Citizens Bank & HCEF Celebrated Gear for Grades Success Raising 2.75 Tons of School Supplies

The initiative will conclude with backpack delivery to benefit local children in homeless situations


PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Citizens Bank will host its Gear for Grades backpack delivery day on August 20, 2012. The 8th Annual Gear for Grades initiative supports the efforts of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) by providing more than 2,300 children in western Pennsylvania with new backpacks and school supplies.

The 2012 Gear for Grade initiative collected approximately 2.75 tons of school supplies  (5,500 pounds) and about 45,000 school related items.

School buses will be loaded outside Citizens Bank in downtown Pittsburgh with thousands of backpacks stuffed with new and enriching school supplies for children experiencing homelessness. The supplies have been collected through donations made by customers and the public through August 10 at all Citizens Bank branch locations in western and central Pennsylvania. Additionally, many community added donations to the initiative like the Monroeville Mall who hosted a six-week school supply drive in partnership with CBL Properties and Associates, Inc.

More than 2,000 additional backpacks will be donated to nonprofit organizations in central Pennsylvania to be distributed to children in need in time for the start of the school year. For low-income, at-risk or homeless families, the cost of even basic school supplies can be a burden.

The collaborative partnership between Citizens Bank Gear for Grades initiative and HCEF can help relieve that burden for many, by distributing more than 4,500 backpacks this year to children in need.  

WHO: Senator Wayne Fontana Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Chief Executive Citizens Bank Homeless Children’s Education Fund

WHAT:    Citizens Bank Gear for Grades backpack delivery day  

WHEN:    Monday, August 20, 2012 8:30 am – 9:30 am  

WHERE:    Citizens Bank 525 William Penn Place Pittsburgh, PA 15219

This year, more than 37,000 backpacks will be distributed to children across RBS Citizens Financial Group’s footprint where it operates as Citizens Bank in the Mid-Atlantic and New England and Charter One in the Midwest. Since 2003, Gear for Grades has provided more than 200,000 children with new backpacks and school supplies.  

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania:
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 379 branches and 1,025 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 12 retail branches and 104 ATMs in southern New Jersey, and a commercial loan office and 17 ATMs in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $129 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. RBS Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,400 branches, approximately 3,700 ATMs and approximately 18,940 colleagues.

Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is

About the Homeless Children’s Education Fund: Since 1999, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, has been dedicated to providing advocacy, community engagement, and direct service programs that support the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. For more information, visit

For media purposes, please contact either:
Danielle Boston, Citizens Bank 412-867-2683
Bill Wolfe, HCEF 412-302-6347 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *