Global Community Day in the U.S South & Southeast: Helping Hands & Warm Hearts

CitiWorld, December 20, 2007

Editor’s Note: On November 17, more than 59,000 Citi volunteers, including family and friends, made a positive difference in their local communities all around the world. Check out the Global Community Day Photo Gallery and see colleagues in EMEA, Japan, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, and the U.S. working together.

Citi volunteers across the South and Southeast region in the U.S. truly demonstrated the meaning of Southern heart and hospitality on Global Community Day.

In Frederick, Maryland, 50 volunteers from CitiMortgage, Citi Smith Barney, and CitiFinancial, their families and friends, traveled to the Frederick Rescue Mission’s Beacon House to prepare and serve a hot breakfast and bagged 300 lunches. Other volunteers formed an assembly line to create and distribute 200 food boxes with Thanksgiving turkey dinners.

CitiMortgage’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for the mission this year included Smith Barney’s Frederick office, which brought the total of donations to 6,322 food items.

Said Guy Mutchler, Director of Food Services at the Frederick Rescue Mission, “Citi’s volunteers did an amazing job. Citi’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive will go a long way in replenishing our stock of food.” CitiMortgage’s Frederick Site President Dave Lucchino said, “This year’s event brought together associates from CitiMortgage, CitiFinancial, and Citi Smith Barney to assist the Mission with one of its largest single-day food distribution events ever. The level of energy and teamwork demonstrated by employees from across our local Citi companies was fantastic.”

In Hagerstown, Maryland, 360 volunteers worked at eight events to make a positive impact throughout the area.

Led by Kelly Colbert, Operations Manager, and Sue Jelinek, Unit Manager, the team donated and delivered 3,000 pounds of food to Food Resources Inc. The week prior to Global Community Day, Citi Hagerstown employees donated 1,700 pounds of food and on November 17, volunteers set up a table at Wal-Mart and got more donations from community members.

Another team led by Public Affairs and Communications Senior Manager Cassandra Latimer painted chairs and chapel pews at Brook Lane Hospital while at the Farhney-Keedy retirement community a Citi team, led by Sales Coach Brandy Stottlemyer, shared conversation, fun, and games—with blankets and socks as prizes—with the residents. The volunteers decorated seven Christmas trees throughout the building.

More than 160 Hagerstown employees helped the South Washington County Military Support Group by writing notes on 3,000 greeting cards that will be sent to U.S. troops serving in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Some volunteers wrote cards during the breaks at work while others made it a family affair.

Hagerstown’s annual JFK 50-Mile Memorial race was supported by 60 volunteers who worked at break stations and cheered on the runners. Nine Citi employees spent the day at the Greencastle-Antrim Organized Youth Foundation. Said Dee Rider of Program Management who led the team, “We painted two large rooms, made four shadow box display cases, created a large flower bed, put up a retaining wall, and spread ten tons of stone.”

Project Share, which meets the needs of the hungry, benefited from the work of 10 Citi Hagerstown volunteers. Led by Project Analyst Kitzie Galbraith, they filled Thanksgiving bags and distributed food to more than 270 families. Galbraith said, “While we do give food to people in need, we also share kind words and a smile.”

Citi Hagerstown employees—22 in all, led by Unit Manager Cristy Smoot—showed their appreciation for the Western Maryland Hospital Center by painting halls and rooms and visiting patients.

In Louisville, Kentucky, 200 Citi Cards volunteers worked at several community events, including the annual Cerebral Palsy K.ID.S. (Kentuckiana Institute of Developmental Services) Center Fashion Show, which raises money for tuition for needy families whose children attend the center. More than 40 Citi volunteers teamed up for the organization which Citi has long supported.

Citi Cards Louisville Senior Operations Manager Rob Mitchell said, “We assisted with the 2007 K.I.D.S. Holiday Fashion Show as children from the organization sported the latest fashions. What a great way to participate in Global Community Day by showcasing these ‘shining stars.’"

