Thank You for “Chasing Hope” … Many Of The People Who Jumped In Wholeheartedly Aren’t Directly Affected By Autism | Circa January 2010

Thank You for “Chasing the Hope”

Jan 23, 2010, 9:09 AM | Think Autism. Bulletin

Posted by Lori Copeland McIlwain

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Out of 500,000 nonprofits across the country, you helped us become one of Chase Community Giving’s Top 100 highest voted organizations on Facebook and earned us $25,000.00 for our programs. You also earned us a chance to enter Round 2 of the Chase Community Giving Campaign and a shot at winning $1,000,000.00 for the most amount of votes earned on Facebook, and $100,000.00 for positions two through six. The results are in, and NAA made it to the 7th place position. 

While some may see this as yet another loss for our community, we believe it is an extraordinary win for our cause. We are incredibly overwhelmed by the amount of support, hard work, dedication and compassion that has occurred over the last seven days of this competition. 

We’ve seen people working around the clock pulling for our children and loved ones.

Many of the people who jumped in wholeheartedly aren’t directly affected by autism, yet worked alongside us as if they were.

We saw autism nonprofits come together and forego our organizational names for a week to simply became the name “Vote Autism.” 

The amount of press coverage and free media placement was unexpected. We saw ABC and Fox affiliates airing our 60 second autism PSA in the daytime, which is unheard of.

We saw morning news shows airing our three minute autism video, and radio stations around the country donating free airtime to “Vote Autism on Facebook, the #1 Childhood Disorder in the Country.”

We saw high profile figures bringing attention to our cause. Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy, HollyRod Foundation, The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation, Kathy Ireland, Nia Vardalos, CNN’s Jack Gray with over a million Twitter followers – all of them were bringing awareness to autism. 

Most of all, we saw you fighting like mad to spread the word. Colorful profile pictures with the words “Vote Autism” decorated thousands of Facebook news feeds and our “Think Autism” Facebook Group reached 1.3 million members.

We saw Age of Autism, SafeMinds, Autism Speaks, Talk About Curing Autism, Schafer Autism Report, Autism One, Kim Stagliano for Huffington Post, Unlocking Autism, Autism Research Institute, Autism Action Network, Generation Rescue, Tommy Foundation, AutismLink, Houston Autism Disability Network, Easter Seals Miami, Spectrum Magazine, all NAA Chapters and so many other groups and advocates come together to help our cause win resources for our community. 

All of this means that what happened in the last seven days is worth so much more than a million dollars. The kind of awareness we raised together as one united community is priceless for our children and loved ones with autism. 

No sadness. No feelings of loss. This was a win for autism. It was one of the most intense, rewarding, emotional, exhausting and inspiring weeks of our lives in the name of our children. 

With sincerest gratitude, continued hope and never-ending love for our autism family, we will keep fighting for our children’s future. 

– All of us at NAA 
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