BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Insurance giant, State Farm helped a Bloomington non-profit that supports homeless youth.
As part of the national holiday, Good Neighbor’ Day, State Farm employees spent an hour of their day stuffing care bags for youth served by Project Oz. Each bag included socks, a toothbrush, non-perishable food and a note of encouragement.
Kim Kaufman, a State Farm media relations specialist, said the company has turned Good Neighbor Day into a company-wide, month-long initiative. This year, State Farm wanted to give back to the local community it’s headquartered in.
“When you do something good, it feels good and when you pay it forward you see that kindness magnify,” Kaufman said. “It’s really exciting to see the good work unfold.”
Project Oz has been around for almost 50 years and supports 10 to 23-year-olds facing housing insecurity in McLean and Livingston County. Lisa Thompson, the CEO said Project Oz supports around 8,000 youth and young adults every year in some way.
“It’s a problem, it’s an ongoing problem. We also have some hidden homelessness with our young people who are unhoused, but they’re couch-surfing, they don’t have a stable place to go. We have an 18-bed transitional living program and we are at capacity every single night,” Thompson said.
Thompson said many face housing insecurity due to having parents that are homeless, in general poverty or have been kicked out of their homes. She said a disproportionate amount of those helped by the organization are in the LGBTQ community.
State Farm stuffed around 250 bags, which will last Project Oz about six months.