A couple of months ago, I shared with you a story about a man, Victor Mooney, who was trying to raise money for AIDS-related charities (click here) by rowing across the Atlantic from Africa to New York City. In that article, I suggested a method of helping Mr. Mooney to reach his goal by voting through the “Pepsi Refresh Project.” The “Pepsi Refresh Project” is a wonderful program run by Pepsi in which they fund worthy projects developed by just about anybody.
The “Pepsi Refresh Project” has been granting monies since February 2010 in an effort to “refresh both individuals and communities.” Each month, the program awards approximately $1.3 million in grants to fund programs based on ideas from people in a variety of categories. Grant winners are chosen by the public, based on votes cast on the program’s website (http://www.refresheverything.com/index).
How it Works
Individuals can submit ideas on a wide variety of categories, such as Health, Arts and Culture, Food and Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education. Proposals can be submitted through the website where they will be reviewed by members of the “Refresh” team. Once a proposal is accepted, it will be added to the website for voting. Pepsi accepts 1,000 new ideas each month.
On the first of each month, “Refresh America” begins accepting new ideas for its program. The new submissions are accepted through the 15th, and the voting lasts all month long. At the end of the month, winners are chosen based upon the number of votes they’ve received and the grant monies are then awarded. Ideas that have been submitted later in the month and garner a respectable number of votes may be carried over to the following month to ensure fairness.
Voting is the best part of the “Refresh America” project. Being able to cast votes for worthy ideas gives everyday people the chance to help out a cause simply by voting for one they believe in. Anyone can vote for a project idea they’d like to see funded just by going to the “Pepsi Refresh Everything” website and read through the ideas submitted. It’s that easy! The only thing you have to do is register with the site to be able to cast your votes. Facebook members can sign in right at the “Refresh” site and vote via their account. Only one vote can be cast per day per idea, so if someone sees something they’d really want to see win, they can cast one vote every day.
Here’s a sampling of some of the many wonderful ideas, with links, that are in the running on “Refresh Everything” this month:
Food and Shelter
Provide local homeless shelters with hygiene items
Fill Christmas Stockings with toys for less fortunate children
Cleaning up the Mississippi River with the help of Friends of Pool 9
Provide custom walking canes to pediatric patients without insurance
To help bring ovarian cancer awareness to my community. I’m a survivor.
Arts and Culture
Dance and Art Therapy for Children with Autism and their Families
Conduct photography workshops for foster children in Metro Detroit
Provide Christmas presents for low-income children
Operate a summer ‘youth center’ for teens in Livingston, Montana
Provide employment education to homeless women
Send needy kids back to school with the supplies they need to succeed
This is just a small sampling of the literally thousands of worthy ideas up for voting on the “Pepsi Refresh” website. As you can see from many of these titles that these ideas are very individualized and are all good causes. If you’re someone who has an idea have in any one of these areas, or would like to see a worthy cause get its funding, why not visit the “Pepsi Refresh” project? It just might make you feel good!
Pepsi Refresh Project