State Farm® Invites Individuals to Submit Causes to Bring $25,000 to their Neighborhood
Parsippany, NJ (Feb. 14, 2013) Do you have an idea that would make New Jersey a better place to live, and would $25,000 be a game-changer? State Farm is here with the assist. From now through March 6, people from the United States and Canada can submit a cause for a chance to win a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant.
Neighborhood Assist is a youth-led philanthropic program that empowers people to identify issues in their community. Then the program connects them with a local nonprofit that can help solve the problem by providing an opportunity to receive one of 40 $25,000 grants.
The beauty of Neighborhood Assist is that it places decision-making power directly in the hands of the public, said Jennifer Young, State Farm Community Specialist in New Jersey. We hope the 2013 Neighborhood Assist program is able to increase last year's widespread positive impact on U.S. and Canadian communities.
In 2012, State Farm grants reached 22 states and 40 communities that ranged in population from 222 to eight million people. Examples of winning causes include helping an animal shelter replace its rescue van and assisting organizations that support the homeless and impoverished. Six neighborhood parks were built or improved, while more than 65 percent of the causes directly impacted youth.
The cause that received the most votes in 2012 was Skate for Change, a group of skateboarders committed to giving back to the low income and homeless in Lincoln, Neb. Teenage Skate for Change member, Paige Bradley, said this about the grant program, If you want to do something in life, make a change, make a difference, you have to go out and do it. You can't just sit around and think it's going to happen.
When the maximum of 3,000 submissions are received or the deadline of March 6 (whichever comes first), the State Farm Youth Advisory Board will review all submissions and identify the top 200 based on a scoring rubric.
In Philadelphia, two organizations Neighborhood Bike Works and the West Philly Tool Library received $25K grants. I would encourage all organizations to put their name in the hat. It's a really fantastic, grassroots thing, said Erin DeCou of Philadelphia Neighborhood Bike Works who received funding for their Earn a Bike Education Program. Having the Youth Advisory Board decide who makes it into the top 200, and then having the community vote through Facebook really makes you feel connected to the whole process and the community.
The top 200 causes will be announced on Facebook on April 4 and anyone who has the free Facebook application can vote for their favorite causes with up to 10 votes per day until April 22. On April 29 the Facebook app, the top 40 vote-receiving causes will be announced.
I was ecstatic that we even had a shot. We knew that having the opportunity to receive $25,000 would be game-changing for us, said Michael Froehlich of the West Philly Tool Library. Even if you don't win it gives you the opportunity to showcase your project on both a national level and within your own local community.
For more information on State Farm Neighborhood Assist or to submit a cause, get the free Facebook app at www.statefarm.com/neighborhoodassist.
Arlene J. Lester, North Jersey, (973) 739-5197
Dave Phillips, South Jersey, (610) 358-7667
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The Youth Advisory Board is comprised of 30 students, ages 17-20, from across the United States and Canada who serve a two-year term. Their directive is to implement a $5 million-a-year signature service-learning initiative to address issues important to youth and communities. The Board is completely autonomous and youth-driven, and funds projects focused on issues selected by the board that impact youth. It consists of a diverse group of full-time students at high schools and universities. Each member commits about 15 hours a month to the Board and participates in three face-to-face meetings per calendar year. The Board will fund the 40 grants awarded through the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program with a portion of its $5 million funding in 2013. For more information on the Youth Advisory Board, visit www.statefarmyab.com.