State Farm Projects:
My main project for the Enterprise Philanthropy team this summer was a proposal to the Marketing Department of State Farm to expand the Town Hall programs due to their great success. I also created a departmental timeline from 2009-2014 with key dates that impacted the department. Some of the smaller projects I part in were creating a database of social investments organized by state for CRA purposes. I have completed a few competitor analyses on bank products which compare State Farm Bank to other banks at the local and national level. I also had the privilege of teaching the Leading and Learning students about financial literacy, such as budgeting, saving, and goal setting.
My main project with the WBRP this summer has been my pop-up produce stand. The project began as a small idea to gather research and quickly exploded into a really interesting initiative that has involved over 100 volunteers and farmers to distribute food to over 650 people in the last 6 weeks. I began the project by exploring West Bloomington’s food desert with some action research, visiting local grocery and corner stores to see what kind of fresh food is accessible to the people living within the bounds of West Bloomington. The findings of my research solidified my understanding that there isn’t enough fresh food at a reasonable price available to the residents of West Bloomington. I then contacted the coordinator of the Farmer’s Market to ask if we could glean the produce that doesn’t get sold, and she approved the request. Since then, we have created a Facebook group, an online volunteer sign up form, and an email address to invite local community members to be a part of the food distribution effort. We rotate the stand each week to different locations on the Westside, allowing us to speak to and reach a wider range of residents.
The West Bloomington Revitalization Project is requesting $495.38 to fund the creation of a calendar for Westside residents and businesses to display. This calendar will serve as a published document to promote community pride by highlighting the wonderful things happening within the area, and as an advertising tool for local agencies and businesses. Grant funding will be used to pay for paper and ink for each copy of the calendar. The monthly images of the calendar have been selected from the Westside photo contest of 2014, which encouraged local community members to submit pictures of different Westside locations. The WBRP will collaborate with Illinois Wesleyan University’s graphic design students in order to make a visually appealing document, which will be printed in October to distribute to community partners, located in the additional information section, and to residents at the Harvest Festival.
A Note From Jenny:
I am so unbelievably thankful for the opportunities I’ve had this summer, both withinState Farm and in the community. I would like to thank Deborah, Lara, and Vicki for believing in me and inviting me into this program, and for helping me in so many ways throughout the summer. I would like to thank my entire Enterprise Philanthropy team for having patience with me as I learned and asked so many questions. I would like to thank Matt and my group of fellow interns for making me and my projects better this summer. A special thanks to the Downtown Bloomington Association Farmer’s Market and all of the farmers who have made my project what it is. I am so grateful for the things that I have learned and I look forward to all of the ways I will apply this new knowledge in my future endeavors.