Three Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit/not-for-profit groups are vying for five-figure cash grants to fund special projects as candidates in the 2011 Pepsi Refresh Project, and seek votes from local residents to win.
Project Kindle’s proposed camping program for SCV children with chronic illnesses and disabilities and the annual “Summer Meltdown Concert for Social Inclusion and Autism Awareness” are vying for $50,000 cash grants.
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The developer of a new mobile application called edRover designed to receive donations for school supplies is going for a $25,000 grant.
Launched in January 2010, the Pepsi Refresh Project awards grant money to individuals and organizations with innovative ideas that positively impact the community. Only 1,000 applications are accepted each month, and voters determine which projects are winners. In its first year, the project awarded more than $20 million in grants for programs across the country.
The annual competition has different categories for candidates including education, communities and arts and music, with funding levels ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
Supporters of the candidates may vote twice a day — once online and once via text. Voting is open now through Dec. 31.
Click here  for more Pepsi Refresh Project info, and read on for details about the three SCV candidates and their goals.
Project Kindle would use its $50K to set up a free day camp program for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Founded by Santa Clarita resident Eva Payne, Project Kindle has held camps for children with HIV and AIDS since 1999. The camps offer the children an opportunity to feel accepted, find hope and friendships, and develop their knowledge of health and personal strengths.
In addition to summer camps, Camp Kindle hosts mini-camp sessions throughout the year and all campers receive year-round support.
“The importance of having a camp like this is to give the children a place where they can go and feel normal and feel needed,” said Trina Harrison, Project Kindle spokeswoman.
edRover is the nation’s first mobile app that partners businesses with education, allowing consumers to direct funds from participating businesses to the schools of their choice, according to developers edRover Inc., a California Public Benefit Corporation.
Each time a consumer uses the app to “check in” at participating locations, a donation is directed to the school selected by the user. Consumers also can raise funds for schools by making online purchases from more than 100 retailers via www.edrover.com .
The app is already available for iPhone and Windows Phone platforms, and the Pepsi grant would fund EdRover’s expansion to the Android and Blackberry platforms.
“EdRover truly mobilizes business and consumers who care about education in a way that supports their favorite schools every day through the course of everyday activities,” said Tania Mulry, the app’s creator. “We hope people will vote each day. Just like the app, it doesn’t cost you anything!”
The ninth annual "Summer Meltdown Concert for Social Inclusion and Autism Awareness," hosted by the students of Hart District's nonprofit Yes I Can program, seeks funding to help plan, produce and promote the all-day festival, scheduled for May 2012 at Golden Valley High School’s outdoor amphitheater.
The Yes I Can program includes students with and without disabilities (particularly autism and Asperger’s Syndrome) and peer mentors, to the benefit of all involved. Summer Meltdown is the students’ major project of the year, and as they plan and stage the event, participants gain valuable social skills and practical, real-world experience.
"The students would like to be able to bring the biggest artists to perform for them, their peers and the entire SCV community." said Bret Lieberman, Yes I Can program director at Golden Valley and Summer Meltdown's executive producer since its inception. "We can only do this with your help. We have only this month to make it happen."
Local music fans can support Yes I Can and Summer Meltdown by voting online at www.refresheverything.com/summermeltdown2012  and/or texting 110797 to 73774 (PEPSI).