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DTE Foundation awarded $15 million in grants in 2015 to help transform Detroit and Michigan

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The DTE Foundation awarded $15 million in grants last year to light up jobs and education, environmental stewardship, economic progress and neighborhood revitalization in Detroit and Michigan.

The grants will help 450 communities across our state become vibrant places to live, work and play. This year’s total represents a 25 percent increase from 2014.

“The DTE Energy Foundation has always believed it is our responsibility to sustain and protect Michigan’s legacy – from its cultural institutions to its beautiful natural environment – and to help build its future,” says Faye Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs, DTE Energy and the president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “2015 marked a monumental year in our giving history and, as a result, DTE is making a difference and improving the quality of life for the state’s residents.”

This past Christmas, for example, 360 volunteers packed 5,600 meals for Meals on Wheels and the foundation made a $30,000 gift as well (see  picture above). Meals on Wheels is just one of the programs the Foundation is supporting.

Investments in Detroit included:

Economic progress

  • $750,000 to support the development and renovation of Eastern Market’s Shed 5, known as the DTE Energy Foundation Plaza, which provides an outdoor gathering place for community members and Detroit visitors
  • $500,000 toward the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC) at the Detroit Zoo for a high-tech, educational video feature
Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Environmental Stewardship

  • $200,000 for an annual recycling program spanning four major arts and cultural events, including the Detroit Jazz Festival, Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Lakeshore Arts Festival in Muskegon, and GRandJazzFest in Grand Rapids.In total, more than 23 tons of waste were recycled from the events in 2015

Jobs and Education

  • Grow Detroit’s Young Talent was one of 50 nonprofits receiving a portion of the nearly $1 million that funded more than 550 year-round and summer youth employment opportunities

Neighborhood Safety and Revitalization

  • $75,000 to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation for a new horse trailer for its mounted police to have a continued presence throughout the city
Detroit Mounted Police

Detroit Mounted Police

Other investments included:

Jobs and Education

  • $75,000 to FIRST in Michigan to support statewide Robotics competitions that engage students with learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • $20,000 to Grand Traverse Industries to transport people with disabilities to work, helping them to achieve more independence
FIRST Robotics

FIRST Robotics

Economic progress

  • $50,000 to support ArtPrize, a three-week art competition in Grand Rapids that celebrates artists from around the world and promotes tourism for the city and region

Environmental Stewardship

  • $250,000 for tree plantings in partnership with ReLeaf Michigan, and a matching grant program in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to plant thousands of trees
  • $100,000 to the Huron River Watershed Council to invest in river restoration, recreation and local economies through its RiverUp! Program

Neighborhood Safety and Revitalization

  • Nearly $110,000 to support the Holiday Meals on Wheels program, which provided nearly 18,000 meals to needy senior citizens throughout Michigan communities
  • $100,000 to the American Red Cross to install 6,000 smoke detectors in 1,200 homes by June 2016 in support of its Home Fire Campaign, an effort to make Michigan communities safer through education and the proper tools to prevent home fires

“Our giving footprint touches every community where we live and serve,” says Nelson. “Our support allows people and communities to flourish – making the homes we live in and the streets our children play on safer, providing educational opportunities and creating jobs – all of which are integral to the economic vitality of Michigan.”

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