MIAMI – The Western Union Foundation, through its Agent Giving Circle, and Western Union Agent GraceKennedy, donated USD $100,000 jointly to People’s Action for Community Transformation (PACT), a coalition of 26 community-based organizations in Jamaica earlier this month. The grants will be designated to support I Pledge, a computer-based education program benefiting school children across Jamaica.
To build upon the importance of education in Jamaica, and coinciding with GraceKennedy’s 20th anniversary, The Western Union Foundation and GraceKennedy also committed up to an additional USD $200,000 in matching consumer grants, to PACT’s I Pledge Too program, over a three-year period starting in 2011.
The matching grant will be designated to support one-to-one donations to I Pledge Too, from Jamaican Hometown Association Resource Groups in the U.S. and Canada, for a total fund-raising goal of USD $400,000. Consumers in the U.S. wishing to donate to I Pledge Too may do so through Western Union Quick Collect® account IPledgeJamaica, CO. The Quick Collect account, available in the U.S., will be active January 2011 through March 2011, during which time Western Union will waive fees for U.S. consumers transferring money via the IPledgeJamaica, CO account.
“At Western Union, our business model promotes positive economic and social development,” said Stewart A. Stockdale, President, The Americas and EVP Global Cards and Global Key Accounts. “I Pledge Too embodies our commitment to support initiatives that empower individuals, families and communities through access to better education and economic opportunity. Together with our Agent GraceKennedy, Western Union is committed to education in Jamaica.”
Western Union’s Agent Giving Circle program provides one-for-one matches on qualifying Agent donations to eligible nonprofit organizations.
“At GraceKennedy we pride ourselves in being good corporate citizens, and our unwavering support for education is well known and documented. Our commitment to education started over ten years ago and has been a leading driver in connecting us to communities across the island,” said Douglas Orane, Chairman and CEO, GraceKennedy.
The I PLEDGE program evolved from GraceKennedy’s continued support to build communities by directly reaching those that matter most, children. Six years ago, GraceKennedy launched the program in partnership with USAID and the Jamaican Ministry of Education to donate English language and math text books to primary schools across Jamaica. Since then, the program has grown and expanded to include other areas such as:
* The Western Union Reading Week
* Book Donations
* The Western Union Scholarship Program
* The Western Union Debate Competition
* Computerization Program
In its present form, all programs are locally driven and reach over 5,000 students in Jamaica. With the expansion into Diaspora communities, the program expects to reach approximately 10,000 students over the next three years.
Through Western Union’s Our World, Our Family® signature program, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation support initiatives to empower individuals, families and communities through access to better education and economic opportunity. Recognized by the ‘Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’ in 2009, the program is a five-year, $50 million commitment reflecting the efforts of Western Union employees and Agents around the world. Since its inception in 2001, the Western Union Foundation has awarded more than $67 million in grants to more than 1,900 charitable organizations across 100 countries.