By Morgan Bryce
Micah Melnick of the BigHouse Foundation is seeking the support of Auburn-Opelika area residents to help her organization place in the top-40 of State Farm’s Neighborhood Assist initiative to win a $25,000 grant and help expand its “new-to-care” package program.
Out of the thousands of organizations who submitted their ideas for helpful causes or initiatives, BigHouse is one of two organizations selected in Alabama and 200 across the country vying for this grant funding.
Currently, the new-to-care program provides foster children with clothes, hygiene items inside a duffle bag to help them acclimate to their new surroundings after they are relocated. If BigHouse receives this funding, Melnick explained that they would be able to offer more services to foster families as they make the adjustment of welcoming a new child into their home.
“We’d like to help with grocery delivery to the family so they’re not having to run and do that, give them gift cards to grab needed things that we might not have in stock and making sure that those duffle bags are well stocked of everything that we can think to provide them with,” Melnick said.
2019 marks the 10th year of operation for BigHouse, which has grown because of local community support and doing well in similar contests in years past, according to Melnick.
Starting on Aug. 14 at 12:01 a.m. E.S.T., voting for the contest will remain open until 11:59:59 p.m. E.S.T. on Aug. 23. Contest links will be available on State Farm’s contest website www.neighborhoodassist.com or through BigHouse’s social media pages or website, www.ourbighouse.org.
Individuals can vote up to 10 times per day. Melnick added that they can request a reminder email which will be sent each morning to remind them to vote.
“It’s always so encouraging to see our community get so excited about these voting competitions because it’s such an easy way for people to assist us. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s really simple to do,” Melnick said. “Another great thing is seeing people share what BigHouse is with people who may not know about us. It furthers our reach in that regard as well.”
Contest updates will be posted online and through BigHouse’s social media pages. For more information about the BigHouse Foundation and services it provides, call 334-363-2634.