BUCKHANNON – The Foundation for Better Schools in Upshur County needs votes to secure a $25,000 grant for the countywide schools’ backpack program – and you can help them out starting today, Aug. 18.
Kenna Leonard, Backpack Committee member with the Foundation for Better Schools, said they are a top 200 finalist in the Neighborhood Assist grant program by State Farm and now they need votes to get them to the top 40.
“The next step is a popular vote to get to the top 40, which will receive $25,000 for their campaigns, so what we need people to do is to sign on using our URL link or QR codes that we’ve provided,” Leonard said. “Everyone that is 18, a US citizen and has a valid email address can make an account and then you can vote 10 times a day for the next 10 days, so each person could ultimately give us 100 votes towards our goal, and when it goes live tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 18).”
The voting starts Aug. 18 and will continue through Aug. 27.
“This will take you directly to our campaign called ‘Go Wild, Feed a Child,’ you won’t have to scroll through the other 200 applicants,” Leonard said. “We’re the only campaign in the state of West Virginia this year, so hopefully we can get the entire state involved. It’s not just a countywide thing, it’s a national program – anybody in the nation can vote – so we’re just asking people to share this on their personal pages with their friends and family from out of state, and just get people voting for us.”
The Foundation for Better Schools in Upshur County became involved with the countywide backpack program last year, ultimately opting to spearhead it because the group wanted to continue support students in need.
“Kelley Tierney is on our Foundation board and she’s our State Farm representative and she came to the us said ‘hey, what do you guys think about applying for this grant?’ and we decided to give it a shot, so back in March or April it opened, and you could sign up, but they took the first 2,000 applicants, and then the system shut down,” Leonard said. “We were told they received their 2,000 applicants within 46 minutes, and they shut it down and then we were notified a week ago, that we had made the top 200, so they went through the 2,000 applicants and picked the top 200 and we were one of them.”
The link to vote for ‘Go Wild, Feed a Child,’ can be found here.
In their application, the Foundation for Better Schools notes that, if received, the $25,000 will pay for feeding one-third of Upshur County’s student need population for over a year. “It is grants like this one, community sponsors, fundraising endeavors and generous givers that make it possible for us to provide over $75,000.00 worth of food to our children each year,” the statement says. “Here in the hills of West Virginia we often say, ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child and we are asking State Farm to become a part of that village.”