There was no shortage of help in Jacksonville, Florida, as more than 200 volunteers joined forces and donated their time on one of the coldest days of the year to help seven local organizations.

Some of the favorites were the Clara White Mission, where NAO&T COO Rich Garside joined the volunteers, and the I.M. Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless, both long-standing partners of Citi. Employees, friends and family painted, sorted clothes and organized donations, including more than 2,000 cans of food collected by Citi employees.

Smith Barney organized a local food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank while CitiFinancial partnered with Citi Cards at the Mandarin and Singleton Senior Centers. Volunteers took paintbrushes in hand and painted over the lime green and orange paint of the Singleton Center to bring it into the 21st century while at the Mandarin, volunteers cleared pathways, planted flowers and pruned trees.

Citi employees, friends, and families worked a solid eight hours to frame a Habitat for Humanity house for Citi-sponsored homeowner Carolyn Davis, a single retiree, while the team of volunteers in the Springfield Historical District spruced up the neighborhood, cleaning, pruning and building a playhouse for kids. Springfield Executive Director Louise DeSpain said, “Springfield has come such a long way and Citi has been a big contributor to our efforts.”

Atlanta, Georgia, was the site of more good-hearted contributions of time and talent. At Project Open Hand, 30 Citi Cards employees hit the highways to deliver meals to the elderly and homebound on a dozen different delivery routes. Employees and family members partnered up, a la “The Amazing Race,” to drive and navigate around town. While the deliveries were taking place, 12 volunteers prepared the next week's meals.

In downtown Atlanta, 10 Citi volunteers, including the head of Citi’s Home Depot division, Loren Kranz, helped construct a Habitat for Humanity house by shingling the roof, and installing siding and insulation. Members of the Citi Cards Management Association program participated in a project in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.

More than 100 Atlanta-based Primerica and Citi employees volunteered their time at the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. The team enthusiastically set to work painting a colorful mural, completely rebuilding a staircase, helping with landscaping, and cleaning up the property.

Primerica volunteers partnered with Habitat of Humanity of Gwinnett County on the county’s October “Day of Service” to help make the home of Rhett and Tammy Davidson a reality.

In Gray, Tennessee, Citi Cards volunteers sorted and labeled tons of food collected during the Second Harvest Food Bank/Boy Scouts of America “Scouting for Food” drive. Employees from the Workforce Management and Training collected $250 and purchased 232 pounds of food for the drive. Volunteers, including Grey Site President Jeff Jones, kept up an annual tradition by decorating the local Ronald McDonald House for the holidays. Citi Cards volunteers also rang bells and collected donations for the Salvation Army.

In South Florida, the regional offices for Latin America and the Caribbean participated in two events. In Miami, 106 volunteers worked at Broadmoor Elementary School painting murals and landscaping. In Broward County, 150 employees spent the day at a local foster care center, clearing brush, planting trees, and cleaning the facility's large yard.

“Citi gets more done in one morning than any other group. I am amazed how no one wants to leave until they are done.” This comment from the site facility manager at Tampa’s Hope Children’s Home was indicative of the appreciation Citi volunteers earned during Global Community Day.

More than 500 Tampa volunteers helped 11 organizations, doing everything from working with Big Brothers Big Sisters’ children to sorting clothes at a battered women's shelter thrift shop to organizing food donations, to landscaping, painting and construction at various youth facilities.

Site President Steve Klovekorn said, “Working together with each other to make a positive impact on the community always leaves us feeling good, that was especially the feeling with the group I got to work with at the Hope Children’s Home.”

Volunteers hosted parties at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. “We visited 100 patients, many who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Ron DeRenzo. “We hosted card games, bingo tournaments, breakfast, lunch, presented gift bags, and ‘meet and greets’ with the soldiers.” Cathy Williams, the hospital’s chief of Recreation Therapy, said, “Thank you, Citi, for showing you care!”