LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 12, 2011 – To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) of Melbourne, Florida was awarded a $1 million grant from Chase at the first-ever American Giving Awards (AGAs) on NBC tonight. The program, hosted by 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, featured celebrity tributes to five charities selected through online voting. Stars including will.i.am, Miley Cyrus, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, 50 Cent, and Rodney Atkins celebrated the accomplishments of the charities.
To Write Love on Her Arms is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
“Winning a million dollars on national television, confetti falling down, that’s something I couldn’t even have dreamed up. It was just amazing. It was the biggest moment in our history and the best night of my life,” Said Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of TWLOHA. “The $1 million grant from Chase instantly changes what the next year will look like for us. It will allow us to be more creative than ever before in bringing our message of hope and help to the world. It also allows us to invest in treatment and recovery more than ever before.”
The AGAs, presented by Chase, dick clark productions and Intersport were the first-ever televised celebrity tribute to community heroes that offered five charities an opportunity to receive grants based on the number of online votes in support of their organization. TWLOHA was among the five finalists competing for an opportunity to share $2 million in Chase grants. From December 1 through December 8, fans of Chase Community Giving (CCG) on Facebook and Chase online customers determined how much each charity would receive by voting for their favorite featured charity online.
Golden Globe® Award-winning actor Colin Farrell was honored with the inaugural AGA Leadership Award for his ongoing support of several causes including combating homophobia, championing the Special Olympics, active participation with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and raising awareness of Angelman Syndrome.
Dancing with the Stars winner and U.S. Army veteran J.R. Martinez led a moving tribute to American Veterans and introduced Frank Vazquez, a U.S. Navy veteran and Chase employee who was hired as part of the “100,000 Jobs Mission” to help find jobs for transitioning service members and military veterans. Viewers were also encouraged to assist efforts to help veterans find jobs and to visit the Chase Community Giving Facebook page where they can learn how to help two veterans empowerment and employment charities raise funds via text message.
Additional moments of the evening included a tribute by Miss USA Alyssa Campanella to young people who give back to their communities. Presentations were also made by Gabrielle Union and Terrence Howard. LeAnn Rimes, Taio Cruz, and Jackie Evancho, each also took the stage to lend their voices to honor the local heroes.