In just 10 days this fall, 145,000 people cast 3.9 million votes in support of their favorite causes. As a result, 40 communities, in 22 states, including Fairmont City in St. Clair County, will be getting an assist from State Farm.
State Farm announced the Top 40 vote-getting causes that have won $25,000 grants to improve their communities.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic grant program that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods. Non-profits affiliated with each of the top 40 causes receive grants to address them.
The Latino Roundtable of Southwestern Illinois (LRT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to work together in developing and expanding available resources to improve delivery of social services to the local Latino community.
Their submitted cause, To Connect a Left-Behind and At-Risk Community, will provide free WiFi hotspots for internet service to the residents of Fairmont City. This village of 2,635 people has a population that is 80 percent Hispanic with 40% of the population living at or below poverty level. With the current pandemic, no job or reduced hours means no household income for many.
Residents have used the village library for free WiFi access, but due to COVID-19 the library was temporarily closed and the community lost their resource for searching and accessing basic social services. The $25,000 grant will provide free WiFi access for the Village for up to 3 years. Children will be able to do their homework, residents will be able to apply for jobs and healthcare benefits, and adults will be able to attend classes on line while staying connected with the outside world.
“State Farm is proud to support the good neighbors who will be implementing the winning projects in their communities,” said Annette Martinez, senior vice president at State Farm. “We look forward to seeing the impact of these grants.”
Two thousand cause submissions were accepted in July at www.neighborhoodassist.com. The State Farm Review Committee selected the Top 200 finalists and public voting determined the Top 40. In the nine years of the program, more than 340 causes have received a total of $9 million to enact change in their communities.
For a complete list of this year’s top 40 causes, please visit: www.neighborhoodassist.com.