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Light of Life Rescue Mission is new Champion in Action in Pittsburgh

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

PITTSBURGH          (April 22, 2009) - Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV today named the Light of Life Rescue Mission as their second quarter Champion in Action® under the category of housing. Light of Life Rescue Mission, which has been helping the poor and homeless of the Greater Pittsburgh area obtain safe, affordable, decent housing since 1952, will receive a $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation, and extensive volunteer and promotional support from Citizens Bank, WPXI-TV and Pittsburgh Cares.

“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WPXI-TV in naming Light of Life Rescue Mission as our newest Champion in Action,” said Ralph J. Papa, Chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. “Under the leadership of Executive Director David G. Bugher, this tremendous organization has served over 1,000 men, women and children in need by providing housing, food and life-changing programs.”

“As an organization committed to the community, WPXI-TV is proud to partner with Citizens Bank to honor Light of Life Rescue Mission,” said Ray Carter, WPXI-TV’s general manager. “On behalf of WPXI, I congratulate the leadership, staff and volunteers of Light of Life Rescue Mission. Through their hard work and dedication they empower our area’s homeless population to find quality, affordable housing alternatives.”

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 among a range of social service areas.

As a Champion in Action, Light of Life Rescue Mission will receive:

• $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
• Media coverage from WPXI-TV, including public service announcements and TV profile.
• Volunteer support from Pittsburgh Cares and Citizens and WPXI-TV employees.
• Extensive public relations support.
• Promotional support, highlighting the organization in all Citizens Bank branches.
• Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV Web sites.

What makes Light of Life Rescue Mission a Champion in Action? 
• Since 1952, the Light of Life Rescue Mission has helped the poor and homeless of the Greater Pittsburgh area obtain safe, affordable, decent housing. Their mission is to help the homeless transform their lives and enable them to overcome the grip of addiction, abuse, mental illness and poverty so that they can live at their highest degree of independence and obtain affordable housing.
• For 57 years, the Light of Life Rescue Mission had provided a variety of intensive, faith-based, supportive programming for homeless men and women with children. Their High Commitment Shelter is a unique program that addresses previously unmet, life-changing needs for homeless men and serves as a viable alternative to emergency shelters. Nearly half of the men participating in the High Commitment Shelter program have moved out of homelessness and have attained higher independent living.
• The Light of Life Rescue Mission’s Women and Children’s Program provides both intensive supportive services and rent subsidies for safe, affordable housing. Approximately 75 percent of graduating families from this program have maintained independent housing and living for five years or more.  

“We are honored to be recognized as a Champion in Action,” said David G. Bugher, Executive Director of Light of Life Ministries. “At Light of Life Rescue Mission we believe that housing support must go beyond putting a roof over a person’s head. We prepare our clients for self-sufficiency by providing programs that transform their lives.”

In addition to Light of Life Rescue Mission, the following organizations have been selected as Champions in Action since the program was introduced in western Pennsylvania in 2004: Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, Aliquippa Alliance for Unity and Development, Beginning with Books, The Neighborhood Academy, HEARTH, Human Services Center Corporation, Washington Community Arts and Cultural Center, Rainbow Kitchen Community Services, Sojourner House MOMS, Little Sisters of the Poor, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Health Hope Network, YouthPlaces, the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, Family Tyes, and NeighborWorks®, and Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center .

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has approximately 400 branches and more than 660 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 61 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $160 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches, and approximately 3,600 ATMs and approximately 23,000 employees. 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 about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).

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 Web site 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 youth under 18 year 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.