Two Presbyterian schools have added their names to the ring in a contest that will award half a million dollars to 20 winners.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of its Kohl's Cares program, Kohl’s department store is sponsoring a contest that will award $10 million to be split among 20 schools. The winners will be chosen based on the number of online votes they collect.
Votes are collected on the Kohl's Facebook fan page. Voters can vote up to 20 times, with no more than five votes going to the same school. Voting began July 7 and ends Sept. 3. As of Aug. 19, Menaul has 835 votes and Pan American has 317. The top three schools have more than 40,000 votes each.
"You have to make this go viral," said Lindsey Gilbert, president of Menaul. "The way this is going to fly … is if thousands of Presbyterian partners across the country to get together."
Menaul and Pan American schools are racial ethnic and are supported in part by the Christmas Joy Offering of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Both schools are encouraging their supporters to vote for each school.
To be eligible to win, every school must submit at least one idea about how it would use the money. These ideas can be viewed under each school’s voting page online.
Melissa Windham, centennial campaign coordinator for Pan American, posted one idea on the school's page:
"For our students, this is their "home away from home," and campus facilities, built in the 1960’s, are showing their age. The renovation of our existing gymnasium to an all-purpose center (to include a stage for fine arts performances, audience seating, and restroom facilities) is a project that would benefit the entire student body of Pan Am," the idea reads.
Students and alumni from Menaul have posted suggestions ranging from technology updates to support for the school’s scholarship program, Gilbert said.
"Half a million would be a game-changer for our scholarship program," he said. "We change the trajectory for hundreds of kids' lives every year."
Both schools provide scholarships or financial assistance to their students.
Menaul and Pan American have promoted the contest on their own Facebook pages, and Pan American has also reached out to alumni, faculty, staff and donors.
With less than a month until the contest is over, Gilbert urged supporters to act soon.
"Our goal is to ask many of our Presbyterian friends and partners to raise a ton of money with a few clicks," he said.
To vote for Menaul, click here.
To vote for Pan American, click here.