An Elkin nonprofit recently benefited from the volunteer work of a regional First National Bank employee, but in a monetary fashion.
Jeanne Jordan, market manager for the Piedmont West Market of FNB, was joined by her colleagues in front of The ARK last Wednesday as she presented a large oversized check for $3,000 to ARK representatives. But it took a lot of hard work on Jordan’s part to earn the funding for the nonprofit.
“First National Bank gives out annually a community spirit award, which I didn’t know about because we were just acquired last year,” Jordan said, referring to the change of hands between Yadkin Bank and FNB.
In March, Jordan was invited to go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for an FNB event. She was told she was going for a different reason, so when at the end of the event, her name was called as a recipient of the community spirit award she said she “was completely surprised.”
FNB CEO Vincent Delie Jr. spoke at the event and presented Jordan with her award, she said.
“It was a surprise. I was told I was there for other reasons. They went through all the awards and CEO Delie talks about the community spirit award and there were three recipients,” she said.
“I was nominated and chosen based on a couple of reasons,” said Jordan.
She has focused a lot of volunteer time on human trafficking during the past few years, including a trip to the red light district of Moshi, Tanzania, to work with a missionary family there.
Also, while she was with Yadkin Bank, Jordan introduced a program where employees in her market were encouraged to volunteer their time, and then regional employees would volunteer as a team once a quarter. The ARK was one of those nonprofits served during the quarterly service time, she said.
For her, the project was about service as well as team building. “For me, I love that. I’m not doing it for recognition. FNB wanted to recognized me for it, and I was so embarrassed,” she said.
Each recipient of the community spirit award is gifted $5,000 to distribute to nonprofits however they choose. Jordan chose to give $2,000 to the missionary family in Tanzania, and the other $3,000 to The ARK to aid in their efforts to serve homeless women and families.
“It is not domestic violence related, which is a huge passion for me, but either way, what they are doing at The ARK is unbelievable and I’m blown away but it,” Jordan said.
“I don’t like to broadcast what I’m doing, but working for FNB, it’s really cool to see that the company recognized that and they want to give you money to give and support your efforts,” she said. “That’s what I said to the CEO, how cool it is to work for a company so supportive of community and volunteerism.”
As she prepared to present a check to Cynthia Cothren, director of The ARK, and representatives of its board and staff, Jordan said, “I’m super excited about it. When I told Cynthia last week about it, I told her I wanted to give The ARK part of it, there was dead silence and then I heard her cry, and she was crying and said, ‘I can’t believe what you’re telling me.’”
Jordan said The ARK thrives on every penny it raises, and she knew the $3,000 would make a huge impact on its operations.
“We’re grateful for the money,” said Christy Fritz, day manager at The ARK. “We have up to 24 to 25 folks here at any time.”
Last week, when the presentation was made, there were three children staying at the facility with the possibility of seeing another mother with five children come into The ARK the following day.
Fritz said many situations lead to someone staying at the facility, from job loss to divorce, break ups, living situation changes, medical bills.
“For folks who have no concept of homelessness, it’s eye opening,” said Cothren of one of The ARK’s annual fundraisers, Cardboard City, as she shared with the FNB employees about The ARK.
Yadkin Bank, FNB’s predecessor locally, financed the construction of The ARK facility, noted Frankie Pardue, one of three local branch managers attending Wednesday’s check presentation.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.