NATIONAL (WCIA) — Illinois won the most grants from a recent State Farm philanthropic program: five. Three recipients are in the Central Illinois area: Good Samaritan Inn, in Decatur, Promise Council, in Bloomington-Normal, Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow, in Peoria.
The insurance company’s Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced program allowing communities to identify problems. Local non-profits with each of the top 40 causes receive grants of $25,000 to address those issues.
- Good Samaritan Inn (Decatur) — Good Samaritan Inn has been the only free meal program in Decatur for 35 years. Over the past 5 years, their Mercy Programs has offered job skills training programs to low income residents through a field to fork job skills training program which aids students in refining their soft skills in a horticultural and culinary setting. Upon completion, Mercy Programs has seen a 95% employment rate. GSI will host a Thank You Reception/Check Presentation on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10am at 920 N. Union St., Decatur.
- Promise Council (Bloomington-Normal) — Over 35% of students in fifteen District 87 and Unit 5 schools are low-income or qualify for free and reduced lunches. In some schools it is as high 75%, and homelessness is on the rise. Promise Council wants to start a scholarship program to help alleviate stress for students by providing mentoring, physical items like clothing, school supplies and backpacks, and getting parents more involved. Promise Council will host a Thank You Reception/Check Presentation on Friday, Sept. 28 from 8:15-9am at Pepper Ridge Elementary, 2602 Danbury Drive, Bloomington.
- Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow (Peoria) — Jonathon and Nikki Romain want to transform the old Greeley School building in the North Valley community into an arts center where they will provide free after-school art programs to youth and affordable studio space for artists to create and share their work. The center will also offer classes in music, language arts, graphic arts, STEAM, family empowerment, yoga, health workshops, sewing and many more. ART will host a Thank You Reception/Check Presentation today, Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 1pm at Greeley School, 919 NE Jefferson St., Peoria.
At least one submission was received from each of the 50 states. The State Farm Review Committee selected the top 200 finalists from 2,000 submissions.
The top 40 vote-getters from a 10-day online vote were determined as winners of a $25,000 grant. 167,000 people cast 4.5 million votes during those ten days.
As a result, 40 communities in 19-states will each receive the grant. In the seven years of the program, more than 250 causes have received a total of $7 million to enact change in their communities.
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