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AEP Foundation Joins Effort to Create First-of-its-Kind Community Center

February 16, 2021

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Improving the lives of our customers and making our communities a better place to live and work is imperative to Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). That’s why The American Electric Power Foundation (AEP Foundation), on behalf of I&M, announced today it will donate $100,000 to build a first-of-its-kind community center on the Southeast side of South Bend.

The United Way of St. Joseph County along with several community organizations, including the AEP Foundation, are joining forces to develop the Southeast Neighborhood Center located on East Dubail Avenue and Fellows Street. The $3.9 million center will be anchored by a high-quality early learning program, and will feature holistic health services, youth and senior programming and will provide access to basic needs and emergency services.

“At I&M, everyone is dedicated to empowering our communities. Through the generosity of the AEP Foundation, we will sponsor two classrooms inside the Southeast Neighborhood Center. It’s important to reach students as early as possible to spark an interest and set them up for success,” said Toby Thomas, I&M President and Chief Operating Officer. “In partnership with the United Way of St. Joseph County to bring a center to South Bend we hope to stabilize families, help graduation rates soar and build a foundation for growth in our communities.”

The Southeast Neighborhood Center will combat poverty, eliminate barriers to service providers and provide high quality early childcare and healthcare for local families.

“This generous donation and support from the AEP Foundation and I&M will make a big impact on our community for generations to come,” said Laura Jensen, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of St. Joseph County. “The Southeast Neighborhood Center will help families and this portion of the city thrive. Under one-roof families will have access to several non-profit and city organizations, wellness programs and access to affordable childcare. We thank the AEP Foundation and I&M for empowering and caring about the families and communities you serve.”

The Southeast Neighborhood Center is expected to open in Spring of 2022.

I&M encourages local businesses and non-profits to partner with the United Way of St. Joseph County to support the Southeast Neighborhood Center. For more information and to get involved please visit https://uwsjc.org/community-impact/southeast-neighborhood-center/

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ABOUT THE UNITED WAY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY: United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating long-lasting change, ensuring all residents have access to the building blocks to a better life: education, income and health. United Way is unique in its ability to bring together multiple active members in the community. With the help of business leaders, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, problems in St. Joseph County are able to be identified and changed. Our mission is to mobilize the community to collectively reduce poverty. We work with more than 50 local programs through partner agencies and over 12,000 donors, advocates and volunteers every year who in turn work with thousands of individuals and families living in poverty.

ABOUT THE AEP FOUNDATION: The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Indiana Michigan Power. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area. The Foundation’s areas of focus include special emphasis on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education, protecting the environment, providing basic human services in the areas of hunger, housing, health and safety, and enriching life through art, music and cultural heritage. The Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.

ABOUT INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER: Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 599,000 customers. More than two-thirds of its energy delivered in 2019 was emission-free.  I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

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