Blogs > Saratoga County Neighbors

News and upcoming events from your neighbors and non-profits across Saratoga County. Unless otherwise noted, all posts are press releases provided by the organization. Have something to share? Email Curated by Community Content Coordinator Aubree Cutkomp.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hannah's Hope Fund receives $25,000 grant; Hannah's parents thank the community

With Christmas just around the corner, a local little girl and her family are one step closer to receiving a potentially life changing gift--and they owe it all to the community that supports them.
Thanks to a social media firestorm, a passionate group of supporters, and the generosity of the Chase Community Giving program, children like 7-year-old Hannah Sames of Rexford, now have $25,000 necessary to help fund the cost of a clinical trial for the rare and fatal illness from which they suffer, known as GAN or Giant Axonal Neuropathy.
The Chase Community Giving Fund has directed more than $15 million toward charities nationwide.  This recent competition, held in November, was designed to benefit smaller charities by offering them the chance to win a top prize of $250,000.  Over 100 charities competed, and with nearly 6,000 votes from Hannah’s fans, friends and family from across the country, Hannah’s Hope Fund came in 7th place, bringing home $25,000.
Hannah’s parents, Matt and Lori, have been on a mission to raise awareness and donations for Hannah’s Hope Fund for the past four years.  They created the non-profit organization in 2008 when then 3-year-old Hannah was diagnosed with GAN.  They quickly realized there were no resources available for parents coping with such a rare illness.  They have spent most of their time forging relationships and spreading the word about ways the community can get behind such an important cause.  Their goal is to continue funding clinical trials in order to work toward a cure, and so far, all the community support is making a huge impact.
“Watching a community come together to support something that could be truly life changing is so powerful.  It’s amazing how teamwork and social media can spread such an important message and not only help us win the contest, but raise awareness at the same time,” said Matt Sames.
And this isn’t the first time Hannah’s Hope Fund has benefited from the power of networking. Last year, they won $250,000 through another contest that was aimed specifically at spreading the word via social media and PR.
This time, though, the Sames say they owe much of their thanks to their friends at SUNY Albany, and especially the students of SUNY Plattsburg's Cardinal Public Relations Group, who "pounded the pavement" to rally votes for nearly 14 days straight.  By using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, email and face-to-face promotion, they left no stone unturned for Hannah.  It is "Community Giving" in more ways than one. 
“We are so grateful for the unending support," said Lori Sames.  
Hannah’s Hope Fund is the only organization in the world focused on finding a treatment for Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN).


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