Foundation’s $100,000 donation helps nonprofits ‘keep on keeping on’ for COVID-19 relief

May 21, 2020

The Minnesota Power Foundation is donating $100,000 to support nonprofits in their work to help people struggling with the effects of COVID-19.

The $100,000 will be distributed among nonprofits and four special COVID-19 response funds in areas served by Minnesota Power. The money will be used by hospitals, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations focused on health and human services on the front lines of the pandemic as they respond to increased demands as a result of the pandemic.

The Union Gospel Mission in Duluth is one of the nonprofit recipients and Susan Jordahl-Bubacz, executive director, thanked the foundation for the unexpected gift.

“Your kindness and unexpected gift mean more than we can ever express to you. This gift will help immensely in our ability to keep on keeping on, and feed our neighbors in need,” she wrote. “Bless you guys for caring about our community like you do!”

In addition to gifts to a number of smaller organizations like the Union Gospel Mission, the $100,000 donation includes gifts to COVID-19 response funds led by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation ($20,000 to the COVID-19 Northeast Minnesota Response Fund), the Initiative Foundation ($10,000 to the Central Minnesota Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund), the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation ($10,000 to the Itasca Area Community Response Fund), and the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota ($10,000 to the COVID-19 Crisis Fund).

“People and communities throughout our region are hurting as the health and economic fallout from the coronavirus deepens,” said ALLETE CEO and President Bethany Owen. “Aimee Curtis (Community Relations and MP Foundation administrator) has done a wonderful job fielding the flood of requests for the MP Foundation’s assistance. By distributing the $100,000 across these COVID-19 response funds as well as to other nonprofits, we’re able to help get vital services to those who need them more quickly and support more communities.”

The funding will support relief efforts that address the economic impacts of reduced and lost work, aid the homeless, support learning and child care needs, support people facing long-term unemployment and generally help meet the increasing demands faced by a social welfare system under stress.

The COVID-19 donation follows Minnesota Power Foundation gifts totaling $20,000 made to food shelves and food banks earlier this spring. About half of the $120,000 donated since March has gone directly to fight food insecurity and hunger.

Holly Sampson, president and CEO of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, thanked the Minnesota Power Foundation for the $20,000 donation to the COVID-19 Northeast Minnesota Response Fund.

“We appreciate your generosity during these challenging times. We continue to receive heartbreaking proposals from our nonprofit partners, and they remain in a state of crisis. Your support is critical for these organizations who serve our most vulnerable residents,” she wrote.

Joining the Community Foundation in creating the COVID-19 fund are the Ordean Foundation, the Northland Foundation, the Head of the Lakes United Way and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.

Minnesota Power’s parent company, ALLETE, has entered an agreement to be acquired by a partnership led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Global Infrastructure Partners and start the process to become a private company.

This transaction will not change our operations, strategy or shared purpose and values, and it is business as usual for all of us at Minnesota Power. Learn more at