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Connect, Inc. is new Champion in Action

Agency receives $25,000 grant, volunteer and promotional support

PITTSBURGH – Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV today named Greensburg organization Connect, Inc. as their fourth quarter 2011 Champion in Action® in the category of homelessness. Connect Inc. will receive a $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation for Welcome Home, a Connect operation that provides emergency shelter and case management services to the homeless. Connect also will receive volunteer and promotional support from Citizens Bank, WPXI-TV and Pittsburgh Cares. Connect Inc. is the 29th western Pennsylvania champion in the program’s seven-year history.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WPXI-TV in naming Connect, Inc. our newest Champion in Action,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bank president and CEO for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. “Under the leadership of Jeff Mascara, CEO/executive vice president, this tremendous organization provides emergency shelter, homeless prevention, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and educational support to men, women and families.”

“At Welcome Home, we not only focus on addressing immediate needs of the homeless, but we also provide them with the necessary resources and skills for a hopeful future,” Mascara said.

Through Champions in Action, Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV recognize and support nonprofit organizations for the contributions these groups make to communities in the Pittsburgh region. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter, focusing on a range of social service areas.

As a Champion in Action, Connect, Inc. will receive:

  • $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation
  • Media coverage, public service announcements and a video profile from WPXI-TV
  • Volunteer support from Pittsburgh Cares, and Citizens and WPXI-TV employees
  • Extensive public relations support, featuring new marketing materials
  • Promotional support for the organization in all Citizens Bank branches
  • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV websites

“As an organization committed to serving the community, WPXI-TV is proud to partner with Citizens Bank to honor Connect, Inc,” said WPXI-TV General Manager Ray Carter. “By developing, operating and coordinating health and social services for residents in southwestern Pennsylvania, Connect, Inc. does an excellent job in combating the problem of homelessness.”

What makes Connect, Inc. a Champion in Action?
  • Welcome Home provides 60 days of emergency shelter to the homeless, serves more than 250 single women and families annually.
  • Welcome Home addresses immediate food, clothing and shelter needs, and features classes on important life skills. Participants receive follow-up case management assistance for up to a year after discharge. As a result of this follow-up program, approximately 95 percent of participants remain in permanent housing.
  • Among other benefits, during 2010 Connect, Inc. provided 10,529 days of emergency shelter for 337 individuals, 11,268 days of safe haven housing to 184 men and women with severe mental illness, and 23,002 days of permanent supportive and transitional housing to 100 individuals and families.

For more information about the Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com or www.wpxi.com. To learn more about Connect, Inc., 218 S. Maple Avenue, Greensburg, Pa., 15601, visit www.sphs.org.

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 385 branches and 988 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 13 retail branches and 107 ATMs in southern New Jersey, and a commercial loan office and 20 ATMs in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $132 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches and approximately 3,900 ATMs, and more than 20,900 colleagues. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). CFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

About WPXI
WPXI-TV is a Cox Television station in the Pittsburgh television market. Cox Television includes 15 television stations, three national television sales representation firms, a television production company, and a Washington, D.C., news office. Cox Television is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., based in Atlanta. WPXI-TV’s website is wpxi.com.

About Pittsburgh Cares
Pittsburgh Cares, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing community engagement through volunteerism and enhancing the impact of regional service partners. In 2006-07, Pittsburgh Cares coordinated more than 950 volunteer projects. Pittsburgh Cares volunteer network has provided more than 44,500 hours of service over the past year and with an average of 217 new volunteers per month, our impact continues to grow stronger. Pittsburgh Cares coordinates three specialized programs: Youth Engaged in Service (YES), Campus Cares, and Business Cares. YES is an outreach program that connects youths under 18 years of age to volunteer opportunities. Campus Cares works with the local college community including Greek Life, student organizations, individual students, and faculty/staff to connect them to a wide variety of volunteer and service-learning opportunities. Business Cares coordinates employee volunteer programming for small, mid-size and large companies in Greater Pittsburgh through customized contracts. For more information on Pittsburgh Cares, please log onto www.pittsburghcares.org or call 412-471-2114.