More than 160 projects were submitted to receive our $5,000 Making a Difference Day Grant. So now it's your turn to decide. The team at NewsChannel 5 narrowed down the finalists to three.
You can vote between now and August 30th at 5pm. The organization with the most votes will be forwarded on to the Gannett Foundation for final approval.
Northwest Academy of Law
Northwest Academy of Law is a "small high school of choice" within St. Louis Public Schools created to emphasize a "Law-related Education" in conjunction with the traditional college preparatory curriculum, and offereing partnerships with both Washington University and St. Louis University Schools of Law, as well as the Mound City Bar Association, and providing students with opportunities for internships at the Twenty-second Circuit Court of Missouri and the St. Louis County Juvenile Court. Our project aims to honor the memory of the late 27th Ward Alderman and Northwest graduate Greg Carter, who was a loyal supporter of both our school and the whole Northside area he represented. We plan to dedicate the basketball gym in his honor after a day of "beautification", repainting the stands and gym, and (hopefully) also install a new scoreboard dedicated in his name. Our project is important because the school and the area suffer from chronic negative press. We hope to not only honor Alderman Carter, but demonstrate the ability of the community to stand together to commemorate the memory of a man who was from the school and community, who stayed in the community and who worked to make the community a better place to live. Our project is one which the school and the community can support and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when it is completed.
Operation Food Search
Operation Food Search is the largest free food bank in the St. Louis area, helping to feed more than 150,000 people each month. Operation Backpack helps alleviate hunger for 3,000 vulnerable children each week in St. Louis and St. Charles County by providing nutritious, easy-to-prepare food in their backpack for the weekend when they are away from the school lunch program. The lingering effects of the struggling economy continues to bring new faces to Operation Food Search. We currently serve more people than ever before, more than a third of the 150,000 people we serve each month are children.
Wesley House Association.
Founded in 1903, Wesley House is a community based social service agency that continues to serve as an anchor, providing a safe haven for young people, and people who are young at heart through a variety of programs that were founded under three basic principles: supporting the community, respecting our elders, and preserving our future. The Community Clean-Up Project is a service learning opportunity for volunteers of all ages to contribute their time and efforts to improving the appearance of neighbors in the St. Louis area and distributing cleaning supply kits to residents. The Community Clean-Up is important because it promotes volunteerism to young children and teenagers and teaches them the value of focusing on the bigger "social" picture by helping those in need.
Make A Difference Day was invented by USA Weekend magazine and the HandsOn Network more than 20 years ago as a national day for helping others. Since then, millions of Americans have rolled up their sleeves and reached out to improve the lives of others. Make a Difference Day, October 27, 2012, engages millions of volunteers nationwide in building stronger, more vibrant, healthier neighborhoods. They remodel community centers, rehabilitate parks, fix up low-income homes, create community art projects, mentor at-risk youths, plant community gardens and more.