Tuesday, October 13 , 2015, 1:28 am | Fair 75º

Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Seeks Support in Vying for $1 Million Chase Award

By Bill Strong for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation |

Santa Barbara-based nonprofit the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation was selected as one of 25 charities nationwide vying for donations ranging from $125,000 to $1 million through the American Giving Awards, presented by Chase.

Voting will take place on Facebook starting Tuesday through Dec. 4. The results, along with features on all 25 participating charities, will be announced during the American Giving Awards program airing nationwide on NBC on Dec. 8.

The GSF is dedicated to increasing global awareness of spinal muscular atrophy, the No. 1 genetic killer of young children, accelerating research focused on ending this cruel disease, and supporting families impacted by SMA and other life-altering conditions. The GSF plans to use donations received from Chase to grant life-changing Apple iPads to those with severe disabilities through its Project Mariposa technology grant program.

“We’re unbelievably honored to have been selected by Chase for the American Giving Awards,” said Bill Strong, co-founder of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. “This is an incredible opportunity for us to raise further awareness of SMA on a broad, national platform and hopefully be a recipient of a large donation from Chase to help us change the lives of those in extremely challenging circumstances, like SMA.”

The iPad is an incredible device for those with severe disabilities assisting with education, independence, and in some cases empowering people to communicate — literally speak — for the first time in their lives. To date, the GSF has granted 100 iPads to those with SMA through its Project Mariposa technology grant program.

“For the typical person an iPad is a nice-to-have luxury item but for people with severe disabilities this $500 device literally changes their life and opens their world,” Strong said. “Through our Project Mariposa grant program we’ve seen firsthand the enormous need and positive impact an iPad has on people with conditions like SMA and we’re excited about significantly expanding that program with funds received from Chase!”

To stay up-to-date on the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation in the American Giving Awards, please “like” its Facebook page by clicking here.

— Bill Strong is a co-founder of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.

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