The Cherokee County Volunteer Aging Council is one of 100 candidates out of 3,000 entries eligible for a grant from the insurance company’s “Cause An Effect” program.
The program encourages people to identify worthy nonprofits in their communities for a chance to win one of 40 grants worth $25,000 each.
The three types of causes the program supports include safety, education and community development. The VAC submitted its grant request in the community development category because the organization’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for programs and events that benefit senior citizens, their families and the local community.
Pat Bowen, VAC board member, said board chairman Benny Carter heard of the opportunity through a local State Farm agent.
“We immediately pursued it and became a finalist,” Bowen said.
The contest began Friday and runs through May 17. Supporters can cast their vote up to 10 times a day either through the State Farm Facebook page or by visiting the VAC website at www.VAC-CherokeeGA.org.
The top 40 causes that receive the most votes in this time period will be announced on May 22 as the grant winners.
Bowen said the organization would donate most of the money to the county’s senior center on Univeter Road in Canton, which is undergoing renovation to accommodate more of Cherokee’s rapidly growing senior population. The new space will have additional furniture, classroom and conference equipment for AARP workshops, and tax filing assistance as well as a new computer lab.
“The Senior Center building has served the community for 23 years, and the $25,000 grant would help expand their reach to the frail elderly and their families,” Bowen said.
The rest of the funds will go toward various other programs for low-income seniors. Some of these programs include providing nutritional supplements not funded by the Meals on Wheels program, providing emergency rent and medical assistance, building ramps and distributing fans for those without air conditioning.
“There are so many unfulfilled needs in the county for seniors,” Bowen said. “We deal with people who are low income… (they) have a lot of needs so we raise money to do a lot of things for them.”