By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE -- A local nonprofit that just received a $25,000 grant to help its community is wasting no time in lending a helping hand.
"Kids Helping Kids," an event sponsored by Nerve2Serve Inc. in Melbourne that helps feed children throughout Brevard County, earned a total of 46,957 Facebook votes.
The votes placed the organization within the top 40 Neighborhood Assist causes, winning a $25,000 grant.
Now, on Saturday, July 20, Nerve2Serve, Inc. and Feeding Children Everywhere, a social charity that empowers and mobilizes people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children, are partnering together to package healthy meals for hungry children in Brevard County.
"Being a part of the community, uniting with a common goal of bringing 100,000 healthy, vitamin-enriched meals to hungry children right here in our hometown is an experience that will bond us all together and become a memorial day in the lives of all participants," said Paula McCabe, a spokeswoman for Nerve2Serve.
The event will be from 8 a.m. to noon on July 20 at the Suntree United Methodist Church Worship Center in Melbourne.
Organizers said that volunteers will be hand-packing 100,000 healthy meals that will be distributed to hungry children throughout the county.
To determine which causes would receive a charitable grant, a Facebook vote was held for two and half weeks by State Farm Neighborhood Assist, a crowd-sourced, philanthropic initiative that relies on nonprofit organizations to create solutions to community issues identified by Facebook users.
The contest consisted of 3,000 submissions from across the country and parts of Canada, organizers said.
Then, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a diverse group of 30 students passionate about social responsibility, reviewed the cause submissions and selected 200 finalists.
From April 4 through April 22, organizers said that the Facebook community voted for its favorite cause.
"The strong engagement this Florida cause received shows such an inspiring level of commitment and engagement within our community, as we work to solve local issues," said Julie Smith, State Farm Community Specialist for Florida, in a press release. "We look forward to watching 'Kids Helping Kids' make their Florida neighborhood safer, stronger and better educated with the help of State Farm Neighborhood Assist."
Nerve2Serve is a faith-based, nonprofit, youth-driven, community service group.
Ms. McCabe said the group was planning on working with FCE this summer, so receiving the grant helped initiate this joint participation between the two groups.
"FCE is an absolute dream to work with," Ms. McCabe said. "We wouldn't hesitate to make this an annual event."
Ms. McCabe said that the hunger project will be conducted in three one-hour shifts.
Due to the large number of people volunteering, Ms. McCabe asked that everyone who is volunteering to register their shift online at www.Nerve2Serve.com.
For a complete list of the top 40 causes, or for more information about the program, visit www.statefarm.com/neighborhoodassist.
Suntree United Methodist Church Worship Center is located at 7400 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.