BUFFALO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its ongoing commitment to give back to the communities it serves, Citizens Bank has again partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) to donate a newly renovated, mortgage-free house to a Gold Star Family.
The Buffalo home – renovated by Citizens Bank colleagues and donated by the bank – was presented today to Christine Pusateri, the Gold Star wife of fallen hero Army Sgt. Christopher M. Pusateri.
Chris and Christine met in high school and had a whirlwind romance. After witnessing the events on 9/11, Chris made the decision to join the Army. He was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and moved to Fort Bragg with Christine. They were married on Valentine’s Day 2003. While on his second deployment to Iraq, shortly before he was to return home, the building that Chris’ unit was in came under enemy attack. He was wounded in that battle and succumbed to his injuries a short time later. Chris was the recipient of the Purple Heart (Posthumous), Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Good Conduct medal and Army Commendation Medal. Christine has remained in New York with her two beautiful children.
“One of the hardest things for a Gold Star wife to do is to pick up the pieces and return to normal life and we’re incredibly proud to be able to offer the security of a permanent home,” said Brad Conner, vice chairman and head of Consumer Banking, Citizens Bank. “Chris paid the ultimate price in the service of his country and we are honored to have been able to donate and help renovate this home for Christine and her family.”
“It’s a privilege and honor to serve the Gold Star family of one of our nation’s heroes who was killed while serving our country,” said Ken Eakes, Executive Director of Military Warriors Support Foundation. “This opportunity doesn’t just happen by itself. Together, we can accomplish what we can only individually dream.”
At a ceremony today, Citizens colleagues lined the street to welcome Christine to her new home. Representatives from Citizens Bank and Military Warriors Support Foundation presented the keys to Christine and led her on a tour of her new home.
More than 100 Citizens Bank colleagues have donated their time volunteering on various projects to improve the house. Christine will also be given over $13,000 to start a college fund for her children. The funds include $8,000 in donations made by Citizens Bank colleagues team to the Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) and were matched by the Citizens Charitable Foundation. In addition, Citizens Bank colleagues donated gift cards of which a portion was used to supply Christine and her family with household appliances, furnishing and décor for the home, and exercise and lawn equipment. Additionally, Tops Friendly Markets graciously donated groceries, stocking the shelves and filling the refrigerator.
The donation represents a long-term commitment the bank has made to give back to the communities it serves through its Citizens Helping Citizens initiative. Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter is one component of this program. During the past three years, Citizens Bank partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation to donate homes to military families in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $153.5 billion in assets as of March 31, 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,300 ATMs and approximately 1,150 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
About Military Warriors Support Foundation
Military Warriors Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded by Lieutenant General Leroy Sisco (Ret), in 2007. Their mission is to provide support and programs that facilitate a smooth and successful transition for our Nation’s combat wounded heroes and Gold Star families. Their programs focus on housing and homeownership, employment, as well as recreational activities and transportation assistance. Through their Homes4WoundedHeroes and Homes4GoldStars Programs, they award mortgage-free homes to combat wounded heroes injured while in service to our country, and unmarried Gold Star spouses of a veteran who was killed in action during combat. In addition to the home, the families will receive three years of family and financial mentoring. For more information, visit MilitaryWarriors.org.