Monday, May 12, 2014

Cast Your Vote to Help Worthwhile Causes Vieing for $25K Grant Money from the 2014 State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program #MC #Sponsored

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting #MC for State Farm. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Step Up and Vote Daily to
Assist Your Community

Help your community win one of forty 

$25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grants.

My charitable/volunteer experience started back when I was in high school. But, after knee surgery left me unable to play sports or run track anymore, I had to use my free time for more worthwhile things.  And, so, I started to look into community service and volunteer opportunities in my area.  

My experience with volunteering and helping others ultimately helped me decide on what I wanted to do for a career and that was to study public healthy with a concentration in community health education.  With my BS degree, I would be able to go into schools, the community and work in a hospital setting, offering healthy education and resources through lectures, demonstrations, health fairs, health and wellness screenings and more.  

After completing me degree back in 2001, I found myself looking for the perfect job.  I spent a couple of years working with the elderly, setting up home care and other services for the, before I moved and worked in a substance abuse setting, helping moms in recovery who had just gotten their children back in their custody get back on track.  While I found these human services jobs interesting, I still yearned for that community connection that I had felt while volunteering back in high school and college.  And, then in 2004, I landed my dream job, where I was a the director of health educator for a health insurance company in the Central Mass area.  My job had me visiting local schools and coordinating health fairs and events in the community.  I found myself reconnecting with other non-profit organizations I had previously volunteered with, and partnering with them to reach a wider audience in the community.  I finally felt that fire and drive I felt when I first starting giving back to the community through charitable giving and volunteering, and I could see the difference I was making in people's lives, including those who came into the hospital I worked in, requesting hand outs on healthy education, as well as being redirected to local organizations that they could find further resources.

But, after my cancer diagnosis in 2008, I had to step away from my dream job to receive treatment and beat my cancer.  And, after I fully recovered, I wanted to take some time off and enjoy life, which I found so precious after my diagnosis.  Shortly thereafter, I found out I was pregnant with my girls.  

Currently, I am busy tending to two active toddlers, but continue to give charitable donations to causes I hold near and dear to my heart, including those that deal with education, the environment, community involvement and cancer organizations targeting both childhood and adult cancers.  Slowly, I am finding myself getting back to volunteering with these organizations, which has brought that drive I so long missed these past few years.  I am hoping that as the girls get older, I will have more time to volunteer, as well as introduce to them to community service, as you are never to young to start.  I wish I hadn't waited until my final years in high school to volunteer, as I saw so many families getting together to do their part, to make a difference for worthwhile causes, like the ones vying for $25K from the 2014 State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program.

"Communities across the United States and Canada answered the call from State Farm to help create a positive impact in their community and submitted 4,000 causes as part of this year’s State Farm Neighborhood Assist. Now the top 200 causes have been selected by the State  and they need your “assist” to help vote them into the top 40. From April 28 through May 16, anyone who has the free State Farm Neighborhood Assist Facebook application can vote daily for their favorite cause, or causes, and help bring $25,000 to the top 40 vote getters. "

For a better understanding of the Neighborhood Assist Program, take a look at last years Grant Recipients:


Voting is open! Now’s your chance to decide which 40 causes will receive a $25K grant! 
Vote up to 10 times each day from April 28th through May 16th. Invite your friends to help,
because only the 40 causes with the most votes will receive a grant.

Head on over to State Farm Neighborhood Assist Facebook App and vote for your favorite cause in this year's Neighborhood Assist Program --

And, don't forget to share the above link with family and friends so that they can vote, and help these wonderful causes have a chance of winning $25K. :-)

You can vote up to ten times a day for different causes, which makes the chances of one of your causes to be chosen (40 will be chosen in total) to win $25K to help fund their causes.

I have been voting daily since I found out about this great State Farm Neighborhood Assist program.  I first starting looking with the New England states and casting my votes, before I branched out and used the search tool to find causes near and dear to my heart like the following:

Build-A-Bed in Kentucky:

"A bed is a luxury many people take for granted. Many children in Kentucky are living in home without enough beds or, worse yet, none at all. While homeless shelters and various non-profits provide goods for families when they move out, beds are often hard to come by for the working poor. According to experts most children that don't have a bed to sleep in may suffer from psychological and/or physical effect including: Difficulty paying attention, learning new information and performing at school; Increased mood swings, fatigue, irritability,and behavior problems; and decreased immunity and ability to fight infections. We will use these funds to assist with our build-a-bed project in 2015. This year, 2014, we will be building 140 twin size beds that will be given to 140 children in our service region."

Childhood Obesity in Florida:

"Funding from State Farm will help our agency build neighborhood pocket parks and bike-ways throughout our most economically distressed neighborhoods. Currently, our agency is using some micro-grants to build a children's playground in a once vacant lot. Some funding from State Farm will be used to expand and improve this playground by adding more playground equipment, land acquisition, landscaping, security fencing and irrigation. Any remaining funding from State Farm will be used to help construct a nearby quarter mile long bike-way that will include landscaping and public exercise equipment. After construction of these two projects, our goal of turning vacant lots and public right-of-ways into vibrant and unique recreational facilities, will be fulfilled."

Bring Joy to a Child:

"The money received from State Farm would go directly towards the funding of the families nominated for help from their local Elementary School. Yearly, based on the current state of our economy, it has become increasingly difficult to raise funds in our classrooms to support the needs of others in our community. What we have learned is that in many cases our student body is hurting much like those that we are supporting. A great transition has happened within "Bring Joy to a Child" over the last 6 years; students are bringing in many more items from their homes to support their Elementary School family, rather than bringing in money. It has made for wonderful conversations about reducing our Global Footprint as a school, but it does make it hard to provide food, diapers, undergarments, and other items that you would not want "used". Money from State Farm would help our school buy those items for each classroom, so that the classrooms could focus on other specific family needs."

I couldn't believe all the causes that had registered and hope to be chosen as one of the 40 to be funded.  As I read through each of their stories and how they would use the money, I wished that they could all win money to help their worthwhile causes.  But, I know that others who also take the time time to read about the causes will take the next step and volunteer.  Even though funding would be great, giving your own personal time to help out causes is even better and priceless in my eyes.  I saw firsthand how my years of volunteering helped communities, and I love seeing photos of others gathering together to give time in order to make a world of difference in the lives of others, many who are right in our own community, and need a little extra help.

So, please take a few moments out of your day and head on over to the State Farm Facebook Fan Page - cast your votes for some of these worthwhile causes.  Remember, voting ends on May 16th, so don't delay in voting and sharing about the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program and voting with friends and family today. 

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting #MC for State Farm. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

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