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The Petal School District receives $100,000 from The First

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:16 PM CST
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - On Tuesday night, Nov. 16, the Petal School District was presented with a check for $100,000 during their monthly school board meeting.

The money is a gift from The First, a national banking association, and will be used to support the district’s early learning programs.

Individuals or corporations who make contributions to support early learning collaboratives may be eligible to receive a state tax credit for donated amounts up to $1 million.

Hoppy Cole, president of The First, said they are committed to supporting the communities they serve.

“We’re excited to be in a position to make that investment. We don’t think about it as a donation. We don’t think about it as a contribution. We think about it as an investment in education in our community,” Cole said.

“We believe it’s our duty to help support things that raise the standard of living in our community. The community supports us, and we think we should give back and support things that help the community, so, we view it very much as an investment and not a contribution,” he added.

Checks were also recently presented to other school districts in the Pine Belt area including, Hattiesburg, Lamar County, and Picayune.

The First, founded in 1996 in Hattiesburg, has grown rapidly through South Mississippi, South Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia providing services competitive to those found at larger regional banks.

There are currently 85 locations in those five states and Cole said they are continuously looking for ways to reinvest in underserved communities.

Last quarter, the company gave $1 million to the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Children’s Wing to help support medical research and medical care for children in Mississippi.

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