First there were 4,000 causes from across the nation submitted to the State Farm Insurance Neighborhood Assist program, then a youth advisory board narrowed the list to 200 community causes. Among the 200 was Camp Compass, a program of Springfield’s Family Service Center, which provides an opportunity for about 80 homeless and low-income children to attend four weeks of summer day camp in July, where classes to help them to avoid the summer learning slump are mixed with fun activities and field trips. More than 192,000 people took to Facebook and cast 6.2 million total votes for their favorite causes in the month-long contest, which allowed 10 votes a day per person. After local supporters waged a vigorous campaign for votes among friends and family, Camp Compass finished in the top 40 vote-getters, bringing it a check for $25,000 from State Farm. Jim Slaven, a State Farm community specialist, presented the check June 23. Slaven said State Farm annually gives away $16-$18 million in just this one level of its philanthropic programs. “As a company, we believe in investing in communities,” he said.
Now Compass supporters are waging another campaign, this time to raise at least $10,000 in local support, which an anonymous donor has promised to match. To contribute go to www.service2families.com. The funds will support the Compass after-school program, which teaches and mentors low-income elementary students during the school year.