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

Jan 20, 2010, 07:00 ET from National Autism Association

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

PORTSMOUTH, R.I., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Portsmouth mom Wendy Fournier 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 dollars to be awarded to the top vote-getter in the program which ends January 22.

"With one in 110 children now affected, autism has become a national health emergency," said Ms. Fournier, mother of a 9 year old daughter diagnosed with autism. "Although it's the leading disorder among children in this country, funding and resources are disproportionately small, leaving families scrambling to find appropriate treatments and services for their kids."

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.

"I encourage everyone on Facebook to use their vote where it will really make a difference," said Ms. Fournier. "One million dollars would allow NAA to help many more children and families who are in desperate need of assistance."

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


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

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

SOURCE National Autism Association