First Energy Foundation of Akron Offers More Grant Funding

The First Energy Foundation, headquartered in Akron, OH, announced on Sunday, January 31 that it has awarded another $3.4 million in grants to community organizations in its service area. The awards are for investing with purpose, which is an initiative of the organization. It aims to support local nonprofits that boost the health, safety, workforce development, education and social justice of the people in the Akron metropolitan statistical area. The grants are the first round of about $7 million in charitable contributions First Energy plans to distribute in 2021.

About Investing With Purpose

First Energy's Investing With Purpose initiative was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused widespread educational, financial and health problems for the customers and residents of First Energy's service area. In 2020, First Energy announced that it would set up a charitable fund for customers in its territory, which encompasses six states. The funds are to highlight the racial and social injustices impacting the United States.

Why First Energy Wants to Make an Impact

The leadership of First Energy identified opportunities to make a positive impact on their service area. The six states have a high proportion of vulnerable individuals who have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company wants to and has the ability to help these vulnerable people.

About First Energy

First Energy is an electricity company. Its headquarters is in Downtown Akron. It serves customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states.

Organizations That Received Grant Funds from First Energy

First Energy issued a $50,000 grant for crisis relief to Akron Children's Hospital. The funds will help pay for telehealth and behavioral health services. It also provided the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority with $20,000 for its Parents As Teachers Program and its Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) program. Those programs fall under the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority's Building for Tomorrow organizational umbrella. The programs serve more than 3,000 at-risk children who live in public housing developments in Akron.

The Battered Women's Shelter of Akron will also receive funding, but its allotment has yet to be determined. It will be funded during the second distribution of First Energy's grants, which will occur in the spring of this year.

The Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio received $20,000 for its children's clubs. These are learning centers that help kids with homework and offer tutoring before and after school at no cost. They also offer a learning center for kids ages six to 18 who need supervision for remote learning while their parents or guardians are at work.

The Cleveland Clinic at Akron General Medical Center received $25,000 to expand its COVID-19 testing services and personal protective equipment supplies. It will also expand its current employee education programs.

The BBB Marketplace Education Initiative Inc. received $2,500 in support of its Teen Smart Financial Literacy, Ethics in Action program. It offers help for fraud and identity theft, too. The Project Grad, OH group received $50,000 for a graduation helping hub. Families can use the hub for referral services, interventions, advocacy, crisis support, education and consulting services.

SCORE of Akron got a $20,000 grant for its Service Corps of Retired Executives program. it supports new and existing small businesses via a mentorship program. University Hospitals of Northeast Ohio received $87,500 for a mobile mammography unit that can visit underserved areas and provide essential mammography screenings for women ages 40 and older who cannot drive to a location offering this service.

The Soap Box Derby got $15,000 for its annual International Soap Box Derby program. It will use the funds for mini soap box derby car kits. The kits focus on education, building knowledge, STEM education, leadership development and community activities.

Summa Health was awarded $50,000 for its Summa Health Equity Center. This center offers a variety of programs for underserved populations in the Akron area. Its offerings include telehealth devices, equipment, software and education to facilitate remote appointments for at-risk individuals and those who have transportation problems.

The University of Akron Foundation received an award, but the amount is pending a review. The last award of note went to the 2nd & Seven Foundation. It received $30,000 for a literacy program for student athletes. This program is for college and university student athletes to read to children in second-grade classrooms in Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown. The funds will pay for the necessary equipment for the readings.

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