From our name formally changing from Banco Popular to Popular Community Bank in New York and New Jersey in July to the diverse initiatives that keep us rooted in the communities we serve, 2012 was an exciting year for us.
Here’s a look back at a few initiatives we are proud to have accomplished with you in 2012.
Our relationship with Junior Achievement (JA) in California, New York and New Jersey was as strong as ever. In April and May, our branches in those areas hosted bowl-a-thon events that raised over $75,000 for JA. These funds will help JA train individuals and deliver important financial literacy programs directly into classrooms from kindergarten through high school. Thousands of students are impacted by these programs each year.
Also in April, our branches in southern Florida participated in the March of Dimes “March for Babies,” which helps raise funds to benefit pregnant women and babies as well as building awareness of issues that threaten young children.
In May, our branches in New York worked with Union Settlement to help their efforts to help individual in East Harlem better themselves through education, training and assistance.
On June 10, we celebrated our 50th year of participation in the historic National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York. Javier Colón, winner of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2011, performed on the Popular Community Bank float, announcing our name officially changing.
In June, as a longtime advocate for financial education, Popular Community Bank President Carlos Vázquez was named to the Board of Directors for Operation HOPE. In July, Illinois Region Executive Michael McCracken was named to Operation HOPE’s Midwestern Board of Directors. These two important appointments provide an additional forum to continue working on this cause.
As Mr. Vázquez stated, “We share Operation HOPE’s commitment to the expansion of financial education in underserved communities, and my goal is to extend our mission to other public companies and financial services industry and beyond. As Popular Community Bank knows from long experience, doing well by doing good not only helps a business to grow but also helps a community to flourish.”
Our branches in Chicago hosted a book drive with Bin Donated in June that collected over 1,000 books for the McCormick YMCA. The McCormick YMCA serves their community with education and development programs for children.
In southern California, our branches participated in both the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in August. Our efforts with these two events raised over $14,000 to help battle these awful diseases and help those affected by them.
Later in August, 17 volunteers from our Chicago locations spent time helping Feed My Starving Children pack meals for children that otherwise wouldn’t have enough to eat.
October brought our 119th anniversary, as well as our annual commitment to Make A Difference Day. Our employees volunteered with a number of great organizations, and we awarded five fantastic organizations with $1,000 grants. Please click on those links to learn more about these incredible organizations.
Unfortunately, November brought tragedy to the New York and New Jersey areas when Superstorm Sandy arrived. In response to the needs of the communities we serve in New York and New Jersey, we opened fundraising accounts for a couple of our partners in the affected areas, the Food Bank For New York City and Salvation Army in New Jersey.
Most recently, toy and coat drives at our branches and support offices have given gifts to children all over the country that might not have had something to open for the holidays this year.
Our branches have continued to work with great national organizations such as Operation HOPE and Junior Achievement, but have also maintained relationships with local groups like the Voices for Children Foundation, LifeSource and many others.
We have sponsored dozens of free financial education seminars and workshops across our regions, and look forward to bringing some exciting new opportunities in the coming year.
Thank you for working with us, and we look forward to what 2013 brings!