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SAN FRANCISCO -- In the days following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Chevron and Texaco, which were to complete their merger a month later, responded swiftly by pledging $10.5 million to support various disaster relief efforts.
"All of us share deep feelings of sympathy for those who lost mothers, fathers, sons or daughters, neighbors, friends or colleagues," the companies stated at the time. "While we grieve, we also turn our attention to the daunting challenge of rescue, relief and recovery. We hope our pledge will help in some way with the necessary work that must be done in the coming days, weeks and months."
Texaco Inc., which had its headquarters just miles from the World Trade Center in Westchester County, N.Y., had strong ties to the community. Immediately, the companies committed $2 million of their pledge to provide cash assistance for the victims' families and survivors, through funds such as the American Red Cross Liberty Fund, the World Trade Center Fund and the United Way September 11th Fund.
Soon after completing the merger on Oct. 9, the company shifted focus to address longer-term needs, including ongoing counseling, support for displaced workers and anti-bias initiatives.
Long-Term Counseling Needs
ChevronTexaco has targeted a total of $3 million to support programs that will provide long-term counseling and assistance to children of uniformed workers who were killed or wounded in the attacks. This includes grief and trauma counseling for families, children and senior citizens who live near the World Trade Center. Specific beneficiaries include:
* The New York University Child Study Center, which has received $750,000 to provide two years of mental health counseling for children and families of firefighters, police, emergency workers and other uniformed city workers who perished on September 11th. To date, 390 families are being helped.
* The Bereavement Center of Westchester, which received $25,000 to provide grief counseling for families in Westchester County, New York, who lost loved ones on Sept. 11th.
* The United Neighborhood Houses, an umbrella organization for New York City's settlement houses, which will receive $100,000 to provide training and support for programs at eight of these century-old community-based centers. The settlement houses are dealing first-hand with a huge increase in the need for mental health services and job training for the low-income and immigrant populations they serve.
Support for Displaced Workers
ChevronTexaco has earmarked an additional $3 million for low-income workers and their families, many of whom are immigrants that lost their jobs in the wake of the severe economic downtown that followed the September 11th attacks. Specific beneficiaries include:
* Four settlement houses in New York City, which will share $279,000 in job training and placement programs directed at those who lost jobs in the service and hospitality industries, where more than 30,000 jobs disappeared after the attacks.
* The Hispanic Federation, which was granted $250,000 to help Latino families who have suffered severe economic displacement since the attack on the World Trade Center. Funds will provide job training and readiness programs, English training, economic development, adult education and citizenship preparation.
* WAVE Inc., which will receive $142,000 to plan and design a multipartner collaboration in Wash., D.C., that includes city government, public schools, the military and federal labor, transportation and education agencies. The purpose is to give disadvantaged youth, who are secondary victims of the job displacement that followed the September 11th attack on the Pentagon, an opportunity to qualify and compete for homeland security jobs.
* Nonprofit grassroots agencies in the Washington D.C. area that provide job training and social services to South Asian communities, which will receive training and capacity-building support through a grant of $20,000 to the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.
In addition to helping primary and secondary victims and their families, ChevronTexaco has allocated $2 million in funding to support programs addressing the problem of discrimination against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent. Evidence shows that following the Sept. 11 attacks, there has been an increase in hate speech and acts of bigotry and bias against these individuals and communities.
Consistent with the ideals of tolerance and religious freedom, the ChevronTexaco Foundation is supporting the National Conference for Community and Justice in efforts to build bridges to increase knowledge and understanding of Arab, Muslim and South Asian communities in the United States. A request for proposals has been issued nationally to educational institutions, civic organizations, government agencies, workplaces and faith-based organizations and denominations that are working toward fighting bias, bigotry and racism.
"Our commitment to disaster relief is broad, comprehensive and long-term," the company said in a statement on behalf of its employees. "We hope that our efforts will help to heal the wounds of Sept. 11th and demonstrate that though our nation can be attacked, our values and ideals cannot be defeated."