Pepsi just announced the 32 qualifying ideas that have received the greatest amount of votes to earn grants from $5,000 to $250,000.
The finalists will be vetted and all awards will be given out on March 22. In the meantime, March 1 ushered in a new batch of ideas and voters.
In the section devoted to community health the #1 idea for $250,000 was presented by The American Legion, a non-partisan veterans organization, to support their Operation Comfort Warriors, a campaign "to provide comfort items (DVDs, calling cards, portable electronics, clothes, puzzles) to US military troops recovering in hospitals."
Under the $50,000 grant, Active Minds, Inc., a nonprofit youth mental health organization, ranks #4 for their idea to "bring attention to the tragedy of college student suicide" with their mobile "Send Silence Packing" campaign. A visiting exhibit of 1100 backpacks (1100 represents the number of college students that take their own life in the US annually) travels to universities and colleges to ignite a dialogue about suicide.
Community health took both first and last place in the finalists for the $25,000 grants with Belleville's Farmer Market's idea with their Taste Buds Truck to use fresh produce to fight childhood obesity in Southern Illinois schools and the idea from Patrick Nelson, a wounded US Army veteran who served 3 tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, idea to give veterans an online place to share their experiences: Real Combat Life, respectively.
The #5 finalist for $5,000 is the Detroit Area Diaper Bank, a nonprofit that works to fill a void in providing diapers to organizations, individuals and families in crisis.