Hattiesburg Area Banks Unite to Help the Community

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Thirteen banks throughout the Hattiesburg area have come together to give back to the community with a substantial donation to United Way of Southeast Mississippi.

In a press conference held Thursday at United Way of Southeast Mississippi’s office in downtown Hattiesburg, Todd Jackson, Executive Vice President for The Area Development Partnership and incoming board chair for United Way, announced that the banks have collectively donated $33,000 to the nonprofit. The donation follows an especially low giving year for the organization as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Way was facing the possibility of having to make significant cuts in funding to its many local nonprofit partner agencies when Kevin Brewer, regional president for Citizens National Bank, stepped in with an idea. Brewer organized a group of local banks, each committing a donation to United Way to help with its funding for the year.

The banks that donated include Citizens National Bank, The First, Regions, Hancock Whitney, BancorpSouth, Trustmark, Magnolia State Bank, Merchants, and Marine Bank, BankFirst, Community Bank, First Bank, The Citizens Bank, and PriorityOne Bank.

Pictured back row, left to right: Todd Jackson, ADP; Kris Mangum, Magnolia State Bank; Greg Hodges, Merchants, and Marine Bank; Grant Walker, BancorpSouth; Jerome Brown, The First; David McCullen, Community Bank; Raland Burks, PriorityOne. Middle row left to right: Casey Wilberding, BankFirst; Chad Hill, The Citizens Bank; Michael Schloegel, Hancock Whitney; Brandon Hubbard, Trustmark; Will Easterling, Regions. Front row: Tracie Fowler, United Way of Southeast Mississippi; Kevin Brewer, Citizens National Bank. Not pictured: Andrew Johnson, First Bank.

“Obviously, this past year has been challenging for our local charitable organizations, but the impact of their good work has continued regardless. As our team at the United Way worked hard to bridge the gap in funding to our nonprofit partners in Forrest, Lamar, Perry, and Marion Counties, we are extremely grateful for our local banking partners stepping up during a definite time of need” said Jackson.

 

“Thank you to Kevin Brewer at Citizens National Bank for leading this effort, and to each and every bank that stepped up to ensure positive impact is still being made in the areas of education, health, financial stability, and support services in our communities. This is yet another example of why this community will always rise above any challenge encountered.”

Brewer said it’s been wonderful to see so many banks in the community come together to help support United Way and the organizations it serves.

“So many people volunteer their time and donate to these organizations, and in turn, these organizations provide great services to the Pine Belt. We are very blessed to live in a community where people are willing to come together for a great cause,” said Brewer. “When everyone does their part, the impact for our community is tremendous, and it is a pleasure to be able to come together as a group and help do our part to help positively impact our community.”

Local agencies that receive funding from United Way of Southeast Mississippi include Aldersgate Mission, The Arc of Southeast Mississippi, Boy Scouts of America, The Children’s Center for Communication and Development, Christian Services, Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, DuBard School for Language Disorders, Edwards Street Fellowship Center, The YMCA of Southeast Mississippi, Habitat for Humanity of the Pine Belt, Hope Community Collective, Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center, Pinebelt Foundation, RISE and The Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI
United Way of Southeast Mississippi is a local non-profit organization that strives to positively impact Forrest, Lamar, Marion, and Perry counties. By providing funds to partnering agencies, United Way addresses community issues in the areas of education, financial stability, health, and support services. For more information about United Way of Southeast Mississippi or to learn more about supporting United Way’s work, visit www.unitedwaysems.org or call 601-545-7141.