Good Cause: Fighting For Gwen

My friends Ryan Macklin and Jess Banks have teamed up to launch a fundraiser for Elizabeth Sampat‘s family. Elizabeth’s daughter Gwen is autistic, and as Jess says:

Her family has had to pull her out of the public school where she’s been going since they moved to California because of its stubborn refusal to follow the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that outlines Gwen’s difficulties, goals, and the school’s obligations to help her function at her fullest capacity. IEPs are legal documents, and the school has broken the law time and time again by refusing to provide the support Gwen needs to learn and participate.

A few of my kids have required help at school over the years — my son Ken is hard of hearing and wears two hearing aids, for instance — but we’ve been fortunate to live in a school district that understands their needs, respects the law, and works hard to make attending school a success for them. Young Gwen, it seems, has not been so lucky.

To help the Sampats with their mounting legal bills to fight for the services her daughter needs, deserves, and is required to be given by law, Jess and Ryan set up a fund and asked a bunch of their friends to chip in some stories they could sell on a subscription basis. Fortunately, they know a lot of incredible writers, including folks like  Kenneth HiteJosh RobernDavid Niall WilsonCam BanksSteven Savile, and more.

I’m going to chip in a tale for the cause myself. I have no idea what it’ll be about or when I’ll find the time to write it, but I’ll come up with that. It’s important for Gwen, for the rest of her family, and to me.

So far, the fund has already raised over $5,000. If this kind of project or cause interests you, I encourage you to check it out.