23 Homes Improved by Grant Program Over Two Years
FHLB Dallas, Rebuilding Together Houston and Green Bank work together to keep seniors in their homes
HOUSTON, March 22--For 63-year-old Evelyn Ruiz, arthritis in her knees has made it hard for her to get in and out of the tub. Many years ago when she moved into her Sunnyside home with her husband, she never dreamed that stepping in and out of regular bathtub would be so difficult. With the grant program from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Rebuilding Together-Houston (RT-Houston) and Green Bank this grateful homeowner was able to receive a walk-in shower, elevated toilet and grab bars. She is so thankful; now it is much easier and safer to take a shower.
Twenty-two other Houston seniors have similar stories of help: roof leaks repaired, windows replaced, plumbing patched, access ramps added, dangerous floors fixed and electrical systems made safe through FHLB Dallas’ Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) Grants.
Over the last two years, Green Bank and the FHLB Dallas collaborated to award RT-Houston more than $102,000 to assist 23 low-income elderly and special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs.
“RT-H and the FHLB-D have been great partners to work with to help procure and provide critical home repairs to some of Houston’s most in need elderly and low income homeowners” said David Matthews, Green Bank’s community reinvestment officer and RT-Houston board member. “Green Bank is proud to roll up our sleeves and work to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods.”
The repairs don't cost the homeowners, thanks to the SNAP grants that are made available through FHLB Dallas’ member financial institutions to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications. $2.35 million total has been awarded over the last two years to FHLB-Dallas’ district of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. The grants have a maximum value of $5,000 per home.
The program includes foundation, flooring, sheetrock, plumbing, electrical, and roof replacement and repair, along with handicap accessibility modifications such as converting bathtubs into showers, widening doorways, lowering countertops and constructing ramp ways.
“To many homeowners, $5,000 does not sound like much for repairs,” said RT-Houston Executive Director James Soller. “But this amount, plus RT-Houston’s more than 30 years of experience working throughout Houston and our tremendous volunteer base provides our homeowners the self-sufficiency and safety to remain in their homes.”
Green Bankers Relay for Life
Humble, Kingwood and Cleveland Offices and clients walked to help find a cure.
On April 19, communities across America walked together to help find a cure for cancer. Green Bankers were there—participating in the Relay for Life of Liberty County @ Cleveland as team "Wild for a Cure." We were part of 32 teams and 407 walkers who raised $83,914. Additionally, several Green Bank clients donated $100 to sponsor a sign along the walk.
Check out the results here.
2013 Leadership Montgomery County Class Celebrates Success
By Catherine Dominguez
THE WOODLANDS — After nine months, 40 business leaders from Montgomery County happily walked across the stage at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott for their “diploma” as part of the 2013 graduating class of Leadership Montgomery County.
LMC board members highlighted the participants, their class project and presented Michael Barnhill, of Entergy and an LMC board member, with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
“This luncheon is all about the graduates and the graduation,” said Linda Nelson, chairman of the LMC Board of Directors.
For graduate Melanie Bush, with Better Bookkeepers Inc., the experience was more than she expected.
“You really have to experience it for yourself,” she said. “I learned so much more about this county than I ever thought I would. I really appreciate this experience.”
Graduate Paco Rivera, with Green Bank, echoed Bush.
“Every one of us has something different, something incredible to add to this class,” Rivera said. “If all 40 of us were to come up here and tell you what this class meant to them, we would all be late for work tomorrow. LMC is a great program, and we are all lucky and blessed to have been selected.”
For graduate Cyndi Alvarado, of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, being a part of the class helped her form friendships and make business contacts with many businesses and organizations, including law enforcement officials and hospital representatives.
“I walked away with friendships with individuals I may not have met if I wasn’t in this program,” she said. “We have behind-the-scene tours at places like The (Cynthia Woods Mitchell) Pavilion, the CISD Natatorium and the dam at Lake Conroe.
