SEATTLE, June 3, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Casey Family Programs will ring The Closing Bell® of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Friday, June 3, an honor that helps raise awareness of the more than 400,000 children living in foster care in America. The occasion also recognizes the important role that business leaders can play by investing in hope and opportunities that safely reduce the need for foster care by ensuring every child has a safe, permanent family.

Dr. William C. Bell, president and CEO, will ring the bell on behalf of Casey Family Programs, the nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America. He will be joined by several alumni of foster care and members of the foundation's Board of Trustees and Executive Team.

Created in 1966 by Jim Casey, founder of United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS), Casey Family Programs is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. The foundation works in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and with more than a dozen American Indian tribes to influence long-lasting improvements to the safety and success of children, families and the communities where they live.

"We are honored to ring the bell on behalf of the 400,000 children living in foster care in the United States today. They are our most powerful messengers of hope," said Dr. Bell. "By ringing this bell, we also honor the legacy and vision of UPS founder Jim Casey, along with the many business leaders who are playing a critical role today by investing their time, talent and resources in building Communities of Hope for America's vulnerable children and families."

A live feed of the NYSE Closing Bell (3:56 to 4 p.m. EDT) can be found at Photos and video of the NYSE Bell Ringing Ceremony will also be available, courtesy of the NYSE, on Facebook (NYSE), Twitter (@NYSE and @NYSECam), and YouTube (nysetv1).

"We're proud to honor the legacy of Jim Casey, a humble and generous man who built a startup bicycle messenger service into the world's largest delivery and logistics company," said David C. Mills, chair of the Casey Family Programs Board of Trustees. "Jim Casey demonstrated that if we all work together — business, government, nonprofits, philanthropies and communities — we can help every child fulfill his or her fullest potential and know the safety, love and hope of a strong family and supportive community."

Approximately 6.4 million children are referred to a child welfare agency each year. And 12 percent — 1 in 8 children — are confirmed to be a victim of abuse or neglect by the age of 18. Children who experience abuse and neglect are more likely to face lifelong challenges related to toxic stress and impacts to brain development.

The NYSE played a critical role in the foundation's ability to invest resources in improving the lives of children and families. The UPS public offering in 1999 greatly increased Casey Family Programs' endowment.

Casey Family Programs is committed to 2020: Building Communities of Hope, a nationwide effort to improve the safety and success of children and their families. We work in support of a range of public, private, tribal and community partners to:

  • Safely reduce the need for foster care by 50 percent by the year 2020. We partner with child welfare systems, families, policymakers, courts and American Indian tribes to support practices and policies that safely reduce the need for foster care, increase the safety and success of children and strengthen the resilience of families.
  • Demonstrate how every child can have a safe and permanent family. We provide direct services with the goal that no child in our care will age out of the foster care system without a safe, loving family of his or her own. Through this work, we seek to influence improvements in life outcomes, especially in the areas of education, mental health and employment.
  • Support more effective investments in children and families. We contribute nonpartisan information, data and resources to help public officials make more effective investments — and reinvestments — in children and families.
  • Encourage a shared vision for success. We encourage community leaders to think, plan and act collectively to improve the long-term safety and success of children and their families.

In addition to our headquarters and direct service office in Seattle, we have offices in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Denver; Los Angeles; New York City; Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; and Yakima, Wash.

Kristin Dizon,