Long Beach Mom Asks Facebook Users to 'Chase the Hope' for $1,000,000 in Autism Funding

Jan 18, 2010, 10:00 ET from National Autism Association

Chase Community Giving provides opportunity for expanded programs benefiting families affected by autism

LONG BEACH, Calif., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California mom Claire Bothwell joins parents, grandparents, and caregivers around the country in asking Facebook users to vote for the National Autism Association (NAA) in the Chase Community Giving challenge. NAA, the only organization in the challenge that is strictly devoted to autism, is in the running for $1 million to be awarded to the top vote-getter in the program, which ends January 22.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090918/NAALOGO)

Autism rates have risen sharply in recent years, with one in 110 children now affected.  "With so many children and families impacted, autism is truly a national emergency, yet funding in all areas of need is extremely low," said Ms. Bothwell, who has a 17 year old son diagnosed with autism.  "Families are going bankrupt and losing their homes trying to get treatments and services for their children.  One million dollars would go a long way in assisting so many families in dire need."

The $1 million award would allow NAA to significantly broaden its existing assistance programs which address the most critical needs among families impacted by autism.  These programs include Helping Hand, which assists families in funding desperately needed treatments and therapies for their children, and FOUND, which was established to combat the rise in wandering-related deaths in the autism community.

In addition to its family care programs, NAA advocates for the most relevant scientific research, legislation for access to medical care, coverage for medical and safety devices, services and support over the life span and protection from abuse towards individuals with autism.  The award money would allow for enhanced legislative and educational efforts for these crucial issues facing thousands of families nationwide.

"The unmet needs in the autism community are overwhelming," commented Ms. Bothwell.  "This is such an easy way to help. With just the click of a button, we all can help make a difference."

To vote for NAA in Chase Community Giving on Facebook, go to


To share "Chase the Hope" messages on Facebook, visit http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/chase/share.htm

CONTACT: Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 401-632-6452

Wendy Fournier (Portsmouth, RI) 401-835-5828


SOURCE National Autism Association