Along with connecting with community leaders, the class members participated in a project they believe will make a difference and leave a legacy in the community.
The class raised funds to set up a BridgingApps site in Montgomery County where special-needs residents can be trained on the use of various digital tools and software.
BridgingApps is a volunteer community of parents, therapists, doctors and teachers who share information on how using devices like the iPad provide accessibility for people who may have been previously disengaged from the world because of challenging language, motor or other developmental delays. Given the rising number of apps on the market and the diverse skills of children and adults with special needs, parents have found each other to be one of the best resources for choosing apps to enhance everyday life for children of all ages.
The LMC class saw firsthand how technology can help families, including The Woodlands’ Andi Fry and her daughter Megan, a 14-year-old McCullough Junior High student. Megan is confined to a wheelchair and speaks through a computer device called a Dynavox.
Megan and her mother volunteered their time to be part of the new program in the county.
“We pulled together as a community on this project and it is a project I am proud of,” Alvarado said. “BridgingApps has allowed the special-needs community to communicate utilizing technology.”
Alvarado said it was eye-opening to see how the technology has helped Megan.
“(It allowed us) to see what an incredible young lady she was inside,” she said. “I’m blessed to be a part of what we are leaving behind for this community.”
Earth Day Art Contest
For the fourth year, Green Bank was a leading sponsor of the Earth Day Art Contest, an event developed by Air Alliance Houston. The contest is in conjunction with their annual Earth Day Houston festival and was hosted at Skyline Art Services. This year’s art contest had over 5,000 entries from students in third through twelfth grade throughout the city of Houston. Green Bank is proud to sponsor the cash awards, given to first, second and third place winners in each grade. Separate awards were also given for People’s Choice and Overall Winner of the contest. The winning artwork was sold at the auction to raise money for the winning schools’ art programs and Air Alliance Houston.
Ever wonder about a credit report? 401 (K)? Bonds?
Local high school students get a jump on setting up a budget
Cory LeBouf, SVP Green Bank, has served on the Advisory Board for Devereux Texas since April 2011. Devereux is a non-profit treatment facility for adolescents that have suffered from chemical, physical, and/or mental problems. As a board member, he regularly attends leadership meetings where the agency’s financial performance, budgets and financial projections are reviewed.
But recently, Cory tackled finances in a different role. On April 5, Devereux held a Life Skills Day and Cory taught home budgeting. Over three sessions, he instructed 60 students on the importance of managing income, basic home-finance accounting and basic savings.
“The kids understand that they have to walk before they can run and that savings is the first step,” notes Cory. “They get the basics—if they can start now, they can describe how savings grows and how you need to look at monthly earnings before you start dreaming of all the things you want to buy.”
Before joining the Advisory Board, Cory started working with the organization's largest fundraiser – the annual Divots for Devereux golf tournament. The tournament raises more than $40,000 each year for use in Devereux’s daily needs, which include supporting the League City campus that houses over 100 students on a year-round basis. For the last two years, Cory has additionally served as co-chairman of the Golf Committee, which focuses on raising the maximum amount of dollars per year from the event.
Capitol-city Green Bankers spend two days working on Habitat for Humanity’s newest projects in East Austin
Organized by Private Banker Jennifer Parks, the bankers joined Austinites from IBM, JPMorganChase, Bank of America, Catholic Churches of Austin and the UT Chapter of Habitat for Humanity to for exterior painting, adding corner trim and soffits, and porch and gable siding.
“Habitat for Humanity can change a family in just eight weeks; that’s about how long Habitat and it’s volunteers take to complete a home,” said Parks. “The families are impressive and we got to meet some of them. Over 54 days, Habitat takes green volunteers like our team, guides us and when we leave, something great has been built.”
This is the fourth week of construction on these two project homes—they are half way through the build. You can read more about the beneficiary families or view more pictures here.
