By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

Telethon. Think about it.

Does your mind wander off to Jerry Lewis and his commitment to Muscular Dystrophy? Maybe variety show acts and people acting a fool?  Or the newer versions, rock stars doing a new twist on their big hit and performing in a marathon of concert performances.

40f7b3e0-f203-11e6-84e0-06c48d981e2fWell, The Adoption Exchange has stayed faithful to the traditional telethon. In Colorado, this annual fundraiser is known as A Day for Wednesday’s Child. We have a phone bank filled with generous sponsors and committed volunteers. CBS4 Denver diligently works with us to produce the best stories of the youth and families we serve and helps us to find the perfect incentives to encourage people to donate. Boondocks goes above and beyond by hosting adoptive families for a large celebration. All great, right?!

CBS4 Denver and The Adoption Exchange liked the benefits of this traditional model of increasing exposure for The Adoption Exchange and the children waiting in foster care, but we also wondered: What else could be done?

We gathered key stakeholders to the organizations, volunteers donating their time to our success, and a new group of young professionals to help us brainstorm. Great recommendations came out of these meetings – celebrity spokespeople, boutique and restaurant partnerships, and corporate relationships. The most resounding recommendations were to take it to the web –build crowdfunding options, and allow our supporters to gather their friends and family to assist in their support. Sure, one $10,000 gift is great, but many gifts totaling $2,000 also have benefits: it increases our network, and connects us with potential volunteers, larger funders, or future board members. $2,000 is the average expense to produce an intensive intimate, targeted recruitment gathering of a few children waiting in foster care and likely candidates for a long-term connection for those children. The mixture of money and people seems like a perfect combination – in addition to a $10,000 gift. <grin>

So we did it. We partnered with to provide the platform for this new, web-based system. We used sage advice and design from Peak Creative to give a compelling look and feel to the concept. We tested with our initial advisors, and now we are ready to release this product to the world. Unlike Field of Dreams, I don’t think you can just build it and they will come.

This idea REQUIRES YOUR ASSISTANCE…PLEASE! Please help us spread the word of this online campaign to support the telethon. Build a fundraising page, encourage your friends to give, and you get the credit. Or better yet, build a team of your friends and add enthusiasts to our work. Have a fun banter with a group of friends, challenge them to do the same and compete for most friends or most affluent friends (biggest total raised).  Are you a baby boomer and believe the next generations “don’t get it?” Well show those other generations how it’s done. Millennials are the information age generation; show us old folks how you can sit in a coffee shop and get more done in 15 minutes with your friends on a smartphone. Since I am a Gen Xer, I will just quietly sit back and rally my fellow Xers to support with private asks and connections.

This is a new idea, let’s call it telethon 2.0, and we are trying it out with full force. Join us for the build-up to April 5th, and celebrate A Day for Wednesday’s Child.  Here’s how you can participate:

We hope you will join us for this test drive and look forward to seeing your efforts, and of course, getting your feedback.

Check out for more information, or contact Ben Lusz at or 303-755-4756 with questions, concerns, or feedback.




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