CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation and its Corpus Christi Refinery announced today the grantees of the second annual Hands for Hillcrest program. Ten local non-profit organizations will receive grants to support a range of programs for residents of the Hillcrest community, including access to healthy food, child care for low-income families, home weatherization services, and services to students who are at risk for academic and/or behavioral problems. This year's grant recipients were recognized at an event at the Oveal Williams Senior Citizens Center.

"At CITGO, we understand that we operate as a privilege in the communities where we serve, not as a right," said Sonny Loudon, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery. "Hillcrest is our closest neighbor, so we are committed to supporting organizations who share our mission to strengthen and revitalize this community."

The following local organizations will receive grants this year:

All qualified Corpus Christi-based 501(c)(3) organizations who offer services to the Hillcrest Community related to education and job skills development, health and the environment were eligible to apply for grants. A six member community advisory team assisted in reviewing the applications and determining which programs were to be funded.

This is the second year of the three-year program, in which CITGO has committed to donate a total of $1.5 million in grants. The 10 organizations who received funding last year included Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Corpus Christi Literacy Council, LEAD First Foundation, Mission of Mercy and United Way of the Coastal Bend. Combined, all of last year's grantees reported benefiting an estimated 1,500 community residents during 2012.

The CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery provides more than 1,000 jobs locally, while generating more than $625 million per year in support of the local economy through salaries, services and taxes. In addition to producing high quality fuels for its network of nearly 6,000 independently owned and operated CITGO branded stations across the country, Corpus Christi refinery employees make a major positive impact on the community. Over the last five years, CITGO and its employees have provided almost 13,000 volunteer hours and nearly $6 million dollars in support of community organizations such as United Way, Charlie's Place, Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Miracle League, Catholic Charities, the Special Olympics and a variety of environmental and preservation initiatives, such as the revitalization of the Gateway to Corpus Christi, Hans and Pat Suter Park and Adopt-A-Beach Clean Up.

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 Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation