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Delayed for an Indeterminate Period of Time, Working Toward Solutions

by Hawke Robinson published Aug 19, 2016 02:35 PM, last modified Sep 06, 2016 08:35 PM
It is increasingly looking like, for an indeterminate amount of time, I may have to set aside all the volunteer work with populations that have special needs, and Therapeutic Recreation, RPG Therapy, Music Therapy, Neuroscience, & Research Psychology related efforts of the past 12 years (since 2004). I may have to go back to the tech industry to rebuild funds to resume these efforts...

It is increasingly looking as though I may have have to "go back" to IT & InfoSec to (re)generate more funds. For the past 12 years, all the income, enabling all my research and volunteer efforts, paying directly for school (no loans or grants), has been completely dependent on investment returns (oil, stocks, etc, fortunately widely diversified). Unfortunately, with the continuing economic malaise and worsening government policies, exponentially higher taxation of that type of income, flat interest rates, budget busting healthcare laws, and no improvement in sight, it has all cumulatively taken an ongoing toll...

Since everything I have been doing for the TR, RT, MT, RPG ResearchRPG TherapyRPG Education, & RPG Advocacy efforts has been self-funded, with the ongoing flat or negative returns, and the current administration's ongoing tax policies on those with such income sources, further exacerbated by overwhelming healthcare expenses due to the ironically named ACA, finances have been getting tighter and tighter the past 4+ years. A few years ago, I donated and volunteered for a number of other communities and projects, that I had to shut down in order to take care of my family, but I was still able to continue the work populations that have special needs, and the RPG Research Project related efforts. Unfortunately the issues 4+ years ago have only continued to be ongoing and worsening. Until I can finish my degree, internships, and meet the CTRS requirements (still at least 1.5 years away), billable options to get a more self-sustaining model within the same discipline (Therapeutic Recreation / Music Therapy / RPG Therapy / RPG Education / RPG Research) are slim to none.

This likely means I may have to (hopefully just temporarily) set aside all of my volunteer efforts populations that have special needs (TBI, at-risk & imprisoned youth & adults, PTSD, Parkinson's, Down syndrome, Deaf & Hard of Hearing communities, Autism spectrum, those with social phobias, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson's, etc.), and most of my (also volunteer-based) efforts in TR/RT, MT, and RPG for an indeterminate duration, while I generate new income from the IT & Information Security industries (assuming such efforts are still as fruitful as the past). Generally working full time in IT, at least for me, requires a minimum of 60+, and often 90+, hours per week, to make the significant income necessary to re-fund these endeavors, so there won't be any time left to do the volunteer work if I have to work full time (not to mention finishing school and being a single parent of 3 boys). I will make every effort try to squeeze in what I can, when I can though.

Depending on how things unfold over the next month, I may also have to suspend the RPG certification training programs too: http://rpgtherapy.com/news/rpg-training-updated, but since that is a potential revenue source to fund the RPG Research projects, if it is at all remotely possible to keep it going, I will do so.

Of course I know that I am fortunate that "going back" to such potentially lucrative work is even a consideration for me, I know that is not the case for many to have such freedom of choice, but it is just a shame to have to put so much on hold for so long. If I can find a means of getting enough part-time or piece-meal IT work that generates enough (hopefully with my still fairly strong Information Security background) to fund the RPG Research related projects, that will be the preferred path, if at all possible.

The RPG Research Project website itself is meant to be a community portal, so hopefully everyone else will continue to post their efforts on the site to continue to benefit everyone, I just unfortunately won't be able to continue my research work for a while. Hopefully the country turns around, or failing that my efforts going back into tech will once again pay off as it has multiple times in the past, so that I can once again resume these efforts to help others.

Sorry folks!

