Our 2014 Winners

A little ingenuity can bring lasting, positive change to a community and our 2014 50 States for Good recipients demonstrate how the kernel of an idea can become something everyone is talking about. In November 2014, we awarded one 501c (3) nonprofit organization in every state and the District of Columbia with a combined total of more than $500,000 in project funding. And you helped to choose them! Thanks for your nominations! Each organization will make a difference in their community thanks to your support. Read about them below.

A little ingenuity can bring lasting, positive change to a community and our 2013 50 States for Good winners demonstrate how the kernel of an idea can become something everyone is talking about. In November 2013 we awarded 15 501c (3) nonprofit organizations a combined 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.

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.

50 States for Good grand prize winner gets the good news

A little ingenuity can bring lasting, positive change to a community and our 2011 50 States for Good winners demonstrate how the kernel of an idea can become something everyone is talking about. In October 2011 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 winner 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.

50 States for Good grand prize winner gets the good news

Small differences in the community can make a large difference in the world, so we want to support and encourage your efforts to get involved! Thanks for taking the time to vote for your favorites. In September 2010 we awarded five 501c (3) nonprofit organizations chosen by you with $20,000. What makes this really special is that all of you helped to choose them. Each winner 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.

Small differences in the community can make a large difference in the world, so we want to support and encourage your efforts to get involved! In November 2009 we awarded five 501c (3) nonprofit organizations chosen by you with $20,000. 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 winner 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.

View Past Recipients

U.S. Northeast Winners


hawkwing, Inc.

Glastonbury, CT

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Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids

Hockessin, DE

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Found in Translation

Medford, MA

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My Place Teen Center

Westbook, ME

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Copper Cannon Camp

Fanconia, NH

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Seer Farms

Jackson, NJ

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City Growers NYC

Long Island City, NY

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ASAP – After School Activities Partnership

Philadelphia, PA

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House of Hope Community Development Corporation

Warwick, RI

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Vermont Woodlands Association

Rutland, VT

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U.S. Midwest Winners


Young Women's Resource Center

Des Moines, IA

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Safe Humane Chicago

Chicago, IL

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HearCare Connection

Fort Wayne, IN

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Kansas Consumer Advisory Council for Adult Mental Health, Inc.

Wichita, KS

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Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc.

Farmington, MI

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Manna Market

Fridley, MN

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St. Louis HELP

St. Louis, MO

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Metigoshe Ministries

Bottineau, ND

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Cross Training Center

Omaha, NE

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Riders Unlimited

Oak Harbor, OH

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NAMI South Dakota

Sioux Falls, SD

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Faith, Hope, & Love, Inc.

Racine, WI

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U.S. West Winners


Friends of Campbell Creek Science Center

Anchorage, AK

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What's Mine is Yours

Concord, CA

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Phamaly Theatre Company

Aurora, CO

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Giving Back Mentoring

Paia, HI

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Framing Our Community

Elk City, ID

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Red Lodge Area Community Foundation

Red Lodge, MT

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Goodie Two Shoes Foundation

Las Vegas, NV

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Libraries of Eastern Oregon

Moro, OR

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Karma Bike Shop

Magna, UT

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Growing Veterans

Lynden, WA

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Sheridan Angels

Sheridan, WY

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U.S. Southeast Winners


Druid City Garden Project

Tuscaloosa, AL

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Lucie's Place

Little Rock, AR

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Common Good City Farm

Washington, DC

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In Jacob's Shoes

Pompano Beach, FL

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Books for Keeps

Athens, GA

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Grow Appalachia

Berea, KY

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lowernine.org

New Orleans, LA

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Extra-Ordinary Birthdays

College Park, MD

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Stewpot Community Services

Jackson, MS

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Mothers and Their Children, Inc.

Raleigh, NC

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Palmetto Project – Begin With Books program

Mount Pleasant, SC

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Strings for Hope

White Bluff, TN

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Angel Wheels to Healing

Virginia Beach, VA

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Boys & Girls Club of The Eastern Panhandle – Morgan County Unit

Martinsburg, WV

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U.S. Southwest Winners


Treasures 4 Teachers

Tempe, AZ

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Dental Care In Your Home, Inc.

