NIPSCO is known for providing power to almost all of Northwest Indiana. However, their parent company, NiSource, likes to provide in other ways as well. Every year, employees pick and choose one cause to raise money for, such as Cancer Society of America, the American Heart Association, of different nonprofits to benefit veterans. This year, they chose the Autism Society of Indiana. At the Charity of Choice wrap-up event at the NISource headquarters, the employees totaled the money and announced how much they raised to donate.
After months of various events for fundraising, Violet Sistovaris, President and Executive Vice President of NIPSCO, announced that they had raised over $130,000, which was well past their $100k goal.
“It feels fantastic,” she said. “We raised over $130,000—$30,000 more than our original goal. That is a strong sign of the strong history we have at NIPSCO, of employees wanting to engage and give back to the communities.”
Other employees were very happy with the fundraising and the event as well. Dana Berkes, a public affairs manager for NIPSCO, helped plan the final event.
“This is a great way for employees to come to our headquarter and experience a fun day and raise money for the Autism Society of Indiana,” she said. “We have bucket trucks, games, and much more. Parents love this because they can come in and show their kids what they do for a living.”
Jennifer Moench, NISource Manager, Corporate Communications and Branding, also lent a helping hand and has for the past three years.
“This is a great event for families and allows kids to see what some of their parents are doing for work,” she said. “We have a ‘Shoot-the-Squirrel’ game, but with a safety message involved. Kids knock them off and win a prize. It’s a common occurrence that squirrels get on power lines and cause outages. It's a fun way to get that safety message out.”
Greg Boyce, Executive Director for the Autism Society of Indiana, couldn’t be happier with the final total.
“This event and the generous gifts from NIPSCO are going to allow us to bring our services to people with autism in this area,” he said. “Our organization insures that every person and family gets the high quality resources that they need and deserve.”
The Autism Society of Indiana does a lot to help families receive the resources they need.
“We provide family support in the form of advocacy and education. We also provide personal one-on-one support. 1-in-59 school aged children are diagnosed with autism each year,” Boyce said. “We are working with those families to make sure they get the support they need. Another statistic is that a family that has a child with autism is 74% more likely to get divorced. We provide respite care, which will allow the parents can do the things they want to do to replenish their relationship.”
He wants to make sure that anyone affected readily receives the help so their lives are much easier.
“We have employees in all 92 counties of Indiana, and we have a vision of opening five new locations in five years to make our services more readily available,” he said. “One of the areas we’ve been targeting is Northwest Indiana. We have a vision to do this, but much like any nonprofit, we have a lack of funding.”
“This event is really going to help fulfill our vision in this area,” Boyce said.
For more information about NIPSCO, please visit www.nipsco.com.