Grant applications are again available for “The Heart of Cook” Foundation Fund. “The Heart of Cook” is a grant program funded by Indiana Michigan Power’s Cook Nuclear Plant and administered by the Berrien Community Foundation to assist nonprofit programs in Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana (La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties).

Educational projects, human services programs that support families, and environmental protection and preservation projects are the focus areas for this grant program. The grant review committee, comprised of Cook Nuclear Plant employees, gives special consideration to projects that involve I&M employees. Organizations must have 501(c)(3) tax exempt or equivalent status to qualify for funding.

“The Heart of Cook Grant Program has always been important in helping sustain many of our community’s nonprofits, particularly during difficult times like we’ve seen over the past couple of years,” said Chelsea Moser, member of the employee advisory committee for The Heart of Cook. “Our committee takes these applications very seriously in an effort to do the most good with what we’re able to provide.”

Joel Gebbie, AEP’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, agreed. “Generating safe, carbon-free electricity is just one of the ways we want to impact the quality of life here. Last year, the Heart of Cook granted $92,000 to 36 very worthy organizations who are vital to meeting the growing needs of Southwest Michigan. To me, this kind of passionate effort led by our employees is every bit as powerful in its impact.”

Grant applications and guidelines may be obtained by visiting the Berrien Community Foundation's website at www.berriencommunity.org/HOC. All grant applications must be submitted electronically through the Berrien Community Foundation’s website. The grant application due date is February 14, 2022, with awards to be announced in May. Agencies that have received funding for three consecutive years will not be eligible to apply during this grant cycle.  If you have questions about applying, contact Susan Matheny at susanmatheny@berriencommunity.org.