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Acts of Kindness: Andrulaitis Family Fundraiser

November 06, 2009 by Victoria Strong
We are once again humbled by the kindness and generosity of friends -- and strangers. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Mary Andrulaitis, a woman I've never met. She told me in her email that she heard about Gwendolyn through her involvement with PEP and has since been following our blog and journey. She then asked if I would be comfortable with her family selecting the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and our fight against SMA as the beneficiaries of their yearly family fundraiser. I loved the way she talked about instilling the spirit of philanthropy in her children -- something I always imagined I'd do with my own. She didn't want us to do a thing, but wanted me to be comfortable with everything they did. Of course! We are honored and excited by the kindness and generosity of the Andulaitis family -- and the company she selected for her fundraiser looks fabulous!!! Here is what she sent her family and friends:

Dear Family + Friends

It's that time of year - as we head into the fun, chaos, and excess of the holidays - where our family chooses to focus on a community service project. Last year we held a successful week-long neighborhood food drive for the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County. This year we're doing something a little different....

Many months ago I learned about a beautiful little girl, Gwendolyn Strong, who lives in Santa Barbara and suffers from a little-known disease affecting young children called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA. I have since followed Gwendolyn's story via her blog at www.GwendolynStrong.com. SMA is a terminal and degenerative disease that causes weakness and wasting of voluntary muscles in children and infants. SMA will eventually impact every muscle in her body, hindering so many things that we take for granted - the ability to walk, sit, stand, eat, swallow, and even breathe. Gwendolyn's mind remains unaffected despite her failing body, and she is a bright and sensitive little girl with a big personality. SMA is a cruel and non-discriminating disease, and remains the #1 genetic killer of young children. There is currently neither a treatment nor a cure for SMA, but the National Institutes of Health selected SMA as the disease closest to treatment of more than 600 neurological disorders. We think that's pretty significant. Gwendolyn's parents, Bill and Victoria Strong, have committed themselves to raising awareness, funding research, and supporting other families impacted by SMA and our family has chosen to sponsor a fundraiser to benefit their charity, www.GwendolynStrongFoundation.org.

Now here's where you come in.....

Rock Scissor Paper, an online stationery and gift shop, has helped us set up a web-based fundraiser. Shop online NOW thru November 22nd at www.rockscissorpaper.com, and by using coupon code GSF9 you will get 10% off any of their products and 15% of all sales will go directly to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Rock Scissor Paper sells a festive, fun, and funky line of stationery with zillions of products including greeting cards, thank you cards, blank note cards, invitations, gift tags, enclosure cards, personalized stationery, journals, and they have a great seasonal holiday shoppe. I also want to be sure to point out that all of their paper and stationery products are printed in the good ol' USA on recycled paper using soy-based inks and FSC certified papers from renewable resources, so you can feel good about purchasing their products! Environmental awareness is also very important to our family, so we're excited to have found such a great company willing to partner up with us. See the attached flyer for more details.

One final thing.....

Please forward the flyer to all of your friends, family and colleagues. Together we can help Gwendolyn and so many other children and fam

ilies affected by SMA. There is no limit on what can be earned!

Thank you from our entire family,

Mary, Joe, Eden + Bode Andrulaitis

Thank you Andrulaitis family! Thank you so very much!

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