Three years ago, an Ohio legal secretary and her husband saw a closed elementary school as a safe place for youth to gather in the community. They bought the building for $5,000, but did not have the additional funds needed to bring their dream to life.
Thanks to winning a Pepsi Refresh Project
grant in the amount of $50,000, Kristin Combs
and Michael Nance-Combs of Springfield, Ohio can start work on a number of projects needed to create the community center on the old Sawyerwood School grounds, inclu
ding a T-ball field, a basketball court, a soccer field, batting cages, computers, and replacing 52 windows needed to meet the county’s occupancy code.
The Pepsi Refresh Project site says
, “We’re looking for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact. Look around your community and think about how you can change it.” Applicants submit their ideas, and once Pepsi has received 1,000 applications each month, the company reviews them and posts the approved projects at its site for voting. Projects with the most votes receive grants in varying amounts to individuals, small groups and organizations from $5,000 – $250,000.
You can see Combs’ project here
. She states that the couple purchased the old school because they “thought this would be a great place for the kids to hang out.” The goals of their project include promoting local youth activities and bringing their community together.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal article, Pepsi funded this grant program in lieu of purchasing Super Bowl advertising. Just imagine what kind of positive – and refreshing – changes we could see in our communities if more corporate giants took this approach.