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FirstEnergy Foundation Donates $3.4 Million to Community OrganizationsShare icon

The FirstEnergy Foundation has donated more than $3.4 million to nearly 100 organizations across its service territory as part of "Investing with Purpose," a company initiative focused on supporting organizations that advance health and safety, workforce development, educational and social justice initiatives. The grants, awarded in December 2020, represent the first round of approximately $7 million in charitable contributions the Foundation will award as part of the program.

"Investing with Purpose" was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which created health, financial and educational hardships for customers across FirstEnergy's six-state service territory, and in response to the events of 2020 that highlighted racial and social injustices impacting our nation. With those issues in mind, FirstEnergy leaders identified philanthropic opportunities through nonprofit organizations across its service territory that are responding to needs of vulnerable populations. "Investing with Purpose" represents an additional commitment on top of the company's annual charitable giving, which averages approximately $10 million per year.

"In light of the formidable challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus health emergency and critical social justice work that remains at the forefront, the Foundation wanted to focus contributions in areas that would drive meaningful change in the communities we serve," said Lorna Wisham, president of the FirstEnergy Foundation and vice president of corporate affairs and community involvement for FirstEnergy. "These awards benefit new and existing nonprofit partners on the frontline of our current health and economic crisis and whose missions also reflect FirstEnergy's core values."

"Investing with a Purpose" grants were presented to organizations that support initiatives in four key areas:

  • Social Justice – Nearly $1.5 million was granted to social justice organizations that help advance multicultural awareness, equality and inclusion. Grants were provided to both national and local nonprofits actively assisting minority business development, LGBTQ cultural programming and other important causes, including a four-year investment with the American Heart Association to address health inequities in minority communities across FirstEnergy's entire service territory.
  • Health & Safety – Approximately $1.3 million was presented to organizations active in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to those that provide food and shelter, disaster relief, protective equipment, financial assistance, health screenings and other important services to low-income and underserved populations. Recipients include hospitals, youth organizations, the American Red Cross, YMCAs, women's shelters and other organizations across FirstEnergy's footprint.
  • Education – Recognizing that remote learning has become one of the most challenging factors for families during the pandemic, the Foundation granted approximately $467,000 to organizations supporting learning initiatives, including resources for parents and teachers, and to those who are working to combat the challenge of the digital divide. Recipients include schools, libraries and community education programs, among others.
  • Workforce Development – To assist those impacted by job loss during the pandemic and to continue to foster a viable workforce in the community, approximately $365,000 was presented to organizations working to enhance job training, mentorship and opportunities for non-traditional workers. Grant recipients include organizations such as technical schools and programs, disability services, economic development agencies and job resource programs.

The FirstEnergy Foundation is expected to finalize distribution of the remaining grants comprising the $7 million commitment in the first half of 2021. For a full list of "Investing with Purpose" grant recipients, visit the FirstEnergy Foundation on the company's website.

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