Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain products have been tough to find on store shelves. From paper towels to toilet paper to cleaning products, it can feel like a game of chance each time you go in search of what you need.
When teams from Regions Bank’s Corporate Real Estate and Facilities divisions determined a surplus of hand sanitizer solution and hand-sanitizing wipes could help others fulfill unmet needs, they got them in the right hands.
“We had a plethora of product we used in our facilities from before the pandemic, and even after storing some for future use, we still had extra,” explained Joe Holcombe, SVP and senior facilities project manager in Regions’ Corporate Real Estate division. “These products can be very useful in the future for social services organizations, so we worked together with our Community Affairs team to connect the products with those that could use them most.”
We’re a community and we’re supporting each other.
Jan Hofman, community engagement analyst at Regions
It started with an in-kind donation of 950 gallons of hand-sanitizing solution.
“We had to figure out who would benefit most from what we were able to supply them with. So, I reached out to different organizations and they let me know if the sanitizer would be something useful to them,” said Sarah Moss, community relations officer for Regions in metro Birmingham. “The hand sanitizer donation went to 13 different organizations in the Birmingham area – everything from homeless shelters to school districts to homes for people with cognitive disabilities. It’s better served in the community than in our buildings that aren’t fully staffed right now.”
Part of that donation went to Girls Inc. of Central Alabama to aid in their Rising Leaders Academy. As a response to COVID-19, the organization shifted its hours to be open for girls doing school online while their parents work.
“Each day, 35 girls come to our Crestwood Center where they have breakfast and lunch, and receive help connecting with classes and assistance with homework,” said Connie Hill, Ph.D., CEO of Girls Inc. of Central Alabama. “Given the number of girls who are in our building each day, hand sanitizer and other PPE is important. Another company donated dispensers so having the hand sanitizer from Regions allows us to refill as needed.”
“Being able to call and share with organizations, covering an expense they don’t have to incur, is beneficial to them, and we’re delighted to help them save money in the long run,” explained Moss.
Next came a donation of hand-sanitizing wipes and dispensers – including 286 packs of refill wipes and 100 dispensers.
“This product came up and I suggested Christian Service Mission because they have a distribution network in place that can get the products into the hands of community organizations fast, and they indicated they would love to take what we had,” Holcombe shared. “It feels great that we can utilize product that we’re unable to use and get them in the right hands of the people that can use them the most.”
“During these difficult days, organizations are closing their doors because of a lack of resources to maintain safe and secure spaces,” said Tracy Hipps, executive director of Christian Service Mission. “The donation by Regions will empower many organizations to stay safe and allow them to continue to serve those in need in our city.”
“These donations fit into a broader give; we’re distributing food from our dining room, we have volunteers working with people and we’re delivering virtual financial education. All are different ways to give, and these donations are another,” said Jan Hofman, community engagement analyst at Regions. “We’re a community and we’re supporting each other. You come to us for banking services and we come to you with ways we can help.”