COLUMBIA — When Pepsi gives people a choice, it's usually between Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist. The Pepsi Refresh Project, however, lets people choose how to divide $1.3 million among 1,000 or so submitted project ideas.
Two new local submissions have made it onto the current ballot of 1,096 ideas. De Minner, a retired clinical nursing instructor in Columbia, and Central Missouri Honor Flight have a chance to win a total of $275,000.
To vote for De Minner's proposal:
- Text 104302 to PEPSI (73774)
- Vote online
To vote for Central Missouri Honor Flight's proposal:
- Text 104764 to PEPSI (73774)
- Vote online
You can vote up to one time per day.
De Minner stands to gain $25,000 to help improve care and quality of life for people with dementia. Central Missouri Honor Flight, a volunteer organization that enables World War II veterans to visit the WWII memorial in Washington, is in the running for a $250,000 prize.
Central Missouri Honor Flight has flown more than 700 veterans to the recently constructed memorial, according to a news release. Hundreds of Missouri veterans are on the waiting list, according to the Honor Flight's website.
De Minner applied for one of the grants, which are awarded monthly and range in value from $5,000 to $250,000, after watching an advertisement for the Pepsi Refresh Project on TV.
“I saw that other people from around the area had done it,” Minner said.
Minner’s proposal calls for the potential winnings to be used for the books, materials and instructor travel costs and fees needed to host classes in "Dementia Care Mapping." These would be attended by long-term caregivers who work in Missouri.
Dementia Care Mapping (DCM), though used in Europe and Australia, is rare in the United States. DCM is rooted in "person-centered care," a model that encourages caregivers to develop a relationship with the person receiving care.
“Care is something we do with people, not something we do to them,” Minner said.
The DCM model helps teach caretakers to enhance communication, introducing ways to measure that communication in what otherwise can be a nebulous concept. The classes would impart caregivers with tools to better consider the perspective of the person with dementia.
The classes would focus on dementia patients because the model grew from dementia-related studies, but Minner said the skills could easily be used by anyone administering long-term care regardless of whether dementia is a factor.
Minner said she hopes those who take the course will become “champions,” sharing their knowledge with co-workers and peers.
Ten $25,000 grants are awarded each month. Minner, whose proposal ranked 140th as of Friday, hopes to garner the interest — and votes — of stakeholders across the state before voting ends on Dec. 31. Minner is committed to her project, with or without the funding. Soon, she will become a certified instructor of the course, apparently the third in the U.S. to do so.
“I will do my best to make this program available in the state,” she said. “I want Missouri to be one of the premier states in the country that uses DCM and person-centered care.”