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Here’s why Sesame Street is turning to Kickstarter for the first time

Here’s why Sesame Street is turning to Kickstarter for the first time
[Photo: courtesy of Zack Hyman/HBO]

Last year, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird made some room on Sesame Street for Julia, a little muppet with autism. Julia has been such a hit with kids that, to mark World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, Sesame Workshop launched a campaign to help further dispel some of the stigmas around autism.

Now Sesame Street wants to expand its work with autism awareness, and so it’s turned to Kickstarter to do it. The program has launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, which will fund an autism initiative to tackle bullying prevention.

If you’re wondering why Sesame Street needs your cold-hard cash, when it seems like it should have plenty of HBO’s money to throw around, in the Kickstarter description, the organizers explain that Sesame is a completely independent nonprofit organization. HBO and PBS merely distribute the show.

To make sure Elmo’s not out on the streets, and that Big Bird has enough birdseed, and Cookie Monster has enough cookies to shove down his gaping maw, Sesame Workshop relies on donations, grants, and licensing revenue from toys and products, which is enough to keep Sesame Street on the air, but not enough to grow. To help the organization dispel myths about autism and maybe prevent bullying of little kids, organizers say they need extra funds. They have set a fundraising goal of $75,000 for an all-or-nothing campaign.

Now, do like The Count taught you: Start counting out your cash and donate here.