Albuquerque, NM

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Full Circle Adult Day Center

Norman, OK

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Elves and More

Spring, TX

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Connecticut Radio Information System

Windsor, CT

Ten schools will receive a one-year subscription of CRISKids™ for Schools, audio recordings of print materials for children who are blind or print-challenged, including those with learning, physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities.

"CRIS Radio inspires the community by attracting hundreds of volunteers who record print materials for children who are blind or print-challenged, providing them with access to the same information enjoyed by their classmates. CRIS volunteers are passionate about helping children with disabilities grow and learn."

— Diane Weaver Dunne, Executive Director, Connecticut Radio Information System Inc.

Gilda's Club Quad Cities

Davenport, IA

A new program called G.R.O.W. (Giving Resources Organically Within) will plant an organic community garden and provide workshops on sustainability for members who have all been impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

"Gilda Radner once said 'Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I’d rather not belong to.' Gilda’s Club Quad Cities firmly believes that no one should face cancer alone. We have strived to inspire goodness in our community for the past 15 years by providing support, education and hope to all people affected by cancer at no cost. It is truly a privilege to be able to help families dealing with a diagnosis whether it be through a support group, social activity, yoga class, or healthy living workshop."

— Erin Williams, Gilda's Club Quad Cities, Program Outreach Manager

Michael T. Goulet Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy Foundation

Saco, ME

The Foundation’s efforts to advance brain safety and awareness in Maine will be expanded and serve as a model program for other states.

"In partnership with the University of New England, the foundation has developed an innovative outreach program for K-12 school systems that expands on the theme of brain safety while fostering an interest in science, mathematics and engineering."

— Edward Bilsky, Professor of Medicine and Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the University of New England; Board Member, the Goulet Foundation

Neighbor Ride

Columbia, MD

The expansion of Neighbor Ride's volunteer program will aid in continuing to serve the growing number of seniors who rely on the Neighbor Ride transportation service to remain healthy, independent and connected to the community.

"Seniors without their own transportation or without family and friends to transport them can face frightening isolation. Neighbor Ride has responded to this challenge with a volunteer-driven program that makes it easy for members of the community to reach out and give seniors the ‘wheels’ they need to get to the doctor, go shopping, participate in faith-based activities, visit with friends and do all the other things that add meaning and quality to their lives."

— Colleen Konstanzer, Community Outreach Coordinator, Neighbor Ride

Cape Ann Farmers' Market / Backyard Growers Program

Gloucester, MA

Backyard Growers will enhance and expand the school garden program, which provides elementary school students with opportunities to grow, harvest and eat fresh vegetables.

"Backyard Growers spreads the love of growing and eating fresh vegetables, giving children hands-on experiences in the garden and a connection to where real food comes from."

— Lara Lepionka, Backyard Growers Director

Play-Place for Autistic Children

Sterling Heights, MI

Building a new PAC Playscape will help to advance the coordination, climbing, balance and motor-planning skills of children affected by autism.

"PAC's primary focus is acceptance, inclusion and support for the many families affected by autism. The innovative nature of our programming and services bridges the gap between isolation and inclusion; misunderstanding and being understood; and therapy and the everyday nuances of living with autism. With strong educational, therapeutic and community ties, the bigger picture will yield employability, belonging, self-esteem and a greater quality of life."

— Shell Jones, Parent & Founder, Play-Place for Autistic Children

Operation BBQ Relief, Inc

Pleasant Hill, MO

Funding will purchase the perishable supplies necessary to feed approximately 10,000 meals during the organization’s next disaster deployment.

"We have taken our talent for making handcrafted BBQ, our ability to cook outdoors and our desire to help people in need and unified it all under the Operation BBQ Relief Flag. Comfort food is at the core of the human spirit. With a hug, a smile and a hot meal, Operation BBQ Relief gives people the lift they need in their darkest hour."

