CITGO Launches Fifth Year of Social and Environmental Support for the South Bronx Community Through Its Simon Bolivar Foundation
HOUSTON and NEW YORK, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Simon Bolivar Foundation, a 501(c) (3) private foundation created by CITGO Petroleum Corporation, today announced a list of thirty-six South Bronx non-profit organizations that will receive financial support to develop local social and environmental programs. The selection was made through a community-advised process where South Bronx residents, educators, community organizers, and other leaders reviewed grant applications and recommended projects that would generate the greatest possible impact in the areas of arts and culture, education, environmental protection and health in what is still known today as the poorest Congressional District in the United States.
“CITGO understands how important community organizations are to local neighborhoods, especially those that have been traditionally underserved,” said Alejandro Granado, President and CEO of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. “We are proud to be part of a movement in the Bronx that promotes positive social transformation through community inclusion.”
CITGO began the South Bronx Social Programs and Environmental Initiative in 2007 to promote a brighter future for the South Bronx, where more than a quarter of a million people live below the poverty line. To-date more than 211,000 individuals have benefited from the programs across the region.
“The accomplishments reached by the CITGO program are a true testament of what can be achieved when corporations like ours live up to our social responsibility and use our resources to become catalysts of change,” Granado added.
During the first four years of the program, CITGO and the Simon Bolivar Foundation provided nearly $5 million in charitable grants to nearly 60 community organizations throughout the Bronx. In 2012, the program will distribute $1.25 million among this year’s selected grantees, raising our total contributions to more than $6 million.
“Thanks to the Simon Bolivar Foundation, CITGO, and the people of Venezuela, we will expand The Homeless Organizing Academy, our series of free weekly trainings designed to help the homeless and formerly homeless get the skills and experience they will need to fight for justice–and pursue employment and build their capacity as engaged community members,” said Lynn Lewis, Director of Picture the Homeless, one of the grant finalists in the education category. “At a time when city or state funding may be shrinking, this grant will allow us to continue to empower homeless New Yorkers with concrete skills that not only benefit homeless folks but the community as a whole in the Bronx.”
In addition to Picture the Homeless, this year’s 36 grant recipients include 13 other non-profits providing education programs, eight organizations focused on arts and culture, eight environmental groups and six health organizations. Programs range from a children’s dance project and apprenticeships in radio and film production to a teen social justice club and a recycling and green collar jobs program.
“We are very excited that the Simon Bolivar Foundation and CITGO have decided to lend their support to our organization this year,” said Omar Freilla, Coordinator at Green Worker Cooperatives. “This grant will not only help local aspiring cooperative entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals, it will also result in a cleaner environment for all South Bronx residents as participants begin to implement environmentally sustainable business practices.”
Together with community leaders, CITGO and the Simon Bolivar Foundation are committed to working to improve the lives of the people of the South Bronx as part of the ongoing commitment to supporting the underprivileged and their surrounding environment. Every year, in alignment with the social development principles of its ultimate shareholder, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, CITGO helps ease the burden of many families across the country through social responsibility contributions, including its CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil and Energy Efficient Lighting Programs, the Fueling Good initiative, the 26-year long support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and many others.
The Simon Bolivar Foundation is a 501(c) (3) private foundation solely sponsored by CITGO Petroleum Corporation and receives contributions from CITGO employees and the general public. The Foundation operates in the hope of improving the quality of life for all people, particularly those who suffer from the severe backlash of poverty throughout the Americas. For more information visit www.simonbolivarfoundation.org.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information visit www.CITGO.com.