WARREN, Mich., May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The competition has begun for 66 Southeast Michigan charities vying for grant dollars among 120 Midwest nonprofits focused on children, health care and human services in Art Van Furniture's seventh annual "Art Van Charity Challenge." Supporters from far and wide are being encouraged to make a difference and a donation during the spirited five week competition which kicked off yesterday and runs from May 18 through June 22. Cindy Crawford, international supermodel, businesswoman, and philanthropist, is serving as the official 2015 "Art Van Charity Challenge" ambassador.
The participating Southeast Michigan charities competing to raise the most money are:
- A Beautiful Me, Inc.
- ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services)
- Adult Well-Being Services
- American Diabetes Association
- Angela Hospice Home Care, Inc.
- Arkay, Inc.
- Blue Water Habitat for Humanity
- Boys Hope Girls Hope
- Cass Community Social Services
- Chaldean American Ladies of Charity
- Child Abuse & Neglect Council County of Oakland Inc. / Care House of Oakland County
- Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan
- Christian Counseling of Mid-Michigan
- Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS)
- Community Social Services of Wayne County
- Crime Stoppers of Michigan
- Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America, Michigan Chapter
- Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach (DAPCO)
- Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative
- Detroit PAL
- Euro-Peds Foundation
- Focus: HOPE
- Forgotten Harvest
- Freedom Work Opportunities, Inc.
- Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter
- Friends of Children's Oncology Camp Foundation
- Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
- Grace Centers of Hope
- Heart 2 Hart Detroit, Inc.
- Hope Center in Macomb (aka WW Community Connections)
- Humble Design
- Interfaith Hospitality Network of Washtenaw County, Inc.
- Kids on the Go
- Lighthouse PATH
- Love N Kindness CDC
- Macomb County/ rotating Emergency Shelter Team (MCREST)
- Macomb County Warming Center, Inc.
- National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Detroit Section
- Neighborhood Service Organization
- New Day Foundation for Families
- Northeast Guidance Center
- North Star Reach
- Orchards Children's Services
- Ozone House Youth and Family Services
- Penrickton Center for Blind Children
- Play-Place for Autistic Children
- Racquet Up Detroit
- RSA Foundation SOS Community Services
- Southwest Solutions
- St. Vincent de Paul Detroit
- Suite Dreams Project (General Sports Foundation)
- Taylor Reading Corps
- The Brooksie Way
- The Empowerment Plan
- The Gift Of A Helping Hand Charitable TR
- The Horatio Williams Foundation
- The Pink Fund
- The Rainbow Connection
- Turning Point, Inc.
- Warren Symphony Society, Inc.
- Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
- Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc.
- Vision Hope
- Vista Maria
- Yatooma's Foundation For The Kids
- Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels
The top 10 nonprofits will share $375,000 in "Art Van Charity Challenge" prize grants. The first place finisher will receive $75,000 and grants ranging from $7,500 to $65,000 will be awarded to the nine other top fundraising organizations. Of the 120 competing charities in 2015, 100 operate in Michigan, 17 in Chicagoland, two in Ohio and one in Indiana. During the past six years, the Art Van Charity Challenge has generated nearly $20 million in donations, bestowed $7 million, and supports 261 charities.
"It is gratifying and inspiring to see what happens during this friendly competition," said Art Van Elslander, chairman and founder of Art Van Furniture. "By working together, we expect to raise over $2 million to support these wonderful charitable organizations."
The winners will be announced on June 24. All of the participating charities will keep the funds raised during the competition, as well as any additional prizes won such as $4,000 in bonus challenge money from Art Van Furniture, $1,000 in Art Van Furniture gift cards, and special prizes like autographed photos of Cindy Crawford and internationally renowned photographer Nigel Barker.
"There are few things in life more empowering than getting involved and giving back to help others," said Crawford, who lost her brother to leukemia when she was nine years old and helped raise money for the Leukemia Foundation of America as part of her healing process. "I have been devoted for a long time to doing my part to enhance the world."
Powered by CrowdRise.com, an online charitable fundraising site, the Art Van Charity Challenge raised over $1 million, including $260,000 in the final 24 hours and secured $175,000 of the funds in the final hour during its 2014 campaign, setting a CrowdRise.com record. For more information, including a complete list of participating charities, visit artvancharitychallenge.com.
About Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture is the Midwest's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 94 stores throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, including freestanding Art Van PureSleep mattress stores, Art Van Flooring stores, and Art Van Furniture franchise locations as well as a full service e-commerce website. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan. Visit artvan.com for more information.
SOURCE Art Van Furniture