STANFORD Ill. — The Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club in Stanford has the chance to win a $25,000 grant through the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program.
Each year, 200 non-for-profit organizations are entered into the competition, and the top 40 organizations receive the grant.
“Please vote for Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club,” said the volunteers.
The club is based out of the Helping Hands Community Center and runs a food drive and clothing exchange. The food drive is available only to people in the Allin Township, while the clothing exchange is open to anyone.
It serves an estimated 20 families per month. The organization offers an emergency food pantry where people can grab food when the community center is closed.
“They were designed to serve people in between our monthly distribution dates who are running out of food during the month and needing to come back and get more,” said club volunteer Reace Erbe.
Winning this grant would mean a lot for this club. Organizers are trying to increase the amount of emergency food pantries in the area.
Club volunteer Rachel Dawson stated, “We plan to make 10-12 more emergency food pantries to go around the communities and the Olympia school district.”
The club used to mainly provide frozen food but has seen an increase in fresh food donation. Members provide recipe ideas for people that aren’t as skilled in the kitchen.
There’s a community garden just down the street from the community center, where they grow a variety of vegetables that are offered at the food pantry.
The club is currently ranked in the top 40 of the competition, meaning if things don’t change they will receive the grant. Club members are very grateful for the support they’ve received from the community thus far.
“It feels awesome, it’s gonna be great if we can win this thing because it’s gonna help a lot of people, we already see the difference just having one out here just imagine what we could do with multiple in all the surrounding communities and school district,” said Erbe.
The winners of the grants are decided by voting. You can vote by going to neighborhoodassist.com and typing in Olympia Pacesetters 4-H Club. You can vote 10 times a day and the voting closes Friday.