From serving on committees to volunteering in the classroom and providing manual labor, PNC volunteers have made a significant difference in their local communities. PNC encourages involvement in Grow Up Great through a progressive policy that gives employees up to 40 hours annually of paid time off to volunteer through PNC Grow Up Great.
In addition, employees who volunteer at least 40 hours within a twelve-month period with a PNC Grow Up Great partner are eligible to earn and donate a $1,000 grant to that nonprofit.
Groups of employees volunteering as a team can apply for grants up to $3,000. To date, more than 54,000 employees have logged more than 650,000 volunteer hours, resulting in $5.4 million in grants for Grow Up Great partners.
Furthermore, PNC employees have donated more than 933,000 personal and classroom items, including winter coats, mittens, toothbrushes, school supplies and books, for preschool children in their local communities.
PNC Legal’s Pro Bono Project offers PNC attorneys an opportunity to provide free legal services for individuals in their local communities who need but cannot afford legal assistance. The project, which is run by a committee that approves various pro bono opportunities and that encourages participation, allows attorneys to develop new skills and fulfill practice requirements by working with local groups to make a positive impact in their community.
In September 2016, PNC Legal held its second annual “Pro Bono Week,” during which it offered seminars, training sessions and pro bono opportunities, including estate planning clinics for seniors in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, a legal services hotline training in Downers Grove, Illinois, and an election law seminar for all PNC markets.
In 2016, PNC also partnered with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project (PIP) to open PIP’s new offices in Pittsburgh.
The PIP works to prevent innocent people from being convicted and to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit. The project’s mission is to (1) secure the exoneration, release from imprisonment, and restoration to society of persons who are innocent and have been wrongly convicted; (2) provide clinical training and experience to students in the fields of law, journalism, criminal justice and forensic science; (3) collaborate with law enforcement agencies and the courts to address systemic causes of wrongful convictions; and to (4) strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the Pennsylvania criminal justice system through public education and advocacy.
PNC provides PIP with ongoing legal services, handling intake and reviewing new files. PNC attorneys were especially instrumental in helping PIP reduce its backlog of cases awaiting review so that those cases could receive immediate attention.
Equal Justice Works (EJW) awards paid public interest fellowships to recent law school graduates, who then provide legal assistance to underserved populations and causes. Today, EJW is the nation’s largest provider of public interest fellowships, supporting 250 Fellows each year.
In December 2016, PNC and Pittsburgh-based law firm Reed Smith awarded a joint EJW Fellowship to Jacqueline Perlow, also of Pittsburgh. Jackie’s Fellowship will begin in September 2017 and is intended to improve academic performance and reduce educational barriers for immigrant and refugee students.
There are a limited number of providers in the Pittsburgh area who assist immigrants with educational issues, and the services offered are narrow. Many school districts lack the infrastructure needed to serve English language learner students, a population that is rapidly growing and highly diverse.
Through her Fellowship, Jackie will work to address the needs of these students by collaborating with the Pittsburgh Education Law Center, providing legal advocacy, and offering trainings for parents, schools and advocates to highlight the issues facing this population.
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