The great thing about gofundme.com is that it provides the opportunity for activists and philanthropists to bring attention to important causes, and unite people around those causes while funneling much needed cash into them. It is a platform to truly bring to fruition a global community. If ever there has been a cause that is worthy of the attention of the global community, it is Autism Rocks. It was started by Sanjay Shah whose five year old son, Nikhil, was diagnosed with autism about three years ago. Upon his son’s diagnosis, Shah immediately sprung into action to see not only what he could do for his son, but how he could be of service to all children who have to cope with the disorder.
Autism Rocks rocks was founded in 2014. The charity puts on private, invite-only concerts, with all of the proceeds going to the Autism Research Trust, or ART. The idea for Autism Rocks came from Shah’s love for his son, his passion for music, and a chance encounter with international rap superstar, Snoop Dogg. From that, Shah was had a light bulb moment which prompted him to use his finances and connections to throw a private concert with the iconic rock/pop star, Prince, as the first performer. The first event was a success, and now Lenny Kravitz, Michael Buble`, and Drake are slated to do private concerts for the charity as well.
Sanjay Shah is no ordinary man, and not just because he was a successful hedge fund manager for Merrill-Lynch, Morgan-Stanley, and ING among other financial institutions. Even the fact that he started his own brokerage firm after being made redundant in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008-09 is not what makes Shah unique. What stands out most about this father and philanthropist was his response in the face of an utterly trying time, finding out his son is autistic.
There was no time for a pity party. The native Londoner who’d recently relocated his family to Dubai immediately went to work to see how he could be of service to the Dubai Autism Centre. He was told by an administrator there that the Centre’s immediate need was for minibuses to transport children; so Shah went out and bought to Hyundai minibuses for them.
Even before starting Autism Rocks, the former investment banke was a trustee on the board of ART. He used his pool of business connections as well as his own resources to aid in the research of Autism. Accordig to Shah, he is not looking for a cure to Autism, saying “I wouldn’t change anything about my son – but like many parents around the world I want to better understand the ‘condition’ so I can better understand Nikhil and how he may be thinking…”
To show your support and donate to Autism Rocks, go to this link: