JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy and its employees are working to build a stronger Michigan, giving $13.5 million in 2016 to support early childhood education, United Ways, Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations across the state.
"Our mission is to help Michigan to be a magnet state for residents to thrive and businesses to grow, providing access to world class cultural, educational and natural resources," said David Mengebier, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of governmental, regulatory and public affairs, and president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. "Our company and employees put our money and time every day into organizations that are the backbone of the communities we serve."
The $13.5 million includes contributions from Consumers Energy, employees, retirees, Foundation and parent company CMS Energy. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy, working to ensure Michigan residents and communities are thriving economically, Michigan businesses are growing, and Michigan has world-class educational, natural and cultural resources
Employees' commitment to nonprofit organizations takes many shapes:
- United Way campaigns – Last fall the company, employees and retirees pledged more than $1.7 million to 55 United Ways across the state. The funding goes to nonprofit organizations that focus on education, income and health -- the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community.
- Volunteering – 429 nonprofit organizations received $217,875 on behalf of 622 employees and retirees through the Volunteer Investment Program.
- Matching gifts -- $110,458 went to 17 higher education institutions, community foundations, food banks, food pantries and homeless shelters across the state through the Foundation's Matching Gifts program, which matched employee and retiree donations.
- Team volunteers – The Caring for Community™ grant program provided $44,500 to 178 nonprofit organizations on behalf of 1,232 employees and retirees. The program recognizes the efforts of teams of employees volunteering for a nonprofit organization or event.
Other 2016 highlights:
- $354,000 to support early childhood programs across Michigan
- $264,000 to support economic development in communities across the state. Support includes grants for The Right Place in West Michigan, the Jackson Anchor Initiative, Venture North Funding & Development, and Southwest Michigan First.
- $200,000 to support Habitat for Humanity of Michigan's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. Consumers Energy and its foundation have provided $1.3 million to Habitat for Humanity since 2001.
- More than $293,000 to provide energy assistance to Michigan residents through Walks for Warmth. Employees are again taking part in walks this month. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/walk.
- $270,000 for Detroit Public Television's Great Lakes Bureau.
- $250,000 for the Michigan State University College of Engineering.
- $235,000 for Michigan's 2-1-1 network, including matching funds for local 2-1-1 support and support to build capacity for the statewide system.
- $175,000 for the Michigan Women's Foundation Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative, including its Entrepreneur You Program in Grand Rapids, Southeast Michigan and mid-Michigan, supporting a business plan and pitch competition for female entrepreneurs.
- $150,000 for the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan for the Michigan Economic Impact Coalition and Michigan 2-1-1 Collaborative.
- $117,175 for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help develop strategies for bringing back the arctic grayling.
- $95,000 for FIRST Robotics to support student robotics programs across the state.
- $60,000 for Downtown Tomorrow Inc. to help create the Kalamazoo Riverfront Garden, including a waterfront outdoor stage.
- $51,000 for Newaygo County to fund a flood warning system for the Muskegon River.
- $50,000 for the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture to support the Mobile Food Agriculture Resources in Motion (FARM) Science Lab.
- $50,000 for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to support the Michigan Fruitbelt Collaborative Project.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
FOUNDATION: Learn more about the Consumers Energy Foundation: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation
TWITTER: Employees give back to communities: #CEVolunteers
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy