New Film in More Than 225 Theaters for One Night Only on March 31, Tells the Story of the Birth of Grameen America
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Mar. 30 /CSRwire/ - The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payment services, today announced that it is a lead sponsor of "To Catch a Dollar," a documentary film and campaign to focus attention on ways to help Americans move up the economic ladder. The film, which will screen in more than 225 theaters nationwide on March 31, 2011, showcases the challenges and promise of applying the micro-finance model popularized by Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to struggling families in the United States.
"To Catch a Dollar" has garnered awards at five film festivals in three countries, including the Sundance Film Festival and Waterfront Film Festival. Grameen America provides affordable micro-loans to financially empower low-income entrepreneurs, and opened its doors in New York City in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis.
"We're excited to be sponsoring this thought-provoking film and to support Grameen America in providing new tools for working families to break barriers to economic opportunity," said Victoria Lopez Negrete, Senior Vice President and General Manager Hispanic Product Management, Western Union. "Western Union facilitates opportunity. From our global retail money transfer business, to prepaid cards which help people manage their finances to products such as fast, reliable bill payment which help our customers avoid late fees and protect their credit rating, we make it possible for millions to go places, prosper and build better lives."
On March 31, audiences in more than 225 theaters around the United States will see the film, along with an in-depth panel discussion. As part of the campaign, the public will be invited to vote for one of four cities to host a future Grameen America branch: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Voting will begin on April 1, 2011 at www.tocatchadollar.com. The website also links to a variety of community resources and will serve as a platform for mobilizing a broad coalition of nonprofits dedicated to financial empowerment, including the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Dress for Success, Kiva, Operation HOPE, and RESULTS.
"We are trying to create a world where anyone with a dream can receive affordable financial services - regardless of income, previous credit history, education, or business experience," said Vidar Jorgensen, President of Grameen America. "We thank Western Union for its support."
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions-branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. The Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta-branded services are offered through a combined network of 445,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2010, The Western Union Company completed 214 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $76 billion of principal between consumers, and 405 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com. To learn more about Western Union's community commitment, visit www.westernunionfoundation.org.
About Grameen America
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America's mission is to provide affordable microloans to financially empower low-income entrepreneurs. Since January 2008, Grameen America has loaned out over $13 million dollars in microloans to 5,000 microentrepreneurs. The organization started in Jackson Heights, Queens, and has since opened locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Omaha, Nebraska. Through its group lending and savings model, borrowers encourage, support and learn from each other as they use entrepreneurship and self-employment to increase their wealth and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. More information about Grameen America is available at www.grameenamerica.org.
About To Catch a Dollar Economic Empowerment Campaign
The To Catch a Dollar campaign will educate, assist and activate a growing community supporting microfinance services in the United States. It will feature an innovative and unprecedented crowdfunding campaign, partnerships with organizations providing promotional support and content development, and opportunities for individuals to take actions in their own communities–extending the reach and sustaining the life of the film for months beyond its premiere in March 2011. Learn more at www.tocatchadollar.com.