The Heart of Cook Fund seeks local nonprofits to award grants

Published 9:37 am Monday, January 14, 2019

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.

“We’re extremely proud to be able to play our part in helping our area nonprofits through the Heart of Cook,” said Joel Gebbie, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “Every year, there are so many worthy projects and needs, and it’s amazing to see how much good these organizations can do with even the limited dollars they often have to work with. But we know that when we work together there is no limit to what can be achieved.”

Ashlie Guyberson, a member of the employee advisory committee for The Heart of Cook, agreed.

“In 2018, we provided more than $53,000 in funding to 33 nonprofit programs and special projects in educational and community-based agencies,” she said. “It’s a tough job making those decisions, but Cook takes its community partner role seriously and we are always excited by the results.”

Grant applications and guidelines may be obtained by visiting the Berrien Community Foundation’s web site at All grant applications must be submitted electronically through the Berrien Community Foundation’s website. The grant application due date is Feb. 13, 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. 

Those who have questions about applying can contact Susan Matheny at

Indiana Michigan Power is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana and serves more than 580,000 customers in Indiana and Michigan. I&M, part of American Electric Power, is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. For more information visit or

The goal of the Berrien Community Foundation is to connect needs with resources in the community. Working with individuals, corporations and other foundations, BCF creates endowments and other funds that support the ever-changing needs of Berrien County now and into the future. BCF’s Community Endowment and field of interest funds, and donor advised funds have provided funding to support a wide variety of services and agencies for over 65 years. For more information on the Berrien Community Foundation, visit or call (269) 983-3304.