PURCHASE, N.Y., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pepsi Refresh Project has doubled its monthly commitment of $1.3 million to refresh America's communities by awarding $2.6 million in grants during the month of September. Each month, Pepsi awards up to $1.3 million in Refresh Grants to the 32 ideas that garner the most votes. Through the Pepsi Refresh Project: Do Good for the Gulf extension, Pepsi has allocated an additional $1.3 million to refresh communities in the Gulf Coast for the month.
A record 64 grants are on track to be awarded this month in the project's six main categories, as well as for ideas submitted to the Pepsi Refresh Project: Do Good for the Gulf. The Do Good for the Gulf initiative was an extension of the national program announced in July, calling on ideas aimed at helping communities most directly affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A Call to Action in Support of the Gulf Coast
Given the devastation seen by this region, the Pepsi Refresh Project sought to give Americans the opportunity to submit ideas to help Gulf Coast communities in this time of need. While the full effects of the oil spill remain to be seen, the recipients of the Pepsi Refresh Project: Do Good for the Gulf grants will provide immediate support to the people and organizations that need help right now.
The 32 finalists* in the Do Good for the Gulf program reflect a diversity of needs, and three trends among the projects emerged, including:
- Animal rescue, like Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) of Mississippi, which will use its $50,000 grant to shelter the pets of Gulf-based families who can no longer care for them. The shelter will care for the pets until the owner gets back on his/her feet, or will find a new adoptive family. And the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, which will use its $25,000 grant to aid rehabilitation centers in the Gulf Coast region that are overloaded with injured or sick sea turtles.
- Children and education including Backpack Buddies of East Central, of Jackson County, Mississippi, which will use its $5,000 to feed hungry children of parents who experienced job loss due to the oil disaster. Another finalist, Stuart Adams, a concerned citizen and PhD candidate at LSU will use his $25,000 grant to further implement FEMA's hurricane-hazard mitigation plan for three K-12 schools in Louisiana.
- Community and economic development, including Science teacher Suzan Thompson, who will use her $25,000 grant to work with her students in Metairie, Louisiana to build lucrative seafood farms to help displaced seafood workers. And Operation Gulf Coast, a Lithonia, Georgia organization that will use its $50,000 grant to develop an online portal to catalog the impact of the Gulf oil spill. The organization will use this data to connect Gulf communities with available aid, develop a social network and compile a list of volunteer opportunities.
Drew Brees, Super Bowl MVP and quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, commended Gulf Coast grant finalists. "I congratulate the Gulf Coast grant recipients and wish them success in their efforts to rebuild their communities. Millions of people in the area have been affected by disaster over the past few years; yet in the midst of adversity, we have seen support pour in from around the country to bolster the resilience of area residents who have come together to help themselves," Brees said.
In addition to information found at www.refresheverything.com, Pepsi has developed a microsite, www.goodforthegulf.com, which aggregates a user's Facebook network and allows them to see how many of their friends may have been affected by the oil spill. The "Good for the Gulf" microsite provides an easy way to share this information via Facebook and Twitter, and personalizes the impact of the oil spill.
September Pepsi Refresh Project Grant Recipients
The Pepsi Refresh Project will also award 32 grants for the top vote-getters in August across its six main categories: education, arts and culture, food and shelter, health, the planet and neighborhoods. Among these ideas are:
- Families Can't Wait, of Region 8, Louisiana, which will utilize $25,000 to provide first-time Region 8 mothers in neonatal intensive care units with the resources and education their babies need. Region 8 has the highest infant mortality rate in the United States.
- With their $25,000 grant, Verde Styles in Philadelphia will spread awareness about current environmental issues through an artistically driven apparel line dedicated to planting a tree for every shirt they sell through the help of American Forests Association.
- Non-profit Molly's Adopt A Sailor, which started as one mom's commitment and grew to many through social networking, will use their $50,000 grant to send care packages to deployed U.S. troops.
"We have established an on-going dialogue with the American public about the issues they care most deeply about. We are always impressed by the caliber of entries we receive," said Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer, Pepsi Beverages America. "When given the opportunity and the right tools, people are eager to help their communities. We're honored to be a part of this movement."
Funding Ideas that Move Communities Forward
Since January of this year, the Pepsi Refresh Project has awarded $10.6 million in grants to fund community improvement initiatives across America. In a true democratization of the philanthropic process, grants are awarded to the ideas that receive the most votes on www.refresheverything.com.
Visitors to www.refresheverything.com can also access the tools and information they need to submit ideas or to choose their favorite ideas to be funded. More than 1,000 new ideas are up for voting now through September 30.
*Top vote getters for each month are considered Finalists. Following verification, official Grant Recipients will be posted on or about 2 weeks after that month's voting period has ended.
Pepsi Refresh Project
In an effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project (www.refresheverything.com), will award more than $20 million in 2010 to move communities forward. Individuals can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects starting January 13, and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding starting February 1. The Pepsi Refresh Project is an evolution of the Refresh Everything initiative Pepsi launched in 2009, which showed the brand as an optimistic catalyst for idea creation, leading to an ever-refreshing world. Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries. With more than $60 billion in revenue, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.