— David Marks, Director of Marketing, Operation BBQ Relief

The Poverello Center, Inc.

Missoula, MT

Completing the construction of a new emergency housing facility will aid in feeding and sheltering thousands of area neighbors living in poverty each year.

"The Poverello Center provides a safety net for folks who struggle in our community. We prepare hot meals, offer warm beds and case management to homeless children, veterans and men and women. Each year thousands of our neighbors donate their money, time and talents to help make The Pov a place of kindness and generosity."

— Anna Scotto, Jesuit Volunteer, The Poverello Center

One Simple Wish

Trenton, NJ

More than 100 simple, special wishes will be granted to children in foster care.

"One Simple Wish empowers anyone from anywhere to make a direct and meaningful difference in the life of a child in foster care who really needs to know there is goodness, love and hope all around them."

— Danielle Gletow, Founder & Executive Director, One Simple Wish

Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park

Gansevoort, NY

Funding will support the start of the organization’s accessible trail project.

"On our 2,400 acres, we protect the significant habitats of the Saratoga Sandplains and have more than 15 miles of trails to provide a wonderfully fun, healthy, and educational resource for the community, including a park for people of all ages and interests. Not only do people benefit from getting outside, but we have over one hundred volunteers who help with bird surveys, teaching classes, trail building, community outreach events, seed picking and lots more."

— Margo Olson, Executive Director, Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership

Warren, OH

Up to 100 free-standing flower boxes, soil and plants will be made available to residents of the Garden District to help the neighborhood earn its name.

"We aim to bring beauty, dignity, healthy food and a sense of community to the Garden District and to all the neighborhoods we serve, which inspires residents to do the same."

— Matt Martin, Executive Director, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership

MISSION POSSIBLE KIDS

Plano, TX

5,000 existing and 1,000 new MPK participants will be empowered to make a social impact on their communities, enacting service-oriented "top secret missions" to change the world and impact thousands in need.

"As a spy-themed, home-based Peace Corps experience for kids, MISSION POSSIBLE KIDS inspires goodness by empowering kids to make a huge social impact in their communities through their service projects, and then inspiring goodness in all the adults around them to do the same."

— Kathy Meadows, Founder & Executive Director, MISSION POSSIBLE KIDS

Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland

Mount Vernon, WA

InFARMation radio programs will provide information to area highway travelers about seasonal happenings in Skagit agriculture and help grow community support for the SPF mission.

"We strive to make partnerships to advance our mission in a way that strengthens our collective community values and quality of life."

— Allen Rozema, Executive Director, Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland

Mountaineer Food Bank

Gassaway, WV

The Mobile Pantry Program will provide healthy, nutritious foods to people in need in rural or underserved areas of West Virginia.

"Mountaineer Food Bank hopes to inspire individuals and organizations to partner with our hunger relief network so that together we can create a hunger-free West Virginia."

— Chad Morrison, Director of Development, Mountaineer Food Bank

Kompost Kids

Milwaukee, WI

A large scale food waste collection and processing pilot will be executed in the Milwaukee area in order to divert from the landfill and create compost to sustain urban agriculture projects.

"Kompost Kids turns the unwanted into something valuable. We take ‘waste’ and turn it into compost which nourishes the earth and its inhabitants."

— Melissa Tashjian, Executive Director, Kompost Kids

Top Award: Incommon Community Development

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.
Omaha, NE

"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.
Apex, NC

“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.
Genoa, AK

"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.
Wolfesboro, NH

"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.)

Adopt-a-Peak

Funding will help volunteers protect rare and fragile alpine tundra ecosystems found on Colorado's 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.
Golden, CO

“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.
Kalispell, MT

"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

Galveston Island Tree Conservancy

Galveston, TX
$50,000 Winner

NeighborWoods provides free tree plantings to interested neighborhoods. Trees filter air, lower stormwater runoff and pollutants, boost tourism, retail sales and help wildlife. With increased funding, NeighborWoods anticipates over 700 trees will be planted by 300+ volunteers in 2012 to help replace the 40,000 trees lost to Hurricane Ike.

