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Providence Connections is new Champion in Action® in Pittsburgh

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

PITTSBURGH    (April 7, 2010) - Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV today named Providence Connections as their second quarter Champion in Action® under the category of family support. Providence Connections, which provides families residing on Pittsburgh’s North Side with a vast range of services through its Providence Family Support Center program, 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 Providence Connections as our newest Champion in Action," said Ralph J. Papa, Chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. "Under the leadership of Executive Director Sister Carolyn Winschel, this tremendous organization makes a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of struggling North Side families through its offering of child care services, before and after school care, family support, parent and adult education, in home visitation and family counseling."

"As an organization committed to the community, WPXI-TV is proud to partner with Citizens Bank to honor Providence Connections," said Ray Carter, WPXI-TV’s general manager. "WPXI-TV congratulates Providence Connections on the excellent work it des to strengthen families and enrich the lives of North Side families."

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, Project for Freedom 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 Providence Connections a Champion in Action?

  • Providence Family Support Center offers three distinctive child care programs, providing a safe, stimulating, and comfortable environment for children between the ages of six weeks and 13 years. Early childhood education classrooms focus on age-appropriate activities for developing language skills, gross and fine motor abilities, and creativity. A typical day in the After School Program includes homework tutoring, enrichment classes, and a healthy snack. The nine week Summer Day Camp, which operates five days a week, offers an educational and entertaining camp experience for children ages five through 13.
  • An Adult Enrichment Program gives North Side residents an opportunity to attain or improve skills that help to make life easier and more manageable. For families seeking more intensive, one-on-one support, Providence Family Support Center employs two family development specialists to implement its in-home visiting and parenting program.
  • In FY08-09, Providence Family Support Center served 325 families, 181 of whom were single-parent households, and enrolled and served 573 children in various programs.

"As a part of the Allegheny County family support movement since 1994, Providence Family Support Center has made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of struggling North Side families for the past 15 years,” said Sister Carolyn Winschel. “Over 300 families, half being single-parent households and 550-plus children are served annually through a variety of programs, where children receive individual attention, academic enrichment, and thoughtful guidance through structured activities. Close to 500 home visits for families wanting intensive, one-on-one support are also conducted annually."

In addition to Providence Connections, 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®, Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center, Light of Life Rescue Mission, Dress for Success, POWER, and Project for Freedom.

To learn more about Providence Connections, located at 3113 Brighton Road, visit www.providenceconnections.org.

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 383 branches and 651 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 66 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $148 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches, and approximately 3,500 ATMs and approximately 22,700 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. 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 youths 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 1-412-471-2114.