Meriah Nicholsis creating thought provoking disability-related content & cat sanctuary!
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About Meriah Nichols
I'm Meriah and disability is fundamentally at the root of everything I do.Here's a short video of me talking about myself and what I do:
(I have more information linked at the end of this piece - it'll take you to my "about me" page on my blog).
Now, disability is at the root of everything I produce, be it essays, art, vlogs, podcasts and so forth.
With my writing, I most want to share resources and information and encourage honest thought, healing, reflection and explain different perspectives.
My blog has been pretty successful (more on that later), but what I want to focus this Patreon on is what I'm doing RIGHT HERE AND NOW is starting a CAT SANCTUARY!
Yes, you read that right:
This is the scoop:
My mom brought us ("us" meaning my 3 kids and I) to the island of Lana'i. While there, we found out that they have a Cat Sanctuary on Lana'i - whoah! So we went to see it.
When I walked into that cat sanctuary, my heart exploded in the same way it exploded when I first came back to Hawai'i after 25 years away. It was like this intense rightness. I wrote a blog post about it (linked here).
But this is the thing: I have been wanting to work in employment and training for people across the disability spectrum in terms of starting some type of a center. I was long focused on an Inn, or Bed-and-Breakfast or retreat center (farm to table!) and that's still very much on the plate. But you know what?? The HUGE WHOLE vision of what I wanted to do is so big that I can't find a place to start or bite.
The Cat Sanctuary gives me a place to bite into the vision
It helps me focus on one chunk that brings me a lot of joy and fun and playfulness and fulfills a local need as well as Hilo has a feral cat problem.
This could easily evolve into something more.
I can see how it could grow to attach a guesthouse and facilitate the original vision. I see how it could evolve into an adjoining farm, and farm-to-table cafe or retreat or whatever - YES - there is no limit. But this is the thing: if it doesn't, if it only starts and stops as a cat sanctuary, that is totally fine too.
In the cat sanctuary, there is simply the opportunity to focus on cats WHILE working with disability employment and training, and providing a cool place to work.
I'm really excited, because I have needed a focal point in helping my dream unfold and I feel in my bones that this is it.
WHAT DO I WANT FROM YOU?
I want you to join me
I want you to be a part of this. I want your good vibes, your cheerleading. I want your advice, I want your support.
If you work in disability employment and training, I want to collaborate. If you work in animal rescue, I want to learn from you.
We need All The Skills in achieving this!
YOU CAN JOIN ME BY:
1. being a patron - even $1 a month will help, and you will have full access to my Patreon posts and photos and videos with that amount.
2. connecting with me on the challenges and problems that I post - please reach out and give me advice if you solutions when I'm stuck!
3. spreading the word - talk about this project! share stuff!
HOW I WILL USE MONEY YOU SEND TO ME THROUGH PATREON:
1. $100-500/ month: first benchmark means that I will be able to focus on researching grants in addition to continuing with my blog. Now, my blog is important to this endeavor because it reaches between 50-75,000 people a month. I see there being a direct connection between the heart of my blog and the development of this cat sanctuary/disability employment & training center
2. $500-1,000/month: second benchmark means in addition to researching grants I will be writing and applying! I'll be able to afford some childcare and focus on more writing and applying for start-up funds and grant money to get the cat sanctuary off the ground
3. $1,000/month/more: I will hire one part time assistant to help me with this project. The part-time assistant will have a disability
At that point, I will revisit this and see what makes sense in terms of goal setting and development.
That's where I am now - please join me: help bring this vision to reality!
When you come to Hawaii to visit me, you'll be able to walk into the Cat Sanctuary and nod and smile and be like, "I HELPED MAKE THIS HAPPEN!"
MORE ABOUT MY BLOG IF YOU WANT!
I started my blog (simply called Meriah Nichols, because creativity in titling is not my forte) 11 years ago. My blog has evolved into cross-disability centered site.
I delve into some personal things on my blog, by dint of the fact that I am deaf with C-PTSD and TBI, my daughter has Down syndrome and one of my sons has Apserger's, but I post a lot of non-personal things as well.
What I post:
- Original essays, photo essays, blog posts, vlogs, reviews and critiques
- I create and produce a podcast
- Disability-related book reviews, disability-related movie reviews
- Calls to action related to disability/social justice
- Tutorials on new technology, photography and website development
- Voices from the Disability Community: series covering people with disabilities across the disability spectrum
- Guest blog posts by people with disabilities and allies of the disability community regarding disability culture, areas of challenge, and self-care
- Create graphics and media
- Amplify and champion the voices from the disability community through social media
Other things I do related to my blog:
- Moderate 3 Facebook groups (each with around 1,000 members) related to disability and writing or the disability experience.
- Serve as a resource for parents, organizations and companies regarding disability, accommodation, best practices and more
- Create art (painting and photography) and integrate those with written pieces and calls to action
WHAT I PAY FOR RELATED TO PRODUCING MY BLOG, VLOGS & PODCAST:
- Hosting. I need a robust enough hosting plan that can support the high spikes in traffic, and also host all the photos.
- MailChimp. The service I use to email posts out to the subscription list. This fee grows as the email list grows.
- Ongoing web development. It's a website, so there is always something going on/needing fixing or work.
- Occasional Facebook/Twitter post "boosts". When I announce a new post on Facebook and Twitter, this makes sure that the announcement gets onto 1/3 or 1/2 of my followers' News Feeds.
- My family. That income helps feed and clothe the kids, us, put gas in the tank and more.
- Photo editing sites as well as Creative Cloud
- Podcast production
More about me is linked here: About Meriah
Contact me here - [email protected]
Here is what people say about me:
"Meriah is the most fearless writer that I have the honor to know. She can speak of disability without stereotype, parenthood without pathos, and her own deepest emotions without self pity."
"I love Meriah's writing because it is smart, authentic and straight out of her own experience and big heart..."
"Meriah's writing inspires us, with humour, honesty and compassion, to live the lives we imagine"
"I learn from Meriah while laughing and crying. She helps me understand more about life through her unique prism of prose and photography. After she draws me in to sit by her fire and hear her stories, she uses her guileless autobiographical narratives and images to open my eyes to our joys and biases, our distinctness and our unity"
"Meriah’s passion around social justice is shared through her beautiful prose, full of facts, truths and humor"
"Meriah has helped me by continuously challenging thinking. I think that’s a good thing, no a great thing."
"I have been following Meriah’s writing for about 8 years. When I started reading her work, I had just become the mother of a child with a disability, but I knew very little about disability or the disability community. She has helped me to become aware of the history of the disability community and many issues that disabled people are facing in today’s society. Many things that Mariah has written over the years have also pushed me to confront my own prejudices and misconceptions towards disability, which I feel has helped me to grow to become a better advocate for my child."
Wow, I must be a really nice person! :) Good thing they are not looking at all the dishes in my sink right now.
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Recent posts by Meriah Nichols
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 7 exclusive posts
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