By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Four Northeast Mississippi nonprofit groups are up for a combined $130,000 in grants from the Pepsi Refresh Everything grant challenge this month.
The grants, which total about $1.3 million each month for the rest of 2010, are decided by popular vote on the Refresh Everything site. People can vote for up to 10 projects every day.
Starting in February, Pepsi has put more than 1,000 proposals from around the country up for vote each month. The top vote winners get funded, but those who cracked the top 100 live to compete the next month.
The NMMC Cancer Center Barbershop Talk Program, Pontotoc County Habitat for Humanity and the Autism Center of Tupelo didn’t finish in the money for the March grants, but they did finish high enough to keep competing in April.
“I’m very optimistic about it,” said Cindy Edwards, North Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Center social worker. “Hopefully people will get out there and vote.”
Team Tupelo, a committee of leaders from Tupelo’s 15 neighborhood association, is in the running for grant money for the first time in April.
The group is seeking $25,000 to offer leadership development training for teens and adults involved in Tupelo’s neighborhood associations.
The Autism Center of Tupelo, which provides free early intervention services for children with autism and their parents, is up for a $50,000 grant that will help pay for staff and office expenses.
Pontotoc County Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for needy families, is seeking a $50,000 grant to renovate a donated building for its offices and warehouse space.
NMMC Cancer Center Barbershop Talk Outreach Program educates area barbers about the importance of prostate and colon cancer screening so they can share it with their clients. The $5,000 grant they are seeking will help provide materials as the project expands outside Lee County.