University of Pittsburgh
September 14, 2009

Pitt Sept. 16 United Way Day of Caring Features a Dozen Projects

Pitt teams with TIAA-CREF to help create an Oakland Food Pantry Pitt projects include beautifying Oakland for the G-20 Summit
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh will head into Oakland and the surrounding area to tackle 12 community projects, including working to create an Oakland Food Pantry in partnership with TIAA-CREF-a retirement planning and investment manager for University faculty and staff-during its United Way Day of Caring Sept. 16.

A dedicated team of volunteers from Pitt's Office of Human Resources and TIAA-CREF will assist Community Human Services and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in creating a food pantry for the residents and the working poor of Oakland. Tasks will involve interior fix-up and clean-up work, as well as organization and stocking.

"We're excited to be part of the food pantry endeavor," said Steve Zupcic of Pitt's Office of Community Relations, who coordinates the Day of Caring events. "Pitt School of Social Work grad and Community Human Services CEO Adrienne Walnoha is directing the project, and she sees opportunities for additional crucial social services to be delivered from the food pantry in the future."

"At TIAA-CREF our employees have a long tradition of contributing to those efforts that help support the greater good," said Joe Grieco, director, Field Consulting Group, TIAA-CREF. "Together with everyone at the University of Pittsburgh, we will be able to provide food for this deserving community in difficult times."

Zupcic noted that all the Day-of-Caring projects are fully staffed with volunteers. Following is a sampling of the projects: Oakland Prepares for the G-20, community beautification tasks in Central Oakland, sponsored by the Oakland Business Improvement District and the Oakland Transportation Management Association; Senior Home Safety, a safety evaluation and home improvement effort of the homes of South Oakland senior citizens in cooperation with the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation; Transitional and Emergency Housing, staffed by a team of volunteers from Pitt's School of Social Work, interior renovation of a building on Lawn Street under the auspices of Community Human Services and with supervision from Pitt's Facilities Management staff; The Greening of the Hill, installing perennial beds and making other improvements to Cliff Side Park, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Hill House Neighborhood Development and with supervision from Pitt's Facilities Management; and Building Job Skills, assisting residents with acquiring new job-related skills in cooperation with Pitt's Equipoise at Pittsburgh Community Services at the Hill House Community Center.

Additional projects are set for Global Links in Point Breeze, Stephen Foster Community Center in Lawrenceville, People's Oakland, Schenley Park, Family House, and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Duquesne.

The TIAA-CREF group of companies is a national financial services organization with nearly $375 billion in combined assets under management (as of 06/30/09) and the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. Further information can be found at www.tiaa-cref.org

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