allows customers always to know exactly where the funds are going.”
Air & Anchor selected NAA because of their own parenthood journey, Ajaj says.
“After connecting with Wendy Fournier, president of NAA, we learned some alarming autism spectrum disorder [ASD] and wandering statistics,” Ajaj says. “Half of families with ASD/wanderers reported that they had never received advice or guidance about elopement.
“Having three small children ourselves, we realize how stressful and scary this can be for parents and caregivers, and we wanted to help. It was a no-brainer for us to support NAA, and specifically this Big Red Safety Box initiative,” Ajaj says.
Its specific donation will support the Big Red Safety Box, which provides free tool kits to families who have children with autism, Ajaj says. These tool kits help families learn about the organization, raise awareness of autism, and become educated about wandering-related emergencies.
Top: All proceeds from the National Autism Association Air & Anchor cuff sold on April 2 will go directly to the organization, says Rachel Ajaj, whose company created the Give a Cuff program to help local and national nonprofits (photos courtesy of Air & Anchor).@jckmagazine
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