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Community Access Unlimited chosen by Staples associate to receive $500 Grant

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Marguerite Modero, director of the Academy of Continuing Education at Community Access Unlimited, instructs students in a Jewelry Design and Merchandising class.
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UNION COUNTY, NJ - Community Access Unlimited (CAU) has been awarded $500 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year.

"At Community Access Unlimited we could not fulfill our mission of enabling people with disabilities and at-risk youth to live independent and fulfilled lives within the community without the support of the business community," said Sid Blanchard, executive director of CAU. "We will use this grant from Staples to support our Academy of Continuing Education, which enables adults with disabilities who have graduated from public schools or specialized schools to continue their education and personal growth.

 "ACE is a wonderful alternative to standard day programs usually attended by these adults and offers them the opportunity to learn a variety of new things, from math and reading to musical expression and theater to career development. We currently have 85 students in 10 classes and we continue to grow."

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Created in 2012, the 2 Million & Change program is a philanthropic initiative which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations focused on academic education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.

In 2015, Staples awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to 875 local organizations in support of education and job skills programs, including job readiness for homeless individuals, career exploration for high school students, academic scholarships, mentoring and more.

“For 30 years, Staples associates have been making a difference in their communities around the world,” said John Burke, chief culture officer, Staples, Inc., "We’re thrilled that the 2 Million & Change program lets our associate make an even greater impact on the organizations they are passionate about.”

About CAU

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 37th year in 2016, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community. CAU provides support and gives voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little support and no voice in society. CAU helps people with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities. CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil rights. CAU currently serves more than 6,000 individuals and families, with the number served growing each year. For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, online at www.caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.

About Staples Community and Giving

Staples contributes to educational and job-related community efforts with a primary focus on disadvantaged youth, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc. Through its community and giving efforts, Staples has helped thousands of organizations in 26 countries. For more information, visit www.staples.com/community.

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