State Farm's Good Neighborhood Assist Grant Opportunity. Please vote for local Teen Drop-In Center!

State Farm's Good Neighborhood Assist Grant Opportunity.  Please vote for local Teen Drop-In Center!
September 24, 2020

Every year State Farm does a Good Neighborhood Assist grant to 40 Non-Profits.  To start the process they accept 2000 applications, which were all submitted within hours of the application process being opened.  Once the 2000 applications are submitted, State Farm picks the top 200 that they believe will have the biggest impact on communities across the country.  Nicole Miller, local State Farm agent is ecstatic to announce that Teen Drop Center in Fostoria Ohio has made the top 200 list!!  A very special thank you to Evelyn Marker with the Fostoria United Way for all her hard work in making this opportunity possible!

Now it is up to all of us locals to come together and vote to put this program in the top 40 to receive the $25,000 grant!

Please vote for the Teen Drop Center by clicking here.  You may vote up to 10 times per day through October 2nd. 

 Teen Drop In Center, Fostoria, Ohio

Nurture the potential of teens, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.

Young people in Fostoria, a city of 13,000, do not have any non-sports activities – no movie theater, no mall or shopping center. The community has a high percent of single parent homes – more than 66%. With busy schedules, parents are not always able to provide children with the structure needed to complete homework, enhance social skills and assist them with the daily issues that teens encounter. A recent Fostoria Community Survey identified youth development as the third highest need, behind economic and community development. The 2019 Seneca County Health Needs Assessment revealed physical health issues that impact Fostoria teens including: 37% of youth are overweight or obese and 10% do not participate in any physical activity during the week. More than one out of three youth felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in row in the past year.

This project will develop an after school drop-in center for teenagers’ grades 6-9. The Center will be open Mon--Thurs at the public school starting this fall. Certified staff from the school and the YMCA will lead and supervise teens in a safe space. Activities include arts & crafts, games, healthy snacks, tutoring, referral to community resources, physical activity and community service. The State Farm grant would be used to encourage teens to have fun while increasing their physical activity. It will purchase six aerobic workout machines sized for teens to form a Junior Complete Circuit, $12,000, and a Dance Video Simulator, $14,000. Geary Family YMCA coordinated with Fostoria City Schools, Family & Children First Council, Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services, and other organizations to establish the Center. The Marathon LPGA Foundation, the YMCA, the Ohio Dept of Education, and the Family & Children First Council committed funds to form the Center earlier this year.

Introducing young teens to healthy habits like aerobic exercise will instill in them a lifelong love for being active. Active people are healthier and more fit. They tend to be happier, do better in school, socialize better, avoid depression and destructive behaviors, and are more resilient. In the short-term participants will have improved school attendance, higher graduation rates, higher educational aspirations, stronger relationships with parents, teachers and peers, improved social behaviors at school and home, and improved physical health. The grant will impact the school and the community as well. Teens will be more connected to their school and the community. The activity of voting for the project will highlight and promote the Center in the community. The collaboration of many social agencies, the school and local organizations will contribute to its success and sustain the program long term.

 Submitted By:  Evelyn Marker

Organization:  Geary Family YMCA, Fostoria, Ohio

About Voting:

Starts at 12:00:01 A.M. Eastern Time on September 23rd and ends on October 2nd at 11:59:59 P.M. ET at U.S. residents who are 18 and older with a valid email address (including employees, agents, and agent team members) can vote up to 10 times per day during the 10-day voting phase.  A leaderboard will be included on the website during the voting phase, but will be removed from the website on Thursday, Oct. 1st at 11:59:59 P.M. ET – which is 24 hours prior to the voting window closing.


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