Vol. 108 2024 No. 1 (Jan/Feb)

Banking On Community

Banking on Community

Centier Bank, Merrillville, donated $37,500 to community groups in the fall of 2023. The bank contributed $25,000 to Housing Opportunities, Inc., a community-sustained nonprofit that resolves and prevents homelessness for adults, children and seniors in Porter and LaPorte counties. The donation will help rehabilitate the Prominence Comments housing division, which includes 38 townhome units and 48 new construction apartment units to help families with emergency housing and affordable rentals. The bank also provided interim construction financing and grant assistance.

Another $5,000 went to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which works to eliminate domestic violence through advocacy, primary prevention, support, legal services and survivor housing services.

A further $5,000 went to Gennesaret Free Clinics, a nonprofit medical clinic providing quality, accessible and compassionate patient-centered health care for persons experiencing homelessness or lacking established health care both on-site and by mobile clinic serving those in need in greater Indianapolis. The donation covered the cost of prescriptions at the clinic for one month.

The final $2,500 went to Friends of Indy Animals. The donation sponsored the organization’s signature Howl and Wine fundraising event on Oct. 26, 2023. Money raised at the event supports Indianapolis Animal Care Services, the city’s animal shelter.

Meanwhile, the bank partnered with the John W. Anderson Boys and Girls Club of Gary, Indiana, in the summer of 2023 to launch a new financial literacy program. The JWA Incentive Bank’s mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty for local youth by introducing members to the concepts of banking, personal finance, accounts, saving, investment standards, income, careers, entrepreneurship, credit, debt, loans, purchasing a home, risk management and insurance. Members earn “club bucks” for demonstrating excellent behavior, class participation, acts of service, completing programs and more. They can then deposit that money into a “savings account.” As their money grows, they can withdraw it to buy concessions, spend at the club store or even for special events.

Jordan Stanfill (2nd from left), chief housing officer for Northwest Indiana Community Action, parent company of Housing Opportunities Inc., accepts a check from Dakita L. Jones, Centier Bank assistant vice president, community relations manager, in October 2023. Also present were (left to right) Tim Warner, Centier Bank vice president – business banking; Anna Schoon, Northwest Indiana Community Action vice president – community engagement; and Anthony Contrucci, president of First Bancshares, the bank’s holding company.

Linda Risch (center), Centier Bank community relations officer, presented a $5,000 donation to members of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence to support the organization’s programming in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Yolanda Davis, Centier Bank CRA officer; Dakita L. Jones, Centier Bank Community relations manager; Ken Barry, Boys and Girls Club of Gary club director; and Brianna Griffin, Boys and Girls Club of Gary program director

Horizon Bank, Michigan City, installed more than 60 parking signs at its branch locations, offering preferred spaces to veterans. Leadership aims to make veterans’ bank branch visits a consistent reminder of their gratitude and thanks for the veterans’ immense sacrifices and service to our country.

Photo: Horizon Bank installed more than 60 “Veterans Parking Only” signs across its branches over the course of October 2023.

Premier Bank, Defiance, OH, launched its fourth annual kindness campaign, “Powered by (kind) People. Fueled by You.” The campaign encourages employees to participate in the bank’s Community Volunteer Program, offering paid time off to volunteer with organizations they value and support. The bank also invited 13 community partners to join in a video series to spread kindness and collectively support important programs benefiting families in the communities they serve.

United Fidelity Bank, Evansville, volunteered in the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ohio Valley Meals of Love program. The charity establishes programs to directly improve the health and well-being of community families in need. The Meals of Love program provides families going through difficult times with a home-cooked meal. UFB team members from the bank’s eight Evansville-region banking centers volunteer their time preparing meals at the Ronald McDonald House once per quarter.

Photo: United Fidelity Bank team members prepared a warm meal at the Ronald McDonald House for Evansville families in need on Sept. 20, 2023. The meal included homemade pizzas, salad, breadsticks and cookies.