“Tom's of Maine's '50 States for Good' program has brought national recognition to the Conservancy's efforts to replant our island in the wake of Hurricane Ike. There is nothing quite like losing 40,000 trees to highlight how important an urban tree canopy is to a small community. Tom's of Maine's support will help us continue a five-year reforestation program in the face of the worst drought in more than half a century. '50 States for Good' is an outstanding example of a private-sector company helping a non-profit to rally local citizens to do great things and rewards the dedication of everyone who gets involved. Thank you Tom's of Maine for this incredible opportunity; we are thrilled!”

— Dr. Jackie Cole, President, Galveston Island Tree Conservancy

Philly Friendship Circle - Friends for a Caring World

Philadelphia, PA
$20,000 Winner

The Friendship Circle-Philadelphia Region South pairs teen volunteers with children with special needs for activities ranging from weekly play dates at home to structured sets of Sunday programs to Jewish holiday celebrations. Funding will allow volunteers and children with special needs to form real friendships that enrich their lives and promote empathy.

“Thanks to this grant, The Friendship Circle, Philadelphia Region South, will be able to do more to promote friendships – fun, caring relationships - between teen volunteers and children with special needs. And the online voting contest got everyone excited about supporting The Friendship Circle and participating in this year's programs. We are grateful to Tom's of Maine for helping the next generation of leaders create a kinder and more inclusive world.”

— Chani Baram, Program Director, The Philly Friendship Circle

The Lands Council - Reforest Spokane Day

Spokane, WA
$20,000 Winner

Reforest Spokane will plant native Ponderosa Pine trees and funding for the planting will engage at least 500 volunteers in planting 10,000 native trees that will create shade, quiet traffic and beautify the city, as well as grow the community's love for its Ponderosa Pine heritage.

“The Lands Council is thrilled to be a winner in the Tom's of Maine '50 States for Good' contest! We are incredibly thankful for the thousands of individuals who voted for Reforest Spokane Day – our community really rose to the occasion. Thanks to this opportunity, on October 22, we will plant 10,000 Ponderosa Pine across our city with the help of several-hundred volunteers who are already visiting our website to take part in this community event. We are greatly appreciative of Tom's of Maine for sponsoring this program and for highlighting community efforts across the country.”

— Mike Petersen, Executive Director, The Lands Council

Spector Dance - Ocean

Marina, CA
$20,000 Winner

Ocean is a new dance media project about the state of the world ocean and its influence on climate change. SpectorDance and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are collaborating on a live performance piece and an educational outreach program that will expand perspectives, stimulate discussion, and contribute original solutions to the challenges facing one of our most critical resources.

“Receiving this award makes a huge different to SpectorDance and to Ocean, our new dance media project about the state of the world ocean and its influence on climate change. SpectorDance and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are collaborating on this project to exploring issues such as ocean acidification, changes in sea level and temperature, ocean rhythms and storm patterns, and the food web. Ocean brings together art and science to investigate the effects of human activity on our world ocean, engage young audiences, foster constructive dialogue, and inspire responsible stewardship. We are so grateful to Tom's of Maine for "Joining the Wave" of support and for the opportunity for exposure on the national level.”

— Fran Spector Atkins, Artistic Director and Founder of SpectorDance

Alamance County Meals on Wheels - Fresh Food to Seniors

Burlington, NC
$20,000 Winner

Funding will allow Alamance County Meals On Wheels to provide more fresh produce to elderly and disabled clients in the community through the help of local growers, local co-op, and traditional grocery stores, which will improve the food intake and decrease the food insecurity of those who are homebound.

“Alamance County Meals On Wheels is thrilled to be awarded funding to expand our program of providing fresh fruits and vegetables to the homebound and medically frail individuals we serve. This grant will also enable us to provide new volunteer opportunities, expand our network of fresh food providers, and improve the nutritional intake of seniors, which is crucial to living a healthy life. We can't thank Tom's of Maine enough for selecting us to compete for this award as well as the community for its overwhelming support.”

