Our 2012 Project Sponsorship Winners
A little ingenuity can bring lasting, positive change to a community and our 2012 50 States for Good winners demonstrate how the kernel of an idea can become something everyone is talking about. In November 2012 we awarded six 501c (3) nonprofit organizations a total of $150,000 in project funding. What makes this really special is that all of you helped to choose them. Thanks for taking the time to vote for your favorites. Each winning organization will make a difference in their community thanks to your support, and that's the best news of all. Read more about the winning organizations.
Park Avenue Commons: The Park Avenue Commons provides an array of support services at no cost for low-income, at-risk and special needs residents. With funding from Tom’s of Maine, the Commons will help prevent homelessness by building community support networks, providing preventative and emergency services, and increasing personal and employment success.
"Our success in the Tom’s of Maine 50 States for Good campaign is inspiring for our organization, as it shows the overwhelming support we have throughout Omaha – and beyond – for our Park Avenue Commons project. The best projects are the ones that are led by the community, and this amazing opportunity through Tom’s of Maine has allowed our community to push the Park Avenue Commons from dream to reality. We send our most sincere and humble thanks to our supporters and advocates who have helped inCOMMON take first place in the nation. And of course, a huge thanks to Tom’s of Maine. THANK YOU!"
-- Christian Gray, Executive Director, inCOMMON Community Development
Brown Bag Ministry: Brown Bag Ministry, a 100% volunteer organization, provides brown bag lunches every Saturday and 500 hot lunches a month, as well as hygiene, first aid, and personal care items to the homeless. Funding from Tom’s of Maine will support the Brown Bag Ministry and its 7,000 community volunteers to distribute 65,000 brown bag lunches and 8,400 hot lunches to the homeless and those living in poverty.
“Brown Bag Ministry and its volunteers are overjoyed to receive funding that will support our mission in 2013. Our brown bag lunches that include a sandwich, fruit, granola bar, and water are often the only consistent source of food for the homeless on Saturdays and we make sure that our hot lunches are of restaurant quality; our friends deserve that much. Thank you Tom’s of Maine for the opportunity to compete for this funding and a special thank you to our volunteers and community for their amazing support.”
-- David Legarth, Board Chairman, Brown Bag Ministry
Project Playground: Project Playground is a community build project, which will include the renovation of two 30-year-old play areas. Tom's of Maine funding will provide equipment updates for students to increase their physical fitness and play, regardless of ability level or special needs.
"We are so thankful and extremely excited to be awarded one of the Tom's of Maine 50 States for Good grants for Project Playground! These funds will allow us to begin work on our existing playgrounds."
-- Carrie Hirmer, President, Genoa Central PTO
Sustain-A-Raisers: Based on the model of "barn raising," Sustain-A-Raisers is G.A.L.A.'s way of igniting a sustainable home makeover movement whereby teams of volunteers help one another install backyard eco-assets such as garden beds, clotheslines, compost bins, rain barrels, and solar hot water systems. With funding from Tom’s of Maine, the program will conduct 50 sustainable home and yard makeovers.
"This exciting news is both humbling and inspiring all at once! It's exactly the vote of confidence we need to continue building a sustainable home makeover model for other communities to replicate across the country. Together we can start to move the needle on some of our most pressing environmental concerns. Thank you to all those people who made time in their busy schedules to vote for G.A.L.A. - you made this possible!!"
-- Joshua Arnold, Executive Director, Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.)
Funding will help volunteers protect rare and fragile alpine tundra ecosystems found on Coloradoâs 54 14,000-foot mountains. "Adopt-a-Peak" volunteers build and maintain sustainably located, durably constructed summit hiking trails. "Peak Steward" volunteers educate hikers about Leave No Trace practices designed to minimize resource impacts on these heavily used peaks.
“Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is so excited to enlist Tom’s of Maine in the protection of Colorado’s majestic Fourteeners through active stewardship and public education. The 50 States for Good initiative helped CFI mobilize our many supporters nationwide and raise the profile of our work among those who are just learning about these special peaks. The Tom's of Maine funding will help CFI conduct trail reconstruction, maintenance and restoration projects involving more than 8,000 hours of volunteer labor that will protect delicate alpine tundra ecosystems and improve hiking trails used by an estimated half million people per year.”
-- Lloyd Athearn, Executive Director, Colorado Fourtneeners Initiative
Alternative Energy Surrounds Us!: Funding from Tom’s of Maine will allow the Glacier Institute to install solar panels, a wind turbine and a battery back-up system at its Big Creek Outdoor Education Center as well as create a new curriculum to educate all course attendees on alternative energy. The educational site, located off the power grid in the beautiful Flathead National Forest, hosts thousands of elementary school children annually.
"On behalf of the staff, board and volunteers, the Glacier Institute is thrilled to learn that we have been awarded $20,000 in funding from Tom's of Maine for our project: ‘Alternative Energy Surrounds Us!’ The work that we have done for 29 years at the Glacier Institute enables us to put this in place immediately! The additional funding will help us to plan our future and that of many youth for years to come. Our teaching site located off of the power grid will now be able to teach youth about alternative energy systems."
-- Joyce H. Baltz, Executive Director, The Glacier Institute