Banks join together to donate $24k to Panola Habitat for Humanity

Banks join together to donate $24k to Panola Habitat for Humanity

BATESVILLE, MS - This is a news release from Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

Panola Habitat for Humanity may be a small operation, but they have a huge mission. The Habitat affiliate received a $24,000 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award from Guaranty Bank and Trust, First Security Bank, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) on Tuesday, November 10. The funds will be used to hire additional fundraising staff.

Attending the check presentation, Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey said, "I'm pleased to see local banks work together to make a difference in the community."

Connie Hawkins, president of the Panola Habitat affiliate, said the grant came at just the right time.

"Our operation is small at the moment, but we have big plans for the upcoming year," she said. "These administrative expenses are necessary to operate Habitat, so we may continue to serve the Panola County community."

Ms. Hawkins, who is also the chief financial officer, cashier, and executive vice president at First Security Bank, has a unique perspective on the need for affordable housing in Panola County. She said that without the PGP funds, the Panola Habitat would have had to merge with an affiliate in another location.

Like Ms. Hawkins, Keith Buck, city president of the Batesville branch of Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, also has a unique view of affordable housing. Serving on the Habitat board since September, Mr. Buck said that the grant will allow Habitat to not only expand its presence in Panola County, but to ultimately help area residents move into "homes they can call their own."

Presented annually, PGP awards provide grants up to $12,000 to community-based organizations (CBOs), like Panola Habitat for Humanity. The funds may be used for research, organizational capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance, or contractual services. The structure of the PGP allows FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as Guaranty Bank and Trust and First Security Bank, to make a contribution to a CBO, which FHLB Dallas will match. The member's contribution may range from $500 up to $4,000 and is matched at a 3:1 ratio. In 2015, FHLB Dallas awarded $225,000 in PGP funds to support 25 organizations. For more information, visit

Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, supports Habitat's plan for continued growth. "FHLB Dallas is proud to partner with Guaranty Bank and Trust Company and First Security Bank to ensure the continued success of the Panola County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity."