AvalonBay Communities, a leading U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with apartment communities in the major east and west coast markets, today announced the start of its “Spirit of Caring” month. Throughout October, AvalonBay associates will participate in service projects to benefit their local communities. AvalonBay, known for its commitment to sustainable living and support for its local communities, was recently named one of the top 25 “socially responsible dividend stocks” by Dividend Channel. During “Spirit of Caring” month, the Company will have over 2,000 associates participating in large-scale community service projects. The programs include: volunteering at local food banks, assisting the homeless and disabled, working with Habitat for Humanity, and conducting food and donation drives at its regional offices and in 195 communities. Timothy J. Naughton, AvalonBay’s Chief Executive Officer, noted: “As a company with national reach, we wanted to express our 'Spirit of Caring' in each of the local markets where we do business, involving as many of our associates as possible. So, we are very pleased to kick off October as our 'Spirit of Caring' month with the support of over 2,000 AvalonBay associates, representing our ten regions and 195 communities. We are setting aside this month to give back to the local communities that over the years have repeatedly welcomed AvalonBay to their neighborhoods. As much as we hope our activities will benefit our local communities, we recognize that, in serving others, we benefit as well. We are given the chance to make our 'Spirit of Caring' come alive, and we are very grateful for that opportunity.” In Boston, AvalonBay associates will volunteer for a variety of tasks at the Greater Boston Food Bank on South Bay Avenue. In Connecticut, AvalonBay associates will participate in three volunteer programs: in Stamford, “The Walk for Diabetes” at Trinity Catholic High School; in Trumbull, an American Red Cross Blood Drive at AvalonBay eaves Trumbull; and in Shelton, assisting at Spooner House stocking shelves, servicing lunch, bagging food donated, and gardening.