The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club has been selected as a State Farm Neighborhood Assist® Top 200 Finalist and needs your votes!
Olympia CUSD 16
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
STANFORD, IL (August 8, 2019) The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club needs your help by voting for them to receive a $25,000 grant from State Farm® to help improve their community. Starting August 14 at 12:01am ET, U.S. residents who are 18 and older with a valid email address can vote for their favorite cause at www.neighborhoodassist.com.
The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club has until Aug. 23 at 11:59pm ET to rally votes and anyone voting is allowed up to 10 votes per day. On September 25, the top 40 vote-receiving causes will be announced at www.neighborhoodassist.com and a $25,000 grant will be awarded to each of the affiliated nonprofits.
The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club is fighting hunger in their rural community. In 2008, members of the club established the Helping Hands Community Center, which houses a food pantry and clothing exchange. The food pantry serves residents of Allin Township in need of food assistance, averaging 20 families served per month.
In 2009, the club started a community garden, which provides fresh produce to the food pantry for distribution. The 4-H club also packs snack paks throughout the school year for qualifying students at Olympia North Elementary School, which provides nutritious, kid-friendly snacks and meals for students every weekend.
After recognizing that there was often need for food assistance between monthly food pantry distributions, members of the club designed and built an Emergency Mini Food Pantry in 2018. The Emergency Mini Food Pantry is located at the Helping Hands Community Center in Stanford and open 24-7. A second Emergency Mini Food Pantry was added in 2019 at the Allin Township Community Building.
The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club would now like to expand the network of Emergency Mini Food Pantries throughout communities in the Olympia School District. They have been approached by two organizations wanting to partner to build Emergency Mini Food Pantries in neighboring communities, but funding is also a critical need. The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club applied for a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant, which – if selected as a winning project – would provide enough funding to build 10 Emergency Mini Food Pantries in every community within the Olympia School District. The club plans to partner with organizations in each community to build the Emergency Mini Food Pantry before handing over the reins to keep the Emergency Mini Food Pantries stocked.
“With fewer people living in rural areas, we don’t get as much attention as bigger towns and cities,” said Reace Erbe, 16, 4-H Hunger Ambassador and member of the Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club. “But we still have the same needs as bigger towns and cities when it comes to issues like hunger and food deserts. A $25,000 grant would give us the opportunity to make a huge difference in our community.”
The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club is requesting the public’s support during the voting stage of this grant competition. The club’s unique voting link is https://www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2023533. More information about the project can be found at this link or at https://www.StanfordHelpingHands.org.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods The State Farm Review Committee selected the top 200 finalists from 2,000 submissions.
About the Organization:
The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club was established in 2001 to give youth the opportunity to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, and life skills through experiential learning programs. The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club is located in Stanford, Illinois, and a part of the 4-H program in McLean County, Illinois, and open to youth ages 8 to 18. The Olympia Pacers Cloverbuds offer opportunities for youth ages 5 to 7. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/OlympiaPacesetters4H/.
The Helping Hands Community Center was established in 2008 and is a service learning project of the Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club. The Helping Hands food pantry serves residents of Allin Township in need of food assistance. The Helping Hands clothing exchange is open to the public. For more information, please visit https://www.StanfordHelpingHands.org.