Citizens Bank colleague on loan to Living Waters Ministry of Hope in Massachusetts
Lowell resident working full time with local faith-based ministry through Community Service Sabbatical program
BOSTON (September 14, 2009) - Estelle Jean, an executive administrative assistant at Citizens Bank, has been awarded a three-month Community Service Sabbatical. Beginning today, Jean is on loan for three months to Living Water Ministry of Hope in Lowell, Mass. The faith-based organization helps to rebuild lives, foster healthy relationships, teach life skills and offers affordable housing to homeless men and women.
As Citizens’ latest Community Service Sabbatical recipient, Jean is working with the Lowell-based organization as a full-time volunteer for three months during a paid leave of absence from the bank. Her sabbatical runs through mid-December.
“We are delighted that Estelle will be volunteering with our organization for three months through the generosity of Citizens Bank,” said Diane Waddel, Living Waters Ministry of Hope Director. “As a beacon of hope and a source of comfort for some of the most vulnerable men and women in the Lowell area who are struggling to rebuild their lives, we look forward to working with and learning from Estelle as we continue to support these individuals in need.”
Since 1997, Living Waters has assisted the needs of the homeless and worked with area homeless shelters serving meals at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, providing haircuts and makeovers as well as organizing ice cream socials and other fun events for clients. It opened its outreach and drop-in center last year where homeless people in the community can spend time in a caring and compassionate atmosphere, while strengthening their spiritual and emotional growth. It offers personal hygiene packs, food packs, clothes and blankets and continues to support area shelters with supplies and encouragement.
During her time at the organization, Jean will spearhead the Doing Life Together project, a program that teaches the fundamentals of running a home to homeless individuals who have been placed in apartments. Many of these individuals have been living on the streets for years and need to be reacquainted with skills such as living independently and budgeting. Jean also will work with the director of Lowell’s homeless shelter program to adopt an identical program for the city.
“I have been involved with Living Waters for the past two years providing blankets and clothing to the clients. I’m thrilled to dedicate three months to the organization as a full-time worker developing a program that will help so many people transition from living on the streets to living in a home,” said Jean. “I feel honored to have been chosen as this year’s Sabbatical recipient and look forward to sharing this experience with my colleagues when I return to work in December.”
“Our Community Service Sabbatical program is an extension of our commitment to being a good corporate citizen and supporting the communities where are customers and colleagues live and work,” said Stephen R. Woods, president, Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “This is a wonderful opportunity that will have a rewarding and meaningful impact on Estelle and the staff and clients at Living Waters.”
The Citizens Bank Community Service Sabbatical program is open to all full-time Citizens employees who have three or more years of service at Citizens. Each year, a sabbatical is offered on a competitive basis to employees in Massachusetts. The selected employee works a standard full-time schedule at a nonprofit agency and is supervised by agency personnel. Upon returning to Citizens, sabbatical recipients are asked to share their experiences with their bank colleagues. Employees selected for the program are guaranteed their same salary and level of responsibility upon completion of the sabbatical.
Jean is the 12th colleague in Massachusetts and 81 overall to participate in this program. Last fall, Citizens lent a colleague to RESPOND, Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives, protect the rights and ensure the safety of women and children suffering from domestic violence. She is a resident of Lowell and has been a Citizens Bank colleague for six years.
About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 252 branches and 585 ATMs in Massachusetts.
RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $153 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. 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 as of June 30, 2009. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).