Building Vibrant Communities: Cycles 1&2 Awards, 2022

Published on Friday, September 23, 2022 in Building Vibrant Communities Grant Program

In May and September, we awarded local nonprofits serving customers in our electric service territory with Building Vibrant Communities grants. The program is made possible by partnership dollars from our power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative.

Cycle 1

  • Underground Railroad Society of Cass County: Restoration of the Stephen Bogue House which was a station on the Underground Railroad from 1830-1860. It was listed on the National Park Service “Network to Freedom” register in 2020.
  • Warrior’s Oath Niles: Assist veterans with specific projects and other basic needs.
  • Salvation Army – Niles Corp: Feeding His Sheep. This is a weekend food distribution program for 225-250 students in Berrien and Cass counties.
  • Flyover Art: This project will create a community, co-working creative hub in downtown Marcellus. The space will feature Mac desktop computers complete with Adobe Suite software and other creative equipment to encourage the growth of the creative economy in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties.
  • Associated Charities of Lenawee County: Back to School Program – provides children from low-income households with basic necessities for learning such as backpacks and school supplies and also new clothing, shoes, and undergarments to assist with promoting a positive self-image.
  • Supplies for Success: Provides students with essential clothing, warm coats, snow gear, footwear, and school supplies to approximately 100 students.
  • Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan: Provide weekly music classes/therapies for those with disabilities.
  • Antwerp Township Senior Services: Assist seniors on fixed incomes with gas reimbursement to help drive other seniors without transportation to appointments.
  • Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services: Replace and update heating and cooling system to remove old boiler, radiators, and window air conditioners and install new furnaces, ductwork, and central air conditioning to a 100-year-old building used as a domestic violence shelter. The shelter assists approximately 200 individuals per year.

Cycle 2

  • Gracious Hearts Giving Back: Food pantry addition for kids in need.
  • Cass County Fair Association: Purchase AEDs to keep on the fairgrounds for first aid.
  • Cass Area Artists: 5th Semiannual Cass County Regional Gallery. Brings the world of visual art to underserved areas in Michiana.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County: Purchase tools to build affordable single-family homes.
  • Helping Hands of Cass County: Purchase gift cards for necessities for families and children in need.
  • Reins of Life, Inc.: Purchase horse trailer for therapeutic riding for children with special physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs.
  • Cass Kickstart to Careers: Fund accounts for children to teach basic financial literacy.
  • New Community Church Family Pantry: Build shelving for expanded food pantry needs.
  • NewSong WeCare: Building ramps for those in wheelchairs.

Congratulations to all who received a grant! We received many, many impressive applications. Those who didn’t receive funding in these cycles are eligible to reapply. We’re proud to serve a community that’s so dedicated to enriching the lives of others.

Do you represent a nonprofit serving individuals in our electric service territory? If so, you might be eligible to receive a grant for your next project or initiative. Applicants can request grants of up to $5,000. Because BVC grants are highly competitive, we try to distribute funds to the projects that will affect the largest concentration of our customers.

We accept applications all year long. The deadline to be considered in our next review cycle is Dec. 31. To learn more and apply, click here.