More Than 130 Consumers Energy Interns Make Impact Volunteering for Michigan Nonprofits with Annual Challenge

 More Than 130 Consumers Energy Interns Make Impact Volunteering for Michigan                        Nonprofits with Annual Challenge  PR Newswire  JACKSON, Mich., Aug. 21, 2014  JACKSON, Mich., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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:    oAlliance for the Great Lakes   oBoys and Girls Club of Saginaw   oHabitat for Humanity Genesee County   oBay County Habitat for Humanity   oStarfish Family Services (Inkster)   oArts and Scraps (Dearborn)   oAmerican Red Cross (Royal Oak)   oHabitat for Humanity of Kent County   oWell House (Grand Rapids)   oKalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity   oDahlem Center (Jackson County)   oGreater Lansing Food Bank   oAWARE Shelter (Jackson)   oJackson YMCA   oSpecial Olympics in Jackson   oKids Learning Fair and Jackson District Library   oHabitat for Humanity Lansing (two projects)   oJackson County Medical Care Facility   oThe Village of Spring Meadows (Jackson)   oKing Recreation Center, Parks and Recreation Department, Department on     Aging (Jackson)   oSt. Vincent de Paul (Jackson)   oGreat Start Collaborative (Jackson)   oJackson Community Food Pantry   oGreater Jackson Habitat for Humanity  For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ConsumersEnergyMichigan and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/ConsumersEnergy.  SOURCE Consumers Energy  Website: http://www.consumersenergy.com Contact: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Dan Bishop, 517-788-2395  
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