2020 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope Open for Voting

Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Blue Bunny Ice Cream To Offer Grant Opportunities Totaling $125,000

Public Vote To Determine 2020 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope Grant Recipients

June 23, 2020 -- Charlotte, NC -- The annual Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope in partnership with the Jimmie Johnson Foundation is now open for voting!  Voting is open to the public until June 30 at 12 pm eastern.

The 5 semi-finalists that receive the most votes will each receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny Ice Cream party, and will have their logo featured on Jimmie Johnson's helmet during the race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, August 23rd. 

Helmet of Hope has granted more than $1.3 million since the launch in 2008. This year the decision was made to expand the eligibility beyond programming directly supporting K-12 public education to also include non-profits that provide services to school-age students that have been directly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The 10 Semi-Finalists vying for the 2020 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope:
  1. Foodbank of Siouxland (Sioux City, IA) –  The BackPack Program: Food for Kids, sends a sack of shelf stable, easy to prepare food home with school kids who are considered food insecure to ensure that they have food to sustain them over the weekend when meals provided by schools are unavailable.  The Mobile School Pantry Program: Food for Families brings a truck load of items that would normally be found at agency pantries directly to the schools to ensure that food is easily accessible to both parents and children in need.
  2. DMF Youth, INC (New York, NY) - Their mission is to teach underserved youth the life skills needed to thrive in and out of the classroom.  They provide FREE afterschool and summer programming to youth attending Title 1 Schools and youth living in homeless shelters. The unique programs blend motivational dance education with a life skill development curriculum, helping underserved students build self-esteem, confidence, academic tenacity and grit.
  3. Freedom School Partners (Charlotte, NC) – Freedom School Partners promotes the long-term success of children by preventing summer learning loss through igniting a passion for reading and inspiring a love of learning.  Freedom School Partners has been working to eliminate summer learning loss in the Charlotte community for nearly 20 years. Their program supports two of the five focus areas identified by Read Charlotte to improve children's reading (building home libraries and stopping summer learning loss).
  4. National Mental Health Association of Georgia (Atlanta, GA) – MHAG's mission is to enhance mental health and wellness of Georgians through education, outreach and advocacy.  Kids on the Block (KOTB) is an educational puppetry program that uses life-sized, multicultural puppets to promote mental wellness for children. KOTB serves as a non-threatening vehicle through which children can articulate issues that they might otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about.  The KOTB program also addresses cultural factors that affect health, such as stigma, that are especially prevalent in the African American, Asian, and Latino populations in Georgia. Lesson scripts promote an understanding of diversity and wellness through a curriculum that emphasizes help-seeking behaviors and coping skills.
  5. Read to a Child (Wellesley, MA) - The mission of Read to a Child is to foster a love of reading, improve literacy skills and empower underserved children by inspiring adults to read to them regularly.  Research shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for eventual success in reading, a key factor for success in school, work, and life. When an adult reads aloud to a child, both parties have a joyful experience that instills a love of reading, improves literacy skills, and enhances a child's self-confidence.
  6. Real Men Real Heroes (Wichita, KS) – Their Future Heroes program works to diminish the gaps in knowledge and social skills among boys in grades 3 through 12.  Through extensive weekly mentoring, they provide a safe and nurturing learning environment. They believe the Future Heroes are next-generation leaders and they encourage them, through tutoring and character-building activities, to develop the skills needed to rise above challenges to achieve and experience life at their fullest potential.
  7. Seeds to STEM (Dallas, TX) –  Seeds to STEM (STS) works to successfully evaluate, educate and develop students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for students from families with low to moderate-income in the southern sector of Dallas, TX.  Seeds to STEM provides engaging scholar workshops on a variety of topics such as physical and chemical science, matter and energy, force and motion, earth science, and living organisms and environments that are aligned to the Science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) while highlighting 21st Century STEM-related careers
  8. TABLE, Inc (Carrboro, NC) - TABLE is committed to delivering healthy food and providing nutrition education to food-insecure children living in Orange County, NC.  Their Weekend Meal Backpack Program delivers bags filled with healthy food – including non-perishables, local produce and fresh milk to local kids every week when they do not have access to their free school meals. SnackChef teaches kids how to eat healthy every month by exposing them to new foods, providing them with the skills to prepare a healthy snack at home, and incorporating a fun and interactive nutrition education lesson.  Summer TABLE provides healthy food to local kids for ten weeks in the summer. TABLE On the Go allows children the opportunity to visit local food source locations (farms, farmer's markets, community gardens, etc.) so they may learn about healthy food, their community, and where their food comes from.
  9. The Education Partnership (Pittsburgh, PA) - One in three students, a staggering 92,000 students in 7 counties of Southwestern PA, go to school every day without the basic school supplies they need to participate in their own educational experience.  The Education Partnership's mission is to provide school supplies to students and their teachers in low-income schools throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.  
  10. Working in the Schools (Chicago, IL) - WITS sets students on a trajectory for long-term success by building critical literacy skills and developing positive self-identity through volunteer-powered mentorship programs and teacher-led literacy professional development.  In collaboration with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), WITS connects 81 elementary schools throughout the city with enrichment programs and literacy resources designed to drive students toward grade-level reading proficiency.
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