-Hawke

P.S. Rest assured, regarding the Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer. The donation funds through the http://gofundme.com/rpgtrailer site are still in a dedicated savings account exclusively for the trailer, and 100% will only be used for building that trailer. This is another reason why I am looking at the possibility of having to go back to tech so that I can make the money necessary to get that trailer built. Everyone that donated will still get their rewards when the trailer is built. That money is sacrosanct and will not be used for anything other than building the trailer. I will find a way to build it, one way or another, sooner or later. Of course I need to be able to finish my degree, having to drop out at the 11th hour would definitely verb the noun. :-(

 

UPDATE: 20160822 - After further evaluation, it will indeed be necessary to put on hold all of the free services, research, etc. in order to generate more funds to resume the free services. It may be possible to continue the RPG training and certification programs, since those will help generate revenue directly to support the research and free services programs (though how much is still unknown), while doing IT-related side work for the other funds. I will keep updating as more information becomes available.

 

UPDATE: 20160828 - I am considering Patreon options for funding resumption of the populations with special needs free RPG sessions and the RPG Research efforts. But would enough people actually be interested supporting such an effort? I have no idea really. I don't think I have the cachet/following, or notable personality for this to be viable? It requires a higher level of altruism from donors since there isn't a whole lot I can give back directly to donors, instead it goes mostly to helping others.

I am just trying to find potential solutions. Some have said don't worry about it and go for it, there's nothing to lose, but even then I would like to have it vetted by enough eyeballs before launching. I have NOT launched it yet, and would appreciate feedback from folks on the goals, rewards, intro, layout, etc., and any additional ideas.
Please see https://www.patreon.com/rpgresearch and let me know if you think it is worth trying (or not), whether you would support (even just $1/mo), and improvements to be made. Please be frank about it. I have my doubts about this approach, but I am curious what others think. I am still ramping up doing part time IT work to help with funding, but this is another potential additional path. Thanks!
UPDATE: 20160829 - Based on VERY useful feedback from 2 people so far (and hopeful for additional feedback from many others), I have just finished significant overhauls of the RPG Research Patreon page http://www.patreon.com/rpgresearch This is not yet launched. Please check it out and provide frank feedback on your first impressions, thought processes, areas for improvement, additions, subtractions, etc. Many thanks! -Hawke
UPDATE: 20160831 - Was approached this week about creating a "therapeutic role-playing video game series". http://rpgresearch.com/blog/are-you-available-to-develop-a-therapeutic-role-play-video-game Had a wonderful conversation. If this pans out, may solve some issues related to this thread. Will post more when appropriate to do so.
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Hawke Robinson
Hawke Robinson says:
Aug 26, 2016 07:29 PM
Greetings, Hawke here. I'm considering Patreon options for funding RPG Research Project's research and free RPG sessions for special needs populations. But would enough people actually be interested supporting such an effort? I have no idea really. I don't think I have the cache/following for this to be viable, but I'm just trying to find potential solutions. I have NOT launched it yet, and would appreciate feedback from folks on the goals and rewards I am drafting (and any additional ideas). Please see https://www.patreon.com/rpgresearch and let me know if you think it is worth trying (or not). Please be frank about it. I have my doubts about this approach, but curious what others think. Thanks!
Hawke Robinson
Hawke Robinson says:
Aug 31, 2016 01:15 AM
UPDATE: 20160831 - Was approached this week about creating a "therapeutic role-playing video game series". http://rpgresearch.com/blog[…]peutic-role-play-video-game Had a wonderful conversation. If this pans out, may solve some issues related to this thread. Will post more when appropriate to do so.
Adam Johns
Adam Johns says:
Sep 06, 2016 04:43 PM
Hawke, I'm very sorry to hear about the financial difficulties. I want you to know that Adam and I are brainstorming ways to help you stay in the game. The work that you do is invaluable to the individuals you work with and the world at large. I think that the Patreon is a great idea, and while I can't speak for everyone, I know that we can at least contribute a small amount to your patreon to help you. We'll, also, continue to spread the word about your site and hopefully bring in others who want to support that cause.
Hawke Robinson
Hawke Robinson says:
Sep 06, 2016 08:35 PM
Thank you so very much for the kind support!
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