VAN WERT – State Farm is once again taking applications for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program. The program is a “crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative” that lets communities determine where $25,000 in grant funding should be awarded. Local State Farm agent Tisha Fast is encouraging the Van Wert community to submit “causes” for a chance to win.

“There are many great things happening in our community and lots more ideas that need financial support to get off the ground,” said Fast. “I feel that Van Wert has a real opportunity to be a recipient of one of these $25,000 grants; we just need those involved to submit their cause on June 5. I promise this is the simplest grant request form they will ever fill out. It is three easy questions. There is nothing more that I would love than to present a $25,000 check to a cause in our community.”

Anyone over the age of 18 in the United States can participate. The program officially launches on June 5 and citizens can learn more about the application process at www.neighborhoodassist.com. Applications will be taken until 2,000 submissions have been reached. Fast said last year 2,000 submissions were reached in under 24 hours, so she encourages citizens to prepare now for the application.

Each person can submit one cause in one of the three categories of safety, community development, or education. There is no need for the submitter to be the one in charge of the program, meaning a volunteer or any community member can submit an application for any cause.

After the 2,000 submissions are reached, the State Farm Review Committee will score all the submissions to identify the top 200 finalists.

The top 200 finalists will then be uploaded to www.neighborhoodassist.com where people can vote for 10 days - from Aug. 14 through Aug. 23. Each person gets up to 10 votes per day, every day.

The top 40 causes with the most votes will each win a $25,000 grant from State Farm. Winners will be announced on Sept. 25.