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Western Union Celebrates Cinco de Mayo Through $1.25 Million Community Development Initiative

Submitted by: Western Union

Categories: Corporate Social Responsibility, Finance

Posted: May 04, 2007 – 06:45 PM EST


Company Partners with Migrant Leaders at International Summit

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., May 04 /CSRwire/ - (BUSINESS WIRE)--May 4, 2007--The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global money transfer services, will celebrate the spirit of Cinco de Mayo through a $1.25 million community development initiative; and a partnership with migrant leaders at the first International Latin American Migrant Community Summit.

The grant is part of Western Union's pioneering 4+1 initiative, which supports economic development projects across local communities in Zacatecas and four other Mexican states. Working with federal, state and local officials in Mexico, Western Union launched the 4+1 program in 2005. The program was co-developed with leading migrant groups and is designed to expand grassroots programs to fuel economic development in Mexico.

Along with organizations like Oxfam Novib, Western Union also has partnered with migrant groups to produce the first international Latin American Migrant Community Summit, which will take place May 10-13 in Michoacan, Mexico. The summit will bring together more than 500 leaders from the United States, Europe and Latin America to address issues related to remittances, migration and community development.

"Western Union's 150-year history of assisting people and communities across the globe goes far beyond the transferring of money," said Liz Alicea-Velez, Executive Vice President, Latin America/ Caribbean, Western Union. "A cornerstone of our philosophy is to support communities in which our employees and consumers live and work."

Western Union's 4+1 program builds on the success of Mexico's 3+1 program. Western Union is the first and only private-sector company to participate in this ongoing effort. The program builds on the success of remittances made by U.S.-based hometown associations to corresponding towns and cities in Mexico.

"Western Union is helping the community here on many levels," said Esthela Valencia, President of Zacatecano Federation of Northern California. "Not only have they made it convenient to send money to our families, but they continue to show a commitment to crucial development projects in our communities back home."

In the initial stages of the program, Western Union donated more than $100,000 to fund eight projects, including an eco-tourism park, in Zacatecas. In all, Western Union will contribute a total of $1.25 million to U.S.-based hometown associations to fund these and other projects in five Mexican states.

"Western Union has earned the trust of our organizations because of their tireless efforts to help our communities," said Ruben Chavez, president of the Federation of ichoacano Clubs of Illinois. "We will continue to work with them in various projects to foster economic and community development in Mexico and in the United States."

Since 2001, Western Union, in collaboration with Agents and employees, has contributed nearly $40 million to international nonprofit organizations, providing meaningful disaster relief, education and human service programs in more than 70 countries and territories.

About Western Union

Western Union, together with its affiliates Orlandi Valuta and Vigo, is a leading provider of global money transfer services, providing people with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send money around the world, pay bills and purchase money orders through a network of more than 305,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com

Copyright Business Wire 2007

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