— Anne Baker, Executive Director, Alamance County Meals On Wheels

Western Maryland Area Health Education Center

Cumberland, MD
$20,000 Winner

Funding will help with a two-day free dental clinic that provides free oral health services to over 700 people who would otherwise have no access to dental care. Upwards of 500 community volunteers, as well as 200 dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, oral surgeons, physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and dental students make this program possible.

“When Tom's of Maine informed us that we will receive $20,000 for our Mission of Mercy clinic, we literally jumped up and down, hugged and yelled for joy! This award will help provide free dental care and other oral health services to over 800 Appalachian people, including the homeless, uninsured, and disabled. Mission of Mercy will not only improve oral health, but will also improve the overall health of the patients and increase their self-esteem and sense of well-being. The passion with which our community volunteers for this project overwhelmingly shows the caring values and commitment we have for one another.”

— Jen Thomas and Susan Stewart, Western Maryland Area Health Education Center

Bloomington Community Orchard

Funding will support the publicly-owned, volunteer-maintained orchard in Indiana. The orchard contributes to local food security, inspires joyful community engagement, and educates citizens while making sustainability delicious.
Bloomington, IN

”Winning the grant will allow us to make our vision of a publicly-owned volunteer-run orchard a reality. Specifically with this money, we’re going to make all of our pathways wheelchair accessible, so everyone can enjoy. Additionally, we’ll be purchasing more fruit trees, filling out the entire orchard. With a full orchard, we’ll be able to contribute to increased food security within our local community and we’ll be able to educate people on the importance of organic food and how can grow it in their own backyard. Thank you to everyone at Tom’s of Maine and our entire community who voted for our cause.“

— Amy Countryman, Treasurer, The Bloomington Community Orchard

IMPACT Alabama: A Student Service Initiative

Funding will be used to fund IMPACT Alabama’s FocusFirst: An Alabama Student Vision Initiative, which trains college students to provide vision screenings for low-income pre-school children. The organization, which reaches nearly one thousand daycare centers a year, will help pay for transportation across Alabama, screenings and follow-up appointments.
Birmingham, AL

”The reality in our state and in others is that very few children receive quality vision care before entering public school, even though children have eye problems that manifest by age 2. There is a generation of 4 and 5 year olds that can’’t see well enough to learn how to read. 11% of children we screen have a previously undiagnosed eye problem. The support from Tom’s of Maine will directly equate to 1,000 children being able to start school ready and able to learn.“

— Stephen Black, President/Founder, IMPACT Alabama

Kappa Delta Pi Educational Foundation

The organization, made up of teachers, professors and college students studying to be teachers, will fund its Literacy Alive! Program, which encourages lifelong learning through literacy for not only K-12 students but also adults.
Indianapolis, IN

”Receiving the award makes a huge difference for KDP’s Literacy Alive! national service initiative and the thousands of students it serves. We are very grateful for Tom’s of Maine support and our strong base of skilled collegiate and professional educators who organize and deliver the local programs. Being volunteer-driven means that each $100 invested in Literacy Alive! supports direct interaction with 250 students.“

— Barbara Richardson, Educational Foundation Director, Kappa Delta Pi Educational Foundation

Palmetto Animal League

Funding will help build the organization’s ”dog lifestyle room“with the goal of helping dogs acquaint themselves to living in a home with a kitchen, couch, television and other items they’ll encounter once adopted. The room will allow them to retain the training they received from their volunteer foster care handlers.
Bluffton, SC

”Our dogs become socialized and trained thanks to our foster-care volunteers. They learn how to interact with people and we learn if they get along with children or cats, making each adoption more successful. This training lowers the odds that the animal will be returned to us after it’s adopted. This grant from Tom’s of Maine is absolutely essential in recreating that foster care experience in our new building and allows us to make sure the dogs have everything they need to find a permanent home.“

