by Daniella Penn
The Chase Community Giving program, in which individuals vote for the local charity of their choice via Facebook, is nearing a close. Any non-profit with an annual budget of under $1 million is eligible, and hundreds of thousands of charities are participating. Chase will donate a total of $5 million to the 200 charities with the most votes, each receiving between $20,000-$250,000 to further their cause.
The first Chase Community Giving program began in October 2009 and attracted 2,000,000 voters. The top cash prize went to Invisible Children, which mobilizes American students in the campaign to release child soldiers in Uganda. One of the five runners-up, and the recipient of a $100,000 donation, was Chabad-affiliated Friendship Circle of Michigan.
In this year’s competition, two local Friendship Circle branches—Redondo beach and Conejo Valley— currently rank near the top of the leader board. The Friendship Circle, a Chabad-affiliated, non-profit, non-sectarian organization, “provides assistance and support to the families of children with special needs [by pairing] local teenagers with the children for a full range of ongoing specially tailored programs. Over 300 local teenagers have been trained and currently volunteer their time to assist the special needs children and their families.”
According to The Friendship Circle, funds received will be used to “help implement new innovative programs for the Conejo Valley Special Needs community.” The Friendship Circle is requesting that the community, through voting, help them attain those funds.
To cast a vote for Friendship Circle, visit www.VoteFC.com (voting ends January 12th).
http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/friendship_circle_wins_100000_in_chase_challenge_20100126/ (article about FC Michigan’s win)