First Citizens Bank Launches 'Open The Door To Change' To Benefit Teen Cancer America

Bank's spare change drive supports nonprofit's goal of specialized facilities and targeted care for young people with cancer

RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Starting today (Giving Tuesday) and throughout the holiday season, First Citizens Bank is collecting spare change in all its branches to help teens with cancer.

The effort, called "Open the Door to Change," is the next phase of the North Carolina-headquartered bank's ongoing sponsorship of Teen Cancer America. The spare change collected will go to the national nonprofit's work to increase support for cancer care facilities and specialized treatment targeted for both teens and young adults. Individuals, businesses, school groups and civic organizations are encouraged to gather spare pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and drop them off at any First Citizens location through Jan. 6, 2017.

"A little bit of change from everyone can go a long way to helping young people with cancer," said Jeff Ward, chief strategy officer of First Citizens Bank and a Teen Cancer America board member. "That's why we've launched 'Open the Door to Change.' By collecting spare change this holiday season, we want to open more doors — to bring about even better care and brighter futures for these teens and their families."

There are three ways to participate in "Open the Door to Change:"
  • Visit a First Citizens branch and donate change in person. Special collection boxes for depositing change are set up in the lobby areas of more than 500 First Citizens branches. Special envelopes for collecting change contributions will also be available at branch drive-through lanes. (Go to firsticitzens.com/locations to find a local branch.)
  • Make a contribution online. Visit LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor.com and click the "donate" button to make a contribution to Teen Cancer America. 
  • Redeem First Citizens Rewards® as a donation. Beginning early December, customers can redeem the rewards dollars or points they have accumulated with their First Citizens Rewards Visa® Card to the "Open the Door to Change" effort via firstcitizensrewards.com (1,000 points/$10 rewards dollars equals a $10.00 donation).

In addition, First Citizens associates will join the effort by collecting and donating their own spare change.

Every year, almost 11,000 young people in the United States between the ages of 13 and 25 are diagnosed with cancer. Teen Cancer America works with hospitals to create treatment and recovery spaces around the unique medical and psychological needs of teens who are fighting the disease.

Teens often fall between the cracks of specialized care provided to cancer patients, according to Simon Davies, executive director of Teen Cancer America. They may end up with kids in the pediatric unit or with the older people in the general cancer facilities.

"First Citizens' 'Open the Door to Change' will help us bridge this gap — by supporting hospital facilities designed for teens, where they can get targeted treatment and where there's staff trained to deal with the specific types of cancers we're seeing in young people today," Davies said. "We hope people all across First Citizens' markets will open their hearts, donate their spare change and help us transform the lives of young people with cancer."

The "Open the Door to Change" coin collection drive is a continuation of First Citizens' largest-ever philanthropic effort. As part of this effort, rock legend Roger Daltrey of The Who recorded a new version of the classic Pete Townshend song "Let My Love Open the Door" to serve as the centerpiece of the initiative. It was launched in November 2015 with the theme "Open the Door" to support the work of Teen Cancer America.

Daltrey is a spokesman for and a driving force behind Teen Cancer America, which he and Townshend helped found in 2012 after more than a decade of working with Teenage Cancer Trust in the United Kingdom. Daltrey's single is available exclusively on iTunes with Apple, Daltrey and Republic Records donating their respective proceeds in the United States to Teen Cancer America.

The song is featured in First Citizens' television and radio commercials encouraging support of Teen Cancer America. Most recently, the commercial ran as a public service announcement in California on KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station. It was part of special programming that focused on The Who, Daltrey and his involvement in Teen Cancer America. The song, the download and television commercial can be found at LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor.com.

To date, Teen Cancer America has partnered with more than 12 major cancer centers across the United States to build specialized, teen- and young adult-friendly inpatient and outpatient cancer care facilities and programs. In cooperation with First Citizens, Teen Cancer America is talking with major medical centers in North Carolina and South Carolina about establishing teen-focused cancer units and programs.

First Citizens' financial commitment to Teen Cancer America includes contributions for the nonprofit's work in partner hospitals that are within the bank's key markets. First Citizens Bank is the principal Southeastern corporate sponsor of Teen Cancer America. For more information, visit LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor.com, use #LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor or stop by a local First Citizens Bank location.

About First Citizens Bank

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., with offices in 20 states. Drawing from over a century of experience serving the needs of its customers, First Citizens focuses on developing long-term relationships and offers a comprehensive array of products and services to individuals, families, businesses and the medical community. First Citizens Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA), which has more than $32.9  billion in assets. For more information, visit firstcitizens.com .

About Teen Cancer America

Following in the footsteps of the highly developed and successful Teenage Cancer Trust -Teen and Young Adult Cancer Program out of the UK, Teen Cancer America is designed to help hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care. Teen Cancer America aims to educate and support hospitals and outpatient facilities in the development of specialized units for this age group. The units are places just for teens and young adults where the cancer experience is understood and the importance of living life through the cancer journey is nourished. Teen Cancer America's work also supports the coming together of physicians and allied healthcare professionals in both pediatric and adult oncology so that the teen and young adult cancer patient care becomes closer to where it needs to be.
Contact: Barbara ThompsonFirst Citizens Bank(919) 716-2716

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