Saturday, May 23, 2009
CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program Launched in Washington Metropolitan Area
WASHINGTON D.C., January 29, 2009 – The President of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Alejandro Granado, Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II and representatives of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States launched the 2009 CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program here today by making the inaugural delivery of free fuel to the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House.
“In light of the current global financial crisis, CITGO is making a huge effort to continue its social programs in alignment with the solidarity principles endorsed by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, under the leadership of President Hugo Chávez, and carried out by its national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A (PDVSA),” Granado said, adding that “this is the largest social initiative implemented by any energy company in this country.”
Carried out in partnership by CITGO and Citizens Programs Corporation, the program has provided heating oil to more than one million people in need throughout the United States.
“We know this is a big effort,” Granado said. “Due to the limited resources that are available at the present time, we at CITGO are extremely proud of being able to continue the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program to help the most vulnerable in this country,” he noted.
Last winter (2007-2008), the heating oil program provided more than 200,000 households in 23 states, 223 tribal communities and large low-income housing cooperatives in New York City with fuel. Also, the CITGO funds provided heating grants to over 210 homeless shelters in 14 states, including the District.
The commitment by Venezuela and CITGO was developed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005, when the company stepped forward to help communities ravaged by the storms, and thus responded positively to a plea to oil companies made by a group of U.S. senators. At the same time, Citizens Programs began hearing from more families struggling to keep pace with rising energy costs, especially during the winter, when temperatures dropped and the need for heating fuels increased.
“We approach every major oil company and every OPEC nation each year to ask that a small slice of their profits go to help the poor,” said Citizens Energy Chairman, Joseph P. Kennedy II. “Only one oil company – CITGO – and only one nation – Venezuela – stepped up to the plate to offer a helping hand.”
“The continuation of the program in 2009 demonstrates the genuine commitment of President Hugo Chávez to the most vulnerable in the United States in spite of the ongoing global financial crisis,” Kennedy added.
The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, named after the founder of the Catholic Workers Movement, provides transitional shelter for women and their children as they rebuild their lives. The center currently provides housing for five mothers with nine children. Five volunteers also live at the center and provide support to the families. "We try to follow the example of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, co-founders of the movement, who believed in hospitality for people in need," said volunteer resident Kathy Boylan. "This house has literally helped hundreds of people throughout the years. We are very grateful for the generosity of CITGO and the Venezuelan people."
"This house is so helpful for many people just like me who have trouble in this world," said Griselda, a mother who lives with her three children at the shelter. "I am so happy I found this place. I want to thank Joe Kennedy and CITGO for their help. They help so many people who need heat in the winter."
Citizens Energy, formed by Kennedy during the oil price shocks of the late 1970s, has provided discounted heating oil to the poor and the elderly for almost 30 years. The non-profit energy company has a relationship with Venezuela going back to its earliest years.
Families interested in receiving the discounted heating oil can call Citizens Energy at 1-877-JOE-4-OIL (1-877-564-4645). Once approved, the household receives an authorization letter and calls its heating oil dealer to arrange a delivery of up to 100 gallons of heating oil.
CITGO Receives Award Acknowledging Outreach to Latino Community
HOUSTON, May 5, 2009 --- Talento Bilingüe de Houston, a non-profit organization that has evolved into this city’s Latino Cultural Arts Center, has chosen CITGO Petroleum Corporation as the recipient of the organization’s prestigious Corporation of the Year 2008 Award.
Houston Mayor Bill White presented CITGO with the award during Talento Bilingüe de Houston’s annual luncheon, which was held as part of 5 de Mayo festivities, to commemorate the victory of the Mexican military over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
With the award, Talento Bilingüe de Houston recognized CITGO’s work in reaching out to the Latino community both in Houston and throughout the nation.
“Music and dance awakens the passion in all of us but nothing excites CITGO as much as simply helping those in need through our social development programs, in alignment with principles and values of solidarity embraced by our shareholder, PDVSA, the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ” said CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado about the award.
