HOUSTON, Sept. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation and a host of Houston-area businesses and organizations teamed up to support the fourth annual CITGO Back-to-School Supply Drive to collect much-needed school supplies for Houston, Alief and Spring Branch school district students. On August 11, a public donation station was set up at the CITGO Retail Concept Center (RCC) Fueling Good Market in Houston to supplement a two-week collection effort at the CITGO corporate headquarters. Through community donations, CITGO employees and CITGO, the campaign raised more than $3,400 in cash donations, collected 10 bins of school supplies and provided backpacks for 500 students to carry their new items.

"CITGO is committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate, and there is no better opportunity to support education among local schools than providing vital school supplies to students right here in Houston," said CITGO Vice President Rafael Gomez. "We are incredibly grateful to the community partners that came out to help us in this mission. It says a great deal about our area that so many people and organizations prioritize education."

In support of the RCC event, local radio station 104.1 KRBE publicized the donation drive on-air and provided incentives for participants such as concert tickets, music downloads and promotional items. The Houston Astros also contributed substantially to the effort, and Astros star Chris Carter and mascot Orbit made an appearance to sign autographs and take photos. The Houston County Sheriff's Office also took part by coordinating traffic control and donating two bins full of supplies donated by its employees.

"I am thrilled at the outpouring of generosity," said Askew Elementary Principal Ebony B. Cumby. "It's fantastic to see that some of the largest organizations in our area take an interest in the welfare of our students. We have many students whose families struggle to provide school necessities. The items this drive collected will make sure students start the school year with the supplies they need to thrive."

To distribute the goods, three events were held between August 18 and 21 at Askew Elementary, Outley Elementary and Shadow Oaks Elementary Schools. CITGO employees provided food and drink to the parents, teachers and administrators in attendance at each event.

Based in Houston, CITGO 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. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.