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Western Union Promotes “I PLEDGE” Program To Benefit Schoolchildren In Jamaica

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The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payments, and GraceKennedy and Company Ltd., promoted their joint “I PLEDGE TOO” Program to benefit primary school education in Jamaica during the recent 10th Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival. The event helped raise awareness about I PLEDGE TOO and its goals of helping thousands of school-age children in the Caribbean country.

 “All of us at Western Union are fully committed to programs that support children, especially those who need help the most,” stated -Sean Mason, Western Union Country Director. “I PLEDGE TOO gives young Jamaican kids the chance at a brighter future by giving them access to educational technology tools such as computers.”

To help reach the goal of computerizing 40 schools across Jamaica by 2013, GraceKennedy and The Western Union Foundation will contribute up to $100,000 to I PLEDGE TOO, which is acronym for I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education. Individual donations are currently being accepted via text message (text WUJA to 52000 to donate $10), the internet (Western Union.com/ipledge), or in-person at participating Western Union® Agent locations Mention the account: I Pledge Too, City: Colorado to donate any amount. Deadline for donations via text messaging is May 31, 2012 but fortunately, Agent locations can still accept donations till December 31, 2012.

“Any donation helps, big or small,” said Noel Greenland, VP of Marketing of GraceKennedy. “It’s great to see people come together for such an important cause, and we’re honored to work with Western Union on I PLEDGE TOO. So far, hundreds of schoolchildren in Jamaica have already benefited from the program, but much more needs to be done.” As the exclusive Western Union Agent in Jamaica, GraceKennedy has had a long history of supporting community development in the Caribbean.  Added Greenland, “We just want to give back to our people and our community by being there for the children of Jamaica.”

Launched six years ago, I PLEDGE TOO has since grown to include various Western Union-sponsored programs. Among them: The Western Union® National Reading Week, National Schools English Competition and Schools Debate Competition. The program also includes Book Donations for primary schools and a Computerization Program that has resulted in the computerization of over 20 schools in Jamaica to date.

I PLEDGE TOO is made possible with the joint cooperation of GraceKennedy Remittance Services, the People’s Action for Community Transformation (PACT) which is a coalition of 26 non-governmental and community-based organizations in Jamaica, and The Western Union Foundation, a philanthropic organization that facilitates charitable giving programs worldwide.

Western Union has been serving the Jamaican immigrant population for many years with various services such as remittances and bill payments to Jamaica. Western Union also offers services through Checks Cashed stores all over Florida.

As part of its ongoing support of the Caribbean community, Western Union participates in the annual Grace Jerk Festival, touted “the biggest Caribbean food festival in the US.” As in the past, this year’s event featured the best in Jamaican Jerk cuisine, Caribbean music, dance, sports, games and cultural entertainment. The festival attracts an estimated 15,000 visitors every year.

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