KENNEBUNK, Maine, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Want to make a positive impact in your community? Starting today, a simple vote could bring funding to small nonprofits with big ideas. This year 51 nonprofits - one in every state and Washington D.C. - are asking for your votes in the fifth annual Tom's of Maine "50 States for Good" community giving program. The 15 nonprofits with the most votes will each receive $10,000 to develop and grow important community projects and services. The public can show support and vote daily at 50StatesforGood.com through October 15.
For the first time, volunteers and nonprofit employees will also be showcased as part of an interactive voting platform that includes information about why the public's support will make a difference. This national community giving program allows the public to direct where all of the funding goes.
"A desire to do more for a favorite nonprofit can often be hindered by a lack of time to volunteer or financial means to make a donation," said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom's of Maine. "50 States for Good makes it easy for anyone to have an impact and directly help organizations that are bringing goodness to communities in a variety of creative and inspiring ways."
From a pool of nearly 1,000 nominations, finalists were chosen by a judging panel of passionate leaders in the nonprofit community including Sam Davidson, president of Cool People Care, nonprofit strategist and Huffington Post columnist, Lisa M. Dietlin, Matt Petronzio, assistant features editor covering social good for Mashable.com, and star of "The Vampire Diaries" and nonprofit founder Ian Somerhalder.
"At the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, we are inspired every day by how much we can accomplish if we work together," said program judge Ian Somerhalder. "I encourage everyone to check out the great work each '50 States for Good' finalist is doing and cast your votes for the ones that share your values and goals."
Somerhalder, a strong advocate for social good, will join Tom's of Maine on September 17, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. EDT for a Twitter party. He will take live questions and share his thoughts on giving back to the community. Participants should use the hashtag #50StatesforGood to follow along, ask questions and join the conversation.
Listed alphabetically by state, this year's "50 States for Good" finalists are:
Alabama First Light, Inc. Birmingham, AL Alaska Sitka Local Foods Network Sitka, AK Arizona Watershed Management Group Tucson, AZ Arkansas Good Samaritan Clinic Fort Smith, AR California Cool the Earth Kentfield, CA -------------- Colorado EarthLinks Denver, CO Connecticut Connecticut Radio Information System Windsor, CT Delaware Homeless Planning Council of Delaware Wilmington, DE District of Columbia Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) Washington, DC Florida Current of Tampa Bay Inc. Tampa, FL Georgia Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Inc. Atlanta, GA Hawaii Kids Hurt Too Hawaii Honolulu, HI Idaho Helping Hearts & Hands Gooding, ID Illinois Southside Education & Economic Development Systems, Inc. Chicago, IL Indiana Washington County SOAR Salem, IN Iowa Gilda's Club Quad Cities Davenport, IA Kansas HIS Helping Hands, Inc. Wichita, KS Kentucky Grow Appalachia Berea, KY Louisiana The People's Advocate Lake Charles, LA Maine Michael T. Goulet Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy Foundation Saco, ME Maryland Neighbor Ride Columbia, MD Massachusetts Cape Ann Farmer's Market Gloucester, MA Michigan Play-Place for Autistic Children Sterling Heights, MI Minnesota Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health St. Paul, MN -------------------------------------------------- Mississippi HealthTrust Magee, MS Missouri Operation BBQ Relief, Inc Pleasant Hill, MO Montana The Poverello Center, Inc. Missoula, MT Nebraska Literacy Center for the Midlands Omaha, NE Nevada Street Teens Las Vegas, NV New Hampshire LostNMissing Inc Londonderry, NH New Jersey One Simple Wish Trenton, NJ --------------- New Mexico Walkin N Circles Ranch Edgewood, NM New York Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park Gansevoort, NY North Carolina The Volunteer Center of Greensboro Greensboro, NC North Dakota Kenmare Wheels & Meals, Inc. Kenmare, ND Ohio Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership Warren, OH Oklahoma Pride In McAlester McAlester, OK Oregon Community Warehouse Portland, OR Pennsylvania RiverQuest Pittsburgh, PA Rhode Island Khadarlis Global Providence, RI South Carolina Columbia Oral Health Clinic Columbia, SC South Dakota Lower Brule Community College Lower Brule, SD Tennessee Chattanooga's Kids on the Block Chattanooga, TN Texas Mission Possible Kids Plano, TX Utah The Utah Society for Environmental Education Salt Lake City, UT Vermont Essex CHIPS Essex Junction, VT Virginia Blue Ridge Land Conservancy Roanoke, VA Washington Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland Mount Vernon, WA West Virginia Mountaineer Food Bank Gassaway, WV Wisconsin Kompost Kids Milwaukee, WI Wyoming Wyoming Food for Thought Project Casper, WY
To date, the 50 States for Good community giving program has benefited 5.5 million people and dozens of communities through projects as diverse as tree planting, sustainable hiking trails, a community orchard and meals for neighbors in need.
For several decades, Tom's of Maine has donated 10% of its profits back to the community and encourages employees to use 5% (12 days) of paid time off to volunteer every year. For more information, visit tomsofmaine.com.
About Tom's of Maine
Tom's of Maine is a leading natural products company focused on oral and personal care carrying high quality toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant and bar soap products. The company has a long-standing commitment to supporting people, communities and the living planet. For over 42 years, TOMs has sponsored hundreds of nonprofit efforts by giving 10% of its profits back to organizations that support human and environmental goodness and by encouraging employees to use 5% (12 days) of employee time to volunteer. TOMs employees regularly contribute suggestions for improving the company's high sustainability standards. And their ideas, from wind power to ways to improve recycled and recyclable packaging options, are critical to the company's sensitive way of doing business. Most Tom's of Maine products are vegan, kosher, halal-certified and gluten-free. All packaging is recyclable through a partnership with upcycling leader TerraCycle or participating municipalities. Tom's of Maine enjoys partnering with its consumers, suppliers and community organizations to support lasting, positive change that is good for people and the planet. Visit us online at http://www.tomsofmaine.com/ or at http://www.facebook.com/TomsofMaine.
SOURCE Tom's of Maine