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Like a Good Neighbor...

"Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there." Once again State Farm is living up to their catchy jingle, and in more ways than their comical commercials. The company is opening its arms up to the public and announcing their 2014 Neighborhood Assist Program.

Speaking to Cooper Kennard, the coordinator for the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, VolunTEEN Nation got the inside scoop on this amazing opportunity. Starting off as a discussion about how to gain followers on social media, turned into a discussion of what the Youth Advisory Aboard could turn into. Now, as Cooper says, “[Neighborhood Assist] Is a crowd source philanthropic effort that focuses specifically on community development.” Our good neighbors at State Farm give out $25,000 to 40 different causes who are helping their communities.

These aren’t just big organizations or big town projects either. Cooper comments on a group in Indiana who won a couple years back. They had a “dilapidated old factory,” that the community decided was unsafe and not a good representation of their community as a whole. They decided they would turn this rundown, collapsing building into a proud and safe green space. They ended up winning this grant and made their green space. The remarkable part? This was a community of 350 people. “If a community of 350 people, of various ages, makes and models if you will can rally enough support through American candidacy to win 25,000 dollars for their cause, then really anybody can.”

Some of the best projects Cooper has seen and the qualities he hopes to see in the incoming projects are, “One of the things that really excites me and that I hope we get to see more of this year, is community based partnerships. And of people reaching out of their daily circles… and being able to connect with people that are also of the community and also have invested interest in the same cause, but outside of this program might not have connected.” They want to see programs that connect lots of different groups of people. A sustainable project that gets everyone involved.

If you have an idea worth sharing (and you have an existing Facebook account) go to State Farm, and answer three questions that describe what your project is, what you would use the money for, and how you will measure the success of the project. It is that easy. The deadline for these ideas is March 23rd so don’t hesitate. Take after State Farm and be a good neighbor.