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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Education, Economic Opportunity and Disaster Relief Are at the Heart of The Western Union Foundation Community Commitment in 2012

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — February 5, 2013 — Dedicated to economic opportunity for all, The Western Union Foundation directed $9.47 million in funding to support education, economic empowerment and disaster relief in 2012. On a global scale, the foundation provided 251 grants and donations, strengthening 182 non-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This total includes more than $3.6 million directed to 102 NGOs in the 2012 fourth-quarter grant-making cycle.

As a result of this support, children in Sierra Leone are learning in improved school facilities; locals in Nepal, once jobless and homeless, now operate a thriving local fishery that contributes to the economy.  Tens of thousands of people in 61 countries benefitted from Western Union Foundation funding in 2012.

“The Western Union Foundation’s support extends from remote areas of Chile to the urban streets of Bangladesh,” said Patrick Gaston, president of the Western Union Foundation. “By engaging Western Union employees, vendors and Agents, we can deepen our community connections and be a catalyst for positive change in nearly every corner of the world.”

Demonstrating their commitment to the company’s customers and communities, 55 percent of Western Union employees gave to the Western Union Foundation last year. These donations were matched by Western Union two-for-one in the U.S. and three-for-one outside the U.S. “I don’t know of any other company that matches its employee gifts so generously. It’s one of the reasons I give year after year,” said Jennifer Engerman, a vice president with Western Union. “I volunteer alongside the people who benefit from Western Union’s involvement, and I know our foundation makes a real difference.”

Western Union also provides a one-for-one match on Agent gifts through the foundation. The program is designed to rally the company’s network to help meet social needs across 200 countries and territories.

Also in 2012, Western Union unveiled Education for Better, a three-year commitment to help meet global educational goals, with a focus on secondary and vocational training. The program includes products that have social impact, advocacy, volunteerism, and Western Union Foundation pledges to giving an average of $10,000 per day for 1,000 days in potential grant funding through the three-year commitment to support education.

Following is a sample of Western Union Foundation grants that made a difference in 2012:
• Africa:  Lack of infrastructure is a barrier to education in Ivory Coast. A grant to the International Rescue Committee is providing underserved schools with equipment to help students succeed in school and life.

• Asia Pacific:  In an area where education is valued but student loans are scarce, a grant to Vittana connects Filipino students with micro-lenders to open the doors to a brighter future through education.

• Central America:  In Costa Rica, a grant to CINDE provides English lessons and on-the-job training experience to high school students from low-income families.

• Europe:  The need for quality education is a global issue, and students in Bosnia and Herzegovina now have appropriate equipment in their classrooms thanks to a grant to Book-by-Book.

• India: A grant to Going to School Fund-Trust Be! empowers young would-be entrepreneurs with capital and business skills to pursue solutions to social problems in their communities.

• United States: Following Hurricane Sandy, a grant to The American Red Cross provided shelter, supplies, meals and water to people in impacted communities.

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About The Western Union Foundation
The Western Union Foundation is dedicated to creating a better world, where the ability to realize dreams through economic opportunity is not just a privilege for the few but a right for all. With the support of the Western Union Company, its employees, Agents, and business partners, the Western Union Foundation works to realize this vision by supporting education and disaster relief as pathways toward a better future. Our combined efforts make life better for individuals, families and communities around the world. Since its inception in 2001, the Western Union Foundation has awarded more than $85.2 million in grants to more than 2,591 nongovernmental organizations in more than 130 countries and territories. To learn more, visit or read our LifeWires newsletter at


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