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Catholic Parish Outreach Receives $10,000 IBM Grant

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On Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, IBM Corporation presented a $10,000 grant to Catholic Parish Outreach (CPO), Catholic Charities’ food pantry in Raleigh. Some 25 volunteers from IBM worked at the pantry handing out food in the morning, and another 25 or more worked in the afternoon, restocking shelves and boxing food for Thanksgiving boxes. The grant check was presented in the afternoon.

The grant -- known as an IBM Community Impact Grant -- is part of IBM’s Centennial Celebration of Service. This year, IBM is marking the 100-year anniversary (http://www.ibm100.com) of its founding with global initiatives to engage in new ways with business leaders, academia, clients, and local communities in the 170 countries where the company does business. The company has announced hundreds of new "service grants" that support employees' volunteer activities to build a smarter planet. The new technology and cash grants expand IBM's commitment to communities worldwide by 140 percent over the previous year.

In addition, thousands of IBMers around the world are volunteering their time and talent throughout 2011 in support of smarter planet initiatives. So far this year, more than 320,000 IBMers -- three-quarters of its workforce -- have committed 2.8 million hours of their time and expertise for 5,200 projects in 120 countries, helping 10 million people in need. That is equivalent to approximately 900 years of volunteerism, valued conservatively at $100 million.

Catholic Parish Outreach received the grant to help reach more people in the area by improving its presence on the Web and by improving the wireless connectivity for its computers, making its operations more efficient.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the IBM Community Impact Grant, and we are pleased for this generous contribution that will help us meet our goals,” said Catholic Parish Outreach Director Terry Foley. “CPO’s mission is to serve the needy families and individuals of our community by providing them food and young children’s clothing. In September we served a record 9,461 people! With limited funding sources (which includes the loss of a $90,000 federal grant) and record numbers of clients over the past 3 months, it’s our relationships with volunteers and community partners that keep us going.

“Our continued relationship over the years with IBM and IBM volunteers has helped us to better serve those in need.”

“We value the opportunity to give back to the local communities we serve,” said Tina Wilson, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs manager based in Raleigh.

Catholic Parish Outreach is the largest food pantry in Wake County, NC. CPO is a program of Catholic Charities, which is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Clients are referred to CPO by human service agencies, churches, medical providers, and school counselors who see firsthand those who struggle in our community. Clients can receive groceries for their family, clothing (children’s up to age 4 & maternity), and baby items, at most once every 30 days. For more information about CPO, visit their website: www.cporaleigh.org.

Above: Tina Wilson (center), IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs manager based in Raleigh, presents an IBM "service grant" for $10,000 to Catholic Parish Outreach (CPO). Receiving the check on behalf of CPO are Rick Miller-Haraway, Regional Director of Catholic Charities' Raleigh office, and Terry Foley, CPO Director.

Above: Terry Foley orients IBM volunteers.

Above: IBM volunteers assemble Thanksgiving packages for the hungry.