NIPSCO Awards Big Brothers Big Sisters $5,000

The NIPSCO Public Safety Education/Training Grant was awarded to Big Brothers Big Sisters this month.

NIPSCO’s grant is new and aimed at funding safety and educational projects in Northern Indiana. Funding from NIPSCO will be used for EMPOWER training sessions and materials that were designed and created by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana (BBBS). BBBS believes that empowering individuals with information and intervention skills concerning child abuse will help ensure the safety, mental health, and stability of participants through preventative education, thus contributing to the overall health of the community. The method chosen strives to increase communication between parents, their children, and BBBS volunteers concerning sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect in a one-to-one or classroom setting. The educational program, EMPOWER, is research-based and designed to increase awareness of risk factors, reduce the number of incidences and provide an overall awareness of child abuse/neglect.

Children served have the greatest need and least opportunity. The majority of the youth served demonstrate several risk factors: live in a single-parent family, live in poverty, have poor social relationships, have strained family relationships, and have academic or behavior problems. Of the 1,580 youth served in the 13-county service area, 60% are from single-parent households; 11% not living with either parent; 19% have a household income less than $10,000 a year; 59% have a household income less than $30,000 a year; 67% are between the ages of 5-12; 33% are ages 13 and older; 46% identify as a minority; and 21% have at least one parent incarcerated. Many children served face multiple risk factors.

NIPSCO: Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 810,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE: NI) seven regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 4 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at NIPSCO.com and www.nisource.com.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana is a nonprofit organization that serves children in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties in Indiana and Branch and Hillsdale counties in Michigan. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported one to one relationships with measureable impact. To learn how you can positively impact a child’s life, donate or volunteer visit www.BBBSNEI.org.

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