Soft beverage giant Pepsi is awarding $1.3 million grants to 32 nonprofits and individuals that submitted ideas for projects aimed to bring benefit to society, the company announced recently.
One project seeks to aid wounded military troops, while another supports needy families preparing for the arrival of a baby.
At the beginning of 2010, the Pepsi Refresh Project called out for individuals and nonprofits to submit ideas that were "shovel-ready," or achievable. Online voters at the philanthropy’s website chose the winners from six categories – food and shelter, arts and culture, neighborhoods, health, education and the planet.
One nonprofit chosen in February was The Sparkle Effect, which will use a $25,000 grant to help special needs students form cheerleading squads across the country. Another recipient, 14-year-old Jonny Cohen of Illinois, received $25,000 to help make school buses eco-friendly.
Pepsi president of joint ventures Jill Beraud says that the the project attracted hopeful, innovative youth and nonprofits dedicated to giving back to the community and providing inspiration for others.
"Each of them is a testament to how someone from any walk of life can produce powerful, creative and fun ideas that can make a difference," says Beraud.
All together, the grants included two for $250,000, and ten for $50,000, $25,000 and $5,000.
The philanthropy announced that there will be a new round of grants awarded in the upcoming months, pledging to give more than $20 million in 2010. The organization says it will allow online voters to choose from 1,000 project ideas for up to $1.3 million each month.
The other major cola brand, Coca-Cola, is also donating to needy causes. The company recently announced that it is partnering with the Special Olympics to host the first-ever Unity Cup to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup.