Aug 21, 2014
Some were "superheroes" to a Boys and Girls Club. Others gave their time to Habitat for Humanity and to a community garden in Grand Rapids. One group adopted a beach in Ludington and cleared away 25 pounds of trash.
They all made a difference in the communities they serve.
More than 130 Consumers Energy summer interns volunteered this summer to do work for nonprofit organizations across Michigan through the company's annual Intern Challenge. The summer employees gave their time to 27 organizations.
"From their first day, our interns learn that caring for the communities we serve is at the heart of our culture," said Carolyn Bloodworth, Consumers Energy's director of corporate giving. "They received training for their future careers, and learned that some of our most important work takes place in tandem with nonprofit and civic organizations."
Last year, Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $8 million in contributions from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its foundation and the utility's parent company, CMS Energy. That doesn't count the many hours that employees spent volunteering.
Consumers Energy's Intern Challenge is a competition that encourages interns to develop creative solutions to needs in the communities the company serves. Interns who took part in the competition attend more than 25 colleges and work in a variety of areas for Consumers Energy, from engineering to information technology to communications.
The winning Intern Challenge team of 10 interns did work for three organizations in Jackson, the company's hometown. Interns did landscaping work for the city's King Recreation Center, built a kiosk for a city hiker-biker trail and did yard work at seniors' homes.
"This experience gave many of us a new understanding for the community we serve and the chance to learn new skills and give back," the team wrote in their project summary. "We hope that others saw what we were doing and are willing to 'pass it forward'."
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Where they volunteered
Consumers Energy interns gave their time to 27 organizations throughout Michigan this summer:
- Alliance for the Great Lakes
- Boys and Girls Club of Saginaw
- Habitat for Humanity Genesee County
- Bay County Habitat for Humanity
- Starfish Family Services (Inkster)
- Arts and Scraps (Dearborn)
- American Red Cross (Royal Oak)
- Habitat for Humanity of Kent County
- Well House (Grand Rapids)
- Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity
- Dahlem Center (Jackson County)
- Greater Lansing Food Bank
- AWARE Shelter (Jackson)
- Jackson YMCA
- Special Olympics in Jackson
- Kids Learning Fair and Jackson District Library
- Habitat for Humanity Lansing (two projects)
- Jackson County Medical Care Facility
- The Village of Spring Meadows (Jackson)
- King Recreation Center, Parks and Recreation Department, Department on Aging (Jackson)
- St. Vincent de Paul (Jackson)
- Great Start Collaborative (Jackson)
- Jackson Community Food Pantry
- Greater Jackson Habitat for Humanity
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