More than 2,500 readers have voted as the Deadline Detroit Bernstein Service Award online campaign enters its final week.
The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative remains the biggest vote-getter with nearly 1,200 supporters more than 525 votes, followed by a new runner-up -- the Downriver Council for the Arts, which has more than 500 votes
They and the three other nonprofit finalists (see list below) get 25 cents for every vote. The top finisher next Sunday gets another $500 from the Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills.
Click here to vote once by 5 p.m. March 30 at the firm's Facebook page.
Here's a look at each nominee:
• Friendship Circle, West Bloomfield: It provides programs and support to families of individuals with special needs. The organization also helps people with addictions and is involved in anti-bullying education. The organization uses a network of volunteers to carry out its mission.
• Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Detroit: This start-up run, by volunteers, provides hands-on education about sustainable urban farming at its location at 7432 Brush St., where it grows crops. The organization also provides nutrition guidance because "we want people to develop a certain consciousness about where their food comes from and their role in the process.”
• Camp Casey, Royal Oak: This horseback-riding program for children with cancer "has spread the healing power of horses for almost a decade,” its site says. Children treated at pediatric oncology in Southeast Michigan are eligible for the “Horsey House Calls” which brings a horse to the home for a day with a group of people to supervise. Families in Michigan are eligible for the “Cowboy Campout” that twice a year provides an all expense paid weekend for families to spend time at the Double JJ Ranch near Muskegon.
• Downriver Council for the Arts, Wyandotte: The council serves more than 350,000 residents in 21 Downriver communities. It supports local artists and performers through artistic outreach programs and special promotional opportunities and has created regional partnerships with other cultural organizations, schools and service clubs. The council offers workshops, classes and youth art camps, gallery exhibits, theater productions, literary events, music concerts and classes, gift gallery and facility rentals.
• Heart 2 Hart Detroit, Farmington Hills: The organization was started in 2012 by Larry Oleinick, who wanted to help the homeless in Metro Detroit. “Our vision is to lift up individuals in crisis, and help end homelessness,” the website says. The group distributes food, clothing, toiletries and helpful information on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to men and women living on the street or in shelters. The group also services warming centers and clothes closets to by distributing clothing.