Associates across our five-state footprint are diving into their local communities to share their time, talents, and passions. This week, as the nation celebrates National Volunteer Week, Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank are proud to highlight how associates are giving back every day through Community Connection.
Community Connection encourages and empowers associates to demonstrate our core value of Commitment to Service. The company believes that all associates can make a difference to positively impact their communities through volunteerism. Providing paid time off to volunteer, Community Connection encourages associates to participate in activities that strengthen the communities where we all live and work.
Senior Investment Consultant Stephen Davis volunteers with Manatee County Habitat for Humanity in Bradenton, Florida, teaching a financial literacy class to new Habitat homeowners. The class focuses on the basics of credit and instills the right skills in parents to pass along to their children. “It is important to educate families on finances, banking, and credit because money management topics are not always taught in school,” said Davis.
Why Habitat for Humanity? For Davis, his connection to the organization and the work they do is personal. “I have a family member who was helped by Habitat and I like the fact that the homeowners have to put in sweat equity and learn some basic financial skills,” said Davis. “The knowledge I have gained in my life and career helps me make a positive impact on someone who is striving to better their life and that of their family. That gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”
Fulfillment Specialist Ashlie Kennie and Centralized Funding Specialist Sarah Russell of Gulfport, Miss., spent their Community Connection volunteer day honoring the memory of a former associate by volunteering with her favorite organization, the Humane Society of South Mississippi.
|Sarah Russell and Ashlie Kennie are honoring the late Rhonda Raye for her love and service to the Humane Society.|
“We are grateful that the company has developed Community Connection to help us volunteer for a great cause and to help us send a tribute to our friend,” said Kennie “We hope that this program continues and are looking forward to volunteering again in the future,” added Russell.
Road to Recovery
Branch Manager Laurie Mohler of Ocean Springs, Miss., helps residents of the Home of Grace, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program on their road to recovery.
Through a monthly class focusing on the FDIC Financial Recovery curriculum, Mohler helps residents re-develop the basic life skills they need to succeed. “I get great fulfillment out of teaching this class. These people are at their rock bottom, so there is nowhere to go but up,” Mohler explains. “In a small way, I think I help them get started again, by providing at the least, some tools, information, and resources to make a difference.”
Mohler encourages all associates to participate in Community Connection, recommending associates choose a volunteer activity that they enjoy, and then stick with it. “It’s important that once you make that commitment, you don’t stop.”
Night to Shine
Branch Manager Cindy Dietrich of Baton Rouge, La., and Collections Representative Paul Stoufflet of Denham Springs, La., joined more than 30,000 volunteers in 48 states and eight countries to host one of 200 local Night to Shine events. Sponsored by The Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine is a prom experience for special needs adults age 16 and older.
“Night to Shine is a great opportunity for the attendees to have fun and be accepted without others seeing them as handicap, but rather the unique human beings they are,” said Stoufflet. “The event was fantastic for the attendees – with limo rides, dinner, dancing, and more. It was a positive experience for the parents, the constant caregivers, as well,” Dietrich added.
“Community Connection is a beneficial program for associates and there are so many ways and places to give of one’s self,” said Dietrich. “Giving time should be heartfelt, so follow your heart and choose something that fits your outlet for giving, something that makes you glow when you think of what is being accomplished.”
“People want to see change, improvement, and positive things in their communities,” Stoufflet added. “It begins with everyone as an individual working together for a cause to make that happen.”