Google Impact Challenge Awards $500K Each To Four Bay Area Nonprofits

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Google.org, Google’s nonprofit wing, has announced that four nonprofits participating in its Bay Area Impact Challenge will receive grants for $500,000 later this year. Hack the Hood, The Health Trust, Bring Me A Book, and Center for Employment Opportunities came out on top after a 10-day voting period and 200,000 votes cast.

Last month, Google.org selected 25 Bay Area nonprofits from over 1,000 entrants to receive technical support, free co-working space in San Francisco for a year, and grants starting at $100,000. From the 25, it selected the “Bay Area Top 10″ on May 22. For 10 days, the company let anyone vote for their favorite four among the group. Last night, Google revealed its top finalists, who will each receive grants from $500,000. The remainder of the 10 will receive grants for $250,000.

The top-four nonprofits run the gamut from giving at-risk students in the Bay Area technical skills to offering kids healthy, affordable snack options on their walks to and from school:

Hack the Hood – Hack the Hood is a six-week summer program that teaches at-risk students technical skills and puts them to work for local businesses who can’t afford to hire technical employees full-time. The students receive $1,000 for their participation. With Google’s grant, they plan to expand the program from 20 to 5,000 students and let the nonprofit offer the program year round.

Google Impact Challenge

Left to right: Google.org Director Jacquelline Fuller, Reverend Cecil Williams, Susan Mernit, Zakiya Harris, and other members of the Hack the Hood team.

Health Trust – Among its efforts to enable healthier living, Health Trust operates food carts in SF that are strategically placed to let kids pick up healthy fruits and vegetables on their way home from school instead of stopping by a 7-Eleven and picking up a snack. With studies showing that nearly one-fourth of kids is malnourished, Health Trust’s goal is to double the number of youth it reaches through its cart program by increasing the number of carts and strategically placing them on common routes between schools and residential neighborhoods.

Google Impact Challenge The Health Trust

Left to right: Google.org Director Jacquelline Fuller, Reverend Cecil Williams, and The Health Trust Chief Operating Officer Todd Hansen

Bring Me A Book - One of the biggest keys to improving life-long academic success is instilling a love of reading at a young age. Bring Me A Book plans to use the grant from Google to provide libraries in the Bay Area with high-quality children’s books and read-aloud workshops for disadvantaged children.

Google Impact Challenge Bring Me A Book

Left to right: Jacquelline Fuller, Reverend Cecil Williams, and Bring Me A Book’s Executive Director Mialisa Bonta

Center for Employment Opportunities - CEO helps those who have been incarcerated break from the vicious cycle of the penal system and unemployment by providing “transitional employment” and job placement. With the grant from Google, the nonprofit plans to expand its employment program to 300 employees in Oakland and 200 in San Jose over the next two years, as well as place another 280 into paid jobs.

Google Impact Challenge

Left to right: Jacquelline Fuller, Reverend Cecil Williams, and CEO Director of California Bill Heiser