Pizza Klatch’s LGBTQ+ youth support groups receive $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grant to make a difference
Olympia, WA. (June 16, 2015) – More than 192,000 people took to Facebook and cast 6.2 million votes vying to bring a $25k grant to their neighborhoods. The top 40 vote-receiving causes would receive grants to improve their communities, totalling $1Mil doled out.
This morning, State Farm announced that Pizza Klatch, serving LGBTQ+ youth and allies in the greater-Olympia area, received 88,417 votes from across the globe and became a top 40 winner (finishing at #14), earning a grant of $25,000. Pizza Klatch plans to use the grant funds to continue building safer communities for LGBTQ+ youth in local area schools.
“We couldn’t have won without such widespread community support and are so grateful for the attention this campaign has brought to such an important issue. LGBTQ+ youth are among the highest risk of all youth and deserve the resources to adequately support their needs,” said Pizza Klatch Executive Director, Jessica McKimmie.
This campaign proved that citizens recognize that support for LGBTQ+ youth is critical to their survival. Local partners from Thurston County posted in support as well as LGBTQ+ superstars like Janet Mock and Lizzy the Lezzy throughout the campaign. A Pizza Klatch youth’s Op-Ed was even published in The Advocate, a international LGBTQ+ news source.
About Pizza Klatch:
Pizza Klatch began in 2007 as a community effort by PFLAG, Partners in Prevention Education, Stonewall Youth, high school staff, local religious groups and independent counselors. The program was formed to reduce bullying and eliminate suicides as a response to a series of suicides in ’06-07 among Thurston County LGBTQ+ teens. Co-Founder Lynn Grotsky, who was integral to the success of the program for the past 8 years, recently passed her torch as director and president but still remains closely involved. The program is adding two more schools in the 2015-16 school year for a total of 11 schools and 19 lunchtime support groups serving pizza and support to over 250 LGBTQ+ youth and their allies per week.
About State Farm Neighborhood Assist:
State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a youth-led philanthropic program that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhood. The affiliated nonprofits of the top 40 causes will each receive a $25,000 grant to create and execute a plan to address the cause. The top 40 causes, representing 27 states from around the United States range from helping underprivileged kids to providing food to communities; a large majority of the causes will directly impact kids and young adults.
“The record number of people who participated and voted in this year’s program demonstrates the passion communities have to help with community issues.” said Kellie Clapper, Assistant Vice President of Philanthropy for State Farm. “We look forward to seeing the change that will happen in these 40 communities because of the Neighborhood Assist grants.”
Of the nearly 4,000 cause submissions that were received through State Farm Neighborhood Assist, at least one cause was received from every state in the United States. Then, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a diverse group of 30 students who are passionate about social responsibility, reviewed the cause submissions and selected the 200 finalists to be voted on. In the four years of the program 160 causes have received $4 million to enact change in their communities.
For a complete list of the top 40 causes or for more information on the program visit:www.statefarm.com/
For more information on the Youth Advisory Board, visit www.statefarmyab.com