Voting Under Way in State Farm Cause An Effect Contest

A student panel helped State Farm chooose 100 finalists from 3,000 submitted causes. The 40 winners will be announced May 22.

Facebook users are invited to vote until May 17 in State Farm's Cause An Effect Contest, which is a youth-led, crowd-sourced program allowing the public to choose 40 local causes that the insurer will help with $25,000 grants each. The company asked for worthy candidates and received 3,000 of them, then reduced that number to 100 and opened the voting April 27.

Votes can be cast at the State Farm Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/statefarm.

Visitors to the site can search for causes by name, location, or topic (safety, education, or community development) and may vote up to 10 times per day. The 40 causes earning the most votes will receive the grants.

"The overwhelming number of submissions shows the level of caring, commitment, and desire within our communities to come together and solve local issues," said Kellie Clapper, assistant vice president of community relations for State Farm. "Now, we're challenging communities to take it to the next level, to get behind their causes and vote."

Some of the finalist causes are an anti-bullying effort, a Braille literacy program, a community storm center, providing child booster seats, a tornado siren program for Louisville, Miss., continuation of a bilingual swimming safety/rescue program in Santa Rosa, Calif., that is run by the American Red Cross of Northwest California, and a proposal for a public education program in Oxnard, Calif. about the dangers of swimming at beaches without lifeguards. For the latter cause, the Oxnard Fire Department and the Oxnard Firefighters Association would send an educational pamphlet to each household and would place warning signs at unguarded beaches if they receive a grant.

The State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a group of 30 students, reviewed the cause submissions and helped State Farm select the 100 finalists. State Farm then identified and paired nonprofits with each cause. The 40 winners will be announced May 22.

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