Pittsburgh, Penn. –  Jan. 10 , 2011 – Doing good in local communities is a core value woven throughout CITGO Petroleum Corporation and one that is uniquely demonstrated through its Fueling Good Program. Now in its third year, Fueling Good recognizes and rewards local heroes within their communities for the good works they do, from caring for the needy to providing food for the hungry to assisting kids who need dental care.

As part of its fall program, CITGO is awarding each of the following Pittsburgh-area charities, Head Start of Fayette County, Travelers Aid of Pittsburgh and ACHIEVA, with $5,000 in CITGO Gift Cards to help extend their Ripples of Good and the impact of their work in supporting and assisting low-income or disabled members of their communities.

Head Start of Fayette County, through grants from the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc., was selected for its comprehensive child development programs that promote school readiness and enhanced social and cognitive development for low-income families. The Fueling Good prize will help the organization in its efforts to offer preschool classes, daycare facilities, healthcare counseling and other assistance to the local children who need it most.

“Our funds are awarded specifically so that we can provide development, education and empowerment opportunities for children and parents who do not have the resources to meet these needs independently,” said Jacquelyn Hoppe, director of Head Start of Fayette County. “Providing transportation is the second most costly expense for our program. The dollars from the CITGO Fueling Good program will augment our transportation funds, allowing us to pay for needed bus rehabilitation costs that arise during the year due to the rough bus routes in our mountainous location. We couldn’t be more grateful.”

Travelers Aid of Pittsburgh, a United Way agency, offers an extensive network of social service programs to people from all walks of life in need of transportation. In addition to its traditional program, which provides bus tickets to travelers, including runaways, stranded elderly and victimized women and children, Travelers Aid also helps people commute to their jobs and offers travel assistance to and from the airport, rides to medical appointments, a Mobile Moms program for expecting mothers and public transportation for those in need of assistance to various mental health and drug/alcohol rehabilitative services.

“Currently we provide more than 1.5 million rides per year, including aid to more than 35,000 low-income individuals and families in Allegheny County. The generous reward from CITGO will enable us to help even more people in the year ahead,” said Robert Lindner, executive director of Travelers Aid of Pittsburgh.

Similarly, the Fueling Good prize will help Pittsburgh-area charity ACHIEVA continue to serve more than 10,000 individuals with disabilities and their families in western Pennsylvania by providing support ranging from early intervention therapies to in-home assistance for senior citizens.

“ACHIEVA provides the kind of unwavering support and assistance that individuals with disabilities need to be healthy, productive members of the local community,” said Marsha Blanco, president and CEO of ACHIEVA. “This includes ACHIEVA creating lifelong partnerships with individuals with disabilities and their families by providing early intervention services, weekend and day trips, residential support, home and respite care, vocational support, family trust services, lifelong advocacy and family support. These services require our employees and volunteers to do a lot of driving, and knowing that the gas for our vehicles is taken care of allows us to focus our money and resources on lifelong support for children and adults with disabilities.”

Head Start of Fayette County, Travelers Aid of Pittsburgh and ACHIEVA are three of 12 CITGO Fall Fueling Good winners determined from more than 1,500 charities through a nationwide online vote. More than 100,000 votes were cast to help determine the latest round of winners. The principles of Fueling Good can be seen in all aspects of the CITGO brand and are aligned with the social development principles of the CITGO shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Winter 2011 Fueling Good program registration opened on Dec. 1 and ends on Jan. 11, 2012, for all 501(c) (3) non-profit organizations within the CITGO marketing area. Online public voting runs from Jan. 12 to Feb. 9 to determine the next 12 winning charities, who will each receive $5,000 in CITGO Gift Cards to spread their own Ripples of Good. 

To enter your charity for a chance to win up to $5,000 in CITGO Gift Cards, and to learn how CITGO and local organizations are making a difference, visit www.FuelingGood.com. For regular updates and to join the conversation, “Like” CITGO Fueling Good at www.Facebook.com/CITGOFuelingGood and view videos of past winners at www.youtube.com/CITGOFuelingGood.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information visit www.CITGO.com.