As part of its ongoing commitment to give back to the community, Citizens Bank is partnering with Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) in donating a newly renovated, mortgage-free house in Michigan to a combat-wounded military veteran and his family.
The Livonia home – newly renovated by Citizens Bank colleagues and donated by the bank as part of its commitment to provide shelter to those in need in the community – was presented today to Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant John Blizinski for his honorable military service as a combat medic. Blizinski sustained combat injuries during his deployment to Afghanistan. He was awarded numerous medals for his service, including a Purple Heart, Combat Medic Badge, Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars and Valorous Unit Award.
“We are proud to honor John’s brave service by providing a home for him and his family,” said Brad Conner, Vice Chairman and Head of Consumer Banking, Citizens Bank. “At Citizens Bank our colleagues are committed to supporting the communities where we live and work, and we are truly excited to have helped refurbish this home for John and his family.”
“The donation of this property by Citizens Bank advances our efforts to provide support to our nation’s heroes as they transition out of the military and into their new civilian life,” said Casey Kinser, Senior Vice President for MWSF. “Thanks to the contributions of partners like Citizens Bank, we are changing lives for the better, not just for members of our armed services and their families, but for generations that follow.”
At a ceremony today, more than 60 Citizens colleagues lined the street to welcome Blizinski and his family to their new home. Representatives from Citizens Bank and Military Warriors Support Foundation awarded the keys to the refurbished home to the Blizinskis, after which the family toured their new home for the first time.
In addition to the home, Citizens Bank colleagues presented Blizinski and his family with special gifts for each family member. John’s lifelong wish for a Craftsman workbench where he could use tools handed down through the generations of his family was granted. A special mural was applied on his child’s wall and his wife Nicole received more than $4,000 in gift cards to Home Goods, Home Depot, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target, which will be used to purchase items to make the new house a home. As a final surprise, Citizens Bank had the Blizinski’s furniture delivered to their new home.
“Words cannot describe how grateful we are to MWSF and Citizens Bank for the gift they have given us,” said John Blizinski. “MWSF has literally changed the lives of over 700 veterans and counting. We are so happy to be part of the Military Warriors Support Foundation family.”
“These past few years have been challenging but nothing could prepare us for the day my hero was told he was unfit for duty due to his injuries. We were devastated. It is an honor and privilege to be a military family and we had just welcomed our only child into the world,” said Nicole Blizinski. “The past three years now seem like a distant memory because of Military Warriors Support Foundation and Citizens Bank. There are no words of gratitude to express how thankful we are. What they have given us is peace of mind and security - something we haven't had for too long now. We are so grateful to finally have a home of our own to raise our child.”
The donation represents a long-term commitment the bank has made to contribute 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. Last year, Citizens Bank partnered with the Military Warriors Support Foundation to donate a home to a military family in Rhode Island.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $140.1 billion in assets as of March 31, 2016. 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. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. 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 hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.
About Military Warriors Support Foundation
The Military Warriors Support Foundation (MWSF) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide support for our Nation’s combat wounded heroes and Gold Star Families as they transition out of the military and into their new civilian life. Its programs focus on housing and homeownership, employment, as well as recreational activities and travel assistance. For more information on Military Warriors Support Foundation and all of their programs, please visit http://www.MilitaryWarriors.org.
Lauren DiGeronimo, 781-471-1454