While the pandemic has presented significant challenges, it’s also reminded us of the incredible generosity of people and nonprofit organizations lending a hand to those in need. Our Regions associates and community partners are among those going the extra mile to help. Here are some recent examples of their commitment and kindness in action.
Dallas, Texas – Parkland Hospital & Health System
PPE – personal protective equipment. It’s a term we’re far more familiar with than before. For medical personnel at Parkland Hospital & Health System, the urgent need for additional PPE and testing equipment has resembled that of many hospitals across the nation. But Parkland faces an additional challenge.
“We are dedicated to serving anyone in need of care at Parkland,” said Michael A. Horne, EdD, president and CEO for Parkland Foundation. “With 1 million residents in Dallas County uninsured or on Medicaid, that need is staggering.”
As the only public health system in Dallas County, Parkland provided approximately $947.1 million in uncompensated care last fiscal year. With less than one-third of revenue coming from property taxes, the nonprofit health system relies on the philanthropic donations of individuals and companies to extend its services to reach more people and enhance the quality of care provided.
“We continuously depend on the generosity of donors and corporate partners, but it’s especially critical during unique times like these,” said Dr. Horne.
Regions team members in Dallas and Dr. Horne had been in discussions regarding a potential community partnership involving a pilot program advancing health care and economic development.
“A week later, everything changed due to the coronavirus,” said Dr. Horne.
Parkland put out a call for help, launching its Public Health Preparedness Fund to help purchase equipment for teams treating COVID-19 patients. Those needs included rapid testing machines for COVID-19 and additional diseases; drive-through screening sites; child care support for frontline health care workers and more.
A new community partnership between Parkland and Regions emerged. For Regions’ Dallas Market Executive, Brad Campbell, joining forces with Parkland was an easy decision.
“We knew this was the right thing to do,” said Campbell. “There’s no more important effort we could support during this time than the care Parkland is providing to patients during their greatest time of need.”
Dr. Horne was inspired by Regions lending its early support.
“Regions was one of the first companies who responded to the call,” said Dr. Horne. “A lot of companies wouldn’t have done that while still being in conversations about a different project. That spoke volumes to me. I was really impressed by how Regions wanted to stand by us.”
It’s a reminder that we’re all stronger when we stand together in the time of unprecedented challenges.
Pierson, Florida – Remote Food Distribution Events
The “farm-to-table” concept is taking on new and even greater meaning in Pierson, Florida, these days, thanks to a grassroots partnership focused on feeding those in need. Like many communities across the nation, the impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for Pierson, a town of 3,000 known as the “Fern Capital of the World.”
With many in the town’s agriculture industry not able to work due to the coronavirus, the Flagler County Rotary Club, Farm Workers Association, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and more came together – while being socially distant – to lend their support by hosting a drive-through food distribution site at Mission San Jose Church.
Regions team members from the bank’s Orange City Branch volunteered, sorting and bagging items and placing food boxes in the trunks of people who remained in their cars to observe safety guidelines. The remote food distribution is occurring twice a month, with more than 500 families served each time.
Orange City Consumer associates Marisela Beltran, Nicholas Hodge and Israel Benitez helped with a recent distribution event. Beltran, who has worked with the Farm Workers Association for several years, returned to volunteer a second time. And with COVID-19 reducing the number of older volunteers who traditionally participate due to fear of exposure, she also recruited others to help. That group included family members and friends.
“We started asking for help online and ended up with more than 40 volunteers,” said Beltran. “I was so inspired by the generous outpouring of support from everyone, and especially that of my Regions teammates.”
The volunteers are grateful to be able to donate their time to provide both meals and hope.
I am proud of what the Y does for Charlotte and am grateful that Regions supports the Y in the ways that it does.
Mike Holmquist, Regions associate and longtime YMCA volunteer
Charlotte, North Carolina – YMCA Child Care for First Responders
They may not wear capes, but there’s no doubt health care workers are superheroes. We’ve never been reminded of this more than now with first responders going above and beyond in caring for COVID-19 patients.
Many of those health care heroes have children whose schools or daycares are currently closed. Thankfully, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte is providing care for the children of caregivers and first responders to help ease their minds.
As part of its COVID-19 Community Response Plan, the YMCA and two Charlotte health care systems are keeping watch over 130 children while their parents serve the community. Young learners are engaging in homework and playtime activities in a safe, socially distant manner. Public nursing staff members take temperatures at the door and encourage regular handwashing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, local nonprofits and churches.
Over the past several years, Regions Bank has deepened its work with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, supporting its Y Readers program and more. And Regions Capital Markets team member Mike Holmquist is a longtime YMCA volunteer, serving as a youth sports coach and “Y-Guide,” in addition to serving on the board.
For Holmquist, the Charlotte Y stepping up to lend its support to health care workers was no surprise.
“The Y has always been so much more than a ‘gym and swim,’” said Holmquist. “It’s a place making a tremendous community impact for children and families through its Y Readers program, drowning prevention classes, summer camps and much more. During these challenging times, the Y has pivoted its efforts to give and serve even more deeply. I am proud of what the Y does for Charlotte and am grateful that Regions supports the Y in the ways that it does.”
In addition to child care services, the Y is also serving as a personal protective equipment (PPE) site where masks and gowns are collected for hospitals.
Although the Charlotte Y is temporarily closed to daily exercisers, it remains dedicated to connecting to the Charlotte community – even when we have to be apart.