State Farm launches ‘neighborhood assist’ grants

Do you have an idea that would make your community a better place to live?

State Farm is here with the assist. 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 Mary Crego, State Farm senior vice president “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 the Chicago area last year was “Ready, Set, Tech!.” The idea came from students at Skinner West Fine Arts and Technology School. The $25,000 went towards making sure all students get a necessary technology background to become highly-educated and technologically savvy in a competitive market.

When the maximum of 3,000 submissions are received (deadline of March 6), the State Farm Youth Advisory Board will review all submissions and identify the top 200 based on a scoring rubric.

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 top 40 vote-receiving causes will be announced.

This continues State Farm’s commitment to the Chicagoland area. For years the company has given millions of dollars to organizations like the Chicago Urban League, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, the James R. Jordan Foundation, True Star Foundation, Economic Awareness Council of Illinois, ACCION Chicago, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Hispanic Illinois State Law Enforcement Association (HISLEA), Associated Colleges of Illinois, the Chicago Horticultural Society, and the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, to name a few.

For more information on State Farm Neighborhood Assist or to submit a cause, get the free Facebook app at www.statefarm.com/neighborhoodassist. You can also view an on-line video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CztqJcuxZiA.

—Source: State Farm