Green Bank’s Annual Employee Volunteer Award Recognizes Bridgette Whiteing
$500 gift to food pantry recognizes her commitment to the community
Bridgette Whiteing, Green Bank branch operations manager, has been recently awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Appreciation Award for 2012. Her generosity and giving exemplifies service to the community through volunteerism.
Pastor Gaidi K. Burgess, members of the Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church and other organizations were in attendance to celebrate Whiteing’s tireless efforts with a surprise celebration at the bank.
“I was totally caught off guard. When I walked in the room and saw my partners from the food pantry; I knew something was up,” said Whiteing. “I’ve always considered volunteering an important part of my life; the recognition and gift to the pantry reminds me of the generosity of Houstonians and how each of us can build a stronger city.”
Her month is busy with service to many organizations:
- 3 hours per month at the A.S Help to Help Pantry providing assistance to those in need of food
- 8 hours per week at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church as the financial secretary, stewardship coordinator and choir director
- 10 hours per month at GMZ General Mission Society involving community and foreign mission objectives
- 8 hours each month at GMZ Youth Ministry Outreach Program as a youth mentor and teacher
- 5 hours per month at Carrington Scholarship Fund and Education Program as a tutor and financial administrator
- 3 hours per month at Willie Thornton Scholarship Fund as an administrator
- 5 hours per month at V.O.T.E.R.S. helping inform voters in the community.
Geoff Greenwade, Green Bank president and CEO, presented Whiteing with the award and a $500 donation to the food pantry at the Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
“Green Bank is committed to the responsibility of serving Texas. We do this in a number of ways--banking services and businesses across our communities, financial contributions to leading community programs and by individual participation in community-based programs,” said Greenwade. “Often individual efforts are ignored; we believe our employees are stewards and we strive to reinforce their efforts with corporate support.”
Green Bank Completes Another RT-Houston House
For the last two weeks, more than 2,000 volunteers have been working with Rebuild Together - Houston to renovate 60 homes. The renovations include painting exteriors and wheelchair ramps, replacing rotted wood, secure doors and functioning windows and screens. The volunteer work is focused on improving the safety and appearance of the homes, and it allows elderly Houstonians to remain in their homes.
"15 bankers rolled up their sleeves and worked together on this project," said Green Bank Team Lead David Matthews, who also serves as a RT-Houston board member. "Like every project, it looked straight forward. When we got into it, we were handed a few surprises. Still, the payoff is always great: the homeowner was very appreciative and loved the new color of her home and the flowers we added."
RT-Houston has already started planning for Spring 2012. RT-Houston can be reached at (713) 659-2511 if your company, church group or group of friends would like to help.
Green Bankers join 5,000 employees from Starbucks to revitalize 20 homes in Houston
Commercial Banker David Matthews led a team of several Green Bankers to help employees from Starbucks in a caffeine-powered effort to revitalize 20 homes in the Fifth Ward. The Green Bankers and 5,000 Starbucks employees spent Thursday afternoon volunteering in a 10-acre block. In all, 10,000 Starbucks employees are visiting Houston as part of an annual global leadership conference.
Rebuilding Together - Houston was tapped by Starbucks to help identify elderly homeowners who needed a hand. Banker Matthews is a volunteer board member with RT - Houston.
"RT - Houston is experienced in mobilizing large numbers of volunteers to help needy Houstonians with home repairs and renovations that will allow them to stay in their homes. Working with Starbucks was great: we had an international team that jumped in and turned several homes around," Matthews said. "At the end of the month, RT - Houston will do it again with Houston volunteers working on 100-plus homes across our city."
Volunteers are still needed for the upcoming fall volunteer day. If your company or church would like to volunteer, contact RT - Houston.
Starbucks' efforts have earned the attention of the Houston Chronicle. You can read more about its conference in Thursday's paper or online.
August 31, 2012
April 5, 2012
January 31, 2012
Free Holiday Computer Recycling at Green Bank benefitting Techs & Trainers and Goodwill ComputerWorks
December 19, 2012
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