— Amy Campanini, Executive Director, Palmetto Animal League

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

PAWS Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic will use the funding to provide free spay/neuter surgery to pets of low-income residents, as well as basic veterinary care to dogs and cats who would not otherwise receive it over a six month period in the Philadelphia area.
Philadelphia, PA

”At our low-cost Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic, we serve pet owners who have difficulty affording veterinary care. However, many Philadelphians cannot afford even our reduced costs. We are deeply grateful to Tom’s of Maine for providing this grant, which will allow us to help hundreds of the truly neediest pets and the people who love them. As a result, we will enable pets to remain as cherished family members, reduce the number of animals surrendered to city shelters, and bring Philadelphia one step closer to becoming a no-kill city.“

— Melissa Levy, Executive Director, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Boulders & Butterflies

Each winter during the rainy season, run-off from Coeur d'Alene Elementary School playground and parking lot floods the campus and the adjacent streets before entering the storm drain system. The Boulders and Butterflies native plant rain garden is designed to capture this precious water, create a beautiful native riparian habitat, and inspire other citizens of the school and neighborhood to do the same. The garden and the integrated curriculum will promote awareness of the local watersheds as a valuable resource.
Venice, CA

Bread for the City

With its innovative new Glean for the City project, Bread for the City has tapped into a new resource of fresh food for the tens of thousands low-income DC residents who require assistance putting food on their table. Glean for the City organizes weekly excursions into the fields of farms located near the DC metro area, where teams of volunteers collect literally tons of fresh produce (apples, corn, squash, etc.) that would otherwise go to waste. An abundance of food is available out there on farms - never to reach consumers because of a lack of resources, fickle markets, or minor cosmetic blemishes. So long as we collect it, box it up, and carry it off, we can have as much produce as we want, free of charge. By utilizing volunteer groups from the community, Glean for the City has reaped over 35,000 pounds (several tons a week) of free fresh produce. And this program has the potential to increase in scale. We are planning additional outreach efforts to local farms so that we may expand our roster of available produce outlets for the winter seasons as well as next year's harvest season (June-November).
Washington, D.C.

Corridor of Cruelty

The Houston Mobile Clinic Project will fund its Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) to aid animals who victims of abuse, abandonment, injury, illness and hunger in Houston's "Corridor of Cruelty & Neglect." They work with a rescue group that gets the animals to the mobile clinic for sterilization and then finds loving homes for them. The organization has nine trips planned to sterilize & vaccinate hundreds of animals in the area, mostly large dogs or other animals living with indigent families unaware of or unable to offer proper care.
Houston, TX

Rutherford Housing Project

The Rutherford Housing Project builds ramps that provide handicap access to an estimated 15-20 low-income homeowners in the county who are unable to safely access their own homes. RHP provides urgent repairs for low-income homeowners, and ramps are one of the most common needs we see. Volunteers provide all of our labor; donations and grants provide materials. Handicap ramps provide safe access to and from the home, giving disabled homeowners independence and the dignity they deserve.
Rutherford, NC

Grow Food, Grow Hope Garden Initiative

In a community racked by massive job loss, our primary mission is to lessen the effects of poverty through fresh food access. To that end, our first project was establishing a 20-plot vegetable garden for low-to-fixed income families, with all supplies, tools and training given for free by Wilmington College. This grant will help us expand our garden to 40 plots to help feed 20 more families in 2010, and purchase the necessary supplies for that expansion.

We are planning an expansive backyard garden project for 2010, in which we'll seek out in-need families and give them the resources to build and plant their own backyard gardens to help supplement their food supply. With the Tom's of Maine Community Improvement grant, we'll be able to buy all of the supplies for that project and ensure its sustainability in the future. Education is essential for sustainability, and so it is a critical part of our organization. We are building partnerships with local school districts to establish school gardens for students, and we started a successful food literacy program to teach food issues and healthful habits to children. In 2010 we plan on spearheading a campaign to educate our community about CSA programs (community supported agriculture) and our grower's co-op, both of which help connect local growers with consumers and distributors.
Wilmington, OH