The programs being implemented by CITGO include the Energy Efficiency Lighting Program, the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil program, and several educational and environmental projects. Most of them are being implemented in the Northeastern and Southwestern regions of the country and reach more than one million people each year.
“In Texas, and especially in the city of Houston, we offer our support to several organizations, among them the Mexican Institute, The Kipp Academy, Neighborhood Centers, Friends for Life and Habitat for Humanity,” Granado added.
In granting the award, Talento Bilingüe de Houston especially took into account the work done by CITGO through its supplier diversity initiative. This particular effort, launched last year, has been aimed at significantly increasing the number of minority and women-owned businesses that are part of the company’s supply chain. Thus, CITGO has offered support to the work of small companies while helping improve the quality of life in communities
CITGO Rallies to Support Jerry's Kids
HOUSTON (May 4, 2009) – In the current economy, many businesses are thinking twice about their support of charity and community programs for the sake of the bottom line. For the 739 employees at CITGO Petroleum’s headquarters, when it comes to supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), the question of whether to give does not even cross their minds. For the past 23 years, CITGO, in alignment with the principles of social development of its shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has worked hand in hand with the organization, which provides support to families and research into the treatment of a wide range of neuromuscular diseases. At the recent MDA Campaign Week, CITGO employees once again came together for the cause to raise more than $100,000.
The week-long program at the Eldridge Parkway headquarters, which ran April 13-17, included daily fundraising activities and events for CITGO employees, including a bake sale, a corporate garage sale, an online auction, and a raffle that featured the chance to throw out a first pitch at the Houston Astros’ game on April 17. CITGO employees also were encouraged to contribute money to MDA through payroll deductions, an effort which alone raised more than $74,000 this year. On Friday, April 17, members of the Houston Astros also visited CITGO employees and their families to show their support and encourage even more donations to MDA.
“The entire CITGO family is deeply committed to MDA, and the Campaign Week events underline the enthusiasm we all have for the program,” said Jennifer Moos, brand development general manager with CITGO Petroleum. “We are proud to say that CITGO raised $102,000 for MDA through this year’s program, surpassing our goal of $100,000. This money, in addition to funds from year-long MDA fundraising efforts, will provide valuable support to the local MDA families in the Houston Gulf Coast region and help MDA’s efforts across the country.”
CITGO also was honored to host MDA’s National Goodwill Ambassador, nine-year-old Abbey Umali, who spoke to CITGO employees about the support MDA provides. Thanks to the generosity of the Houston Astros, Umali and her family were able to attend batting practice and meet Astros players before Friday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. She later cheered on the team with her family and representatives from CITGO and MDA. In addition to the CITGO employee raffle winner, Abbey even had the honor of throwing out a first pitch at the start of the game with Astros Manager Cecil Cooper assisting her to the mound.
“We are so thankful to CITGO and the Astros for everything they do for families like ours,” said Joel Umali, whose daughter has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and benefits from the extensive services and programs that MDA offers. “There are challenges that we face every day, but witnessing the support of CITGO employees first hand helps us keep a positive attitude.”
CITGO, in collaboration with its business partners, marketers, vendors, retailers and employees, is the largest corporate sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, having raised more than $100 million over the past 23 years. CITGO employees, from the corporate, refining, terminal, and supply groups, regularly participate in MDA fundraising events. In addition, they are joined by the network of nearly 7,000 locally owned CITGO stations that raise money through programs such as annual holiday and St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock sales and golf tournaments.
“The effort that CITGO puts in to raising money and getting its entire community involved in MDA, from the corporate headquarters to the locally owned gas stations, is truly amazing,” said Chris Alvarez-Perry regional director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Houston Chapter. “This is the 23rd year of our partnership, and each year it gets better. The dedication of the entire CITGO family, along with the involvement of the Houston Astros players and staff, made this year’s MDA Campaign Week a success and brought joy to all those involved.”
For more information on MDA and the programs they undertake, visit www.MDA.org. For information on CITGO Petroleum Corporation and to find the locally owned CITGO station nearest you, visit www.CITGO.com.