FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Jon Patrom, Retail Sales/Marketing Officer
Greenbrier, AR: Honoring one of their most important core values of patriotism, First Service Bank has launched a fundraising campaign called Operation Red, White & Brave for the privilege of building a Habitat for Humanity home that will be presented to a deserving veteran when completed.
“We’ve been talking for a long time about how we can give back in a way that makes a larger impact on behalf of our community,” said Robin Hackett, a Branch & Mortgage Manager & Loan Officer at First Service Bank. “Volunteerism has always been a part of our values, but always in our own lanes and done individually. Building a home for a veteran allows us to join together and combine our energy toward a greater cause.”
The bank will raise money across all of its ten Arkansas locations which Hackett said, “will allow people throughout Central Arkansas to help someone who has dedicated their life to service of our country.”
“We’re looking to raise $80,000 for the program with giving opportunities large and small. Even giving back a small part of what a customer gets when they cash a check will allow them to be a part of the greater good. Many of our business clients are in construction, and we’d love to encourage them to bring their tools and work beside us when the build gets underway,” Hackett said.
First Service Bank’s campaign dovetails nicely with one of Habitat for Humanity’s key initiatives which is to designate particular homes where the owner is selected from a pool of deserving veterans. Kelly Fleming, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas, explains that Habitat for Humanity homes aren’t simply handed over to a new owner – they are involved in the build and must meet some stringent qualifications. along with being vetted by a selection committee. “We like to call it a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out,’” says Fleming.
“Sweat equity is an important part of the program. New owners participate in the construction of their home as the ‘down payment,’” she adds. “To qualify for a Habitat home, applicants must exhibit a need, have a decent, passable credit score, and be able to present an income history. Part of what we do is educate new homeowners about budgeting and money management, all to help be successful.”
Upon taking ownership, new homeowners do make payments on their home, but the mortgage they carry has no interest attached.
About First Service Bank
First Service Bank, headquartered in Faulkner County, has been in operation for over 50 years and has locations in Clinton, Conway, Dermott, Flippin, Greenbrier, Little Rock, Marshall, Mountain View, Shirley, and Yellville. Our mission is to provide high quality, fairly priced financial services while providing a fair return to our stakeholders. Our vision is to create experiences that exceed expectations while creating an atmosphere where our personal and business banking customers can feel at home.
About Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas
Habitat for Humanitybuilds houses in partnership with Central Arkansas individuals and families in need. Volunteer labor is used to keep building costs low, and Habitat homeowners make a monthly payment on an affordable mortgage. They also invest hundreds of hours of their own labor—sweat equity—into building their own houses and the houses of others. Habitat homeowner payments go into a revolving fund that helps build houses with other families. Since its start in 1989, Habitat has built over 160 homes in Pulaski and Lonoke counties and rehabbed hundreds of homes through their Neighborhood Revitalization program.