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2023 grants now available from “The Heart of Cook”

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 Berrien Community Foundation to assist nonprofit programs in Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana (La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart counties).

Human services programs that support families, educational projects, 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 be 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 Shane Lies, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at the Cook Nuclear Plant. “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.”

Kirstin Rossman, a member of the employee advisory committee for The Heart of Cook, agreed.

“In 2022, we provided more than $78,000 in funding to 29 of the 41 area nonprofit applicants who continue to perform truly vital work,” Rossman said. “We wish we could fund them all, and 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 website at All grant applications must be submitted electronically through the Berrien Community Foundation’s website. The grant application due date is Feb. 14, 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 BCF Program Director Susan Matheny at



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