Austin Bank continues partnership with HOPE with donation

May 15, 2019
Courtesy Photo
Austin Bank CRA Assistant Craig Scheler presents HOPE Executive Director Ellann Johnson with a donation from the bank recently. Also shown are Shawn Eyre and Debbie Braune. Courtesy Photo
Austin Bank CRA Assistant Craig Scheler presents HOPE Executive Director Ellann Johnson with a donation from the bank recently. Also shown are Shawn Eyre and Debbie Braune.

Austin Bank recently made a donation to HOPE (Helping Other Pursue Enrichment) Inc.

The $60,000 donation is a continuation of Austin Bank’s long-standing partnership with HOPE and will be used for renovations of a newly acquired property at 597 S. Ragsdale St., in Jacksonville.

Originally formed in 1991, through the efforts of the Jacksonville Ministerial Alliance, HOPE answers the unmet needs of the economically disadvantaged by pooling assistance resources through a networking system designed to prevent duplication of services.

In 2018, HOPE helped more than 17,336 residents of Cherokee County through its many programs.
Board member Nancy Washburn shares, “HOPE provides emergency assistance to those in need but also gives them tools to promote self-sufficiency. I am so excited to see how the new property will be used. Several new programs have been talked about, and the possibilities are endless.”

Austin Bank has been a partner of HOPE since the non-profit’s early days.

“Austin Bank and the Austin family continue their commitment to Cherokee County by partnering with HOPE in our latest venture to help those in need. Our Board of Trustees and I, as director, are grateful and humbled to have a hometown bank support our hometown of Jacksonville,” HOPE Executive Director Ellann Johnson said.

Jackie Sessions, HOPE Board President, added, “In thinking back over the years that I have been associated with HOPE, as well as serving on the Board of Directors, I have learned that from HOPE’s inception, the Austins -- and because of them, Austin Bank -- have been very supportive of all of our endeavors. Whether it was being a major donor of a fundraising event; helping with the many food drives; or giving valuable input or feedback to help us become more successful as we have expanded and grown in our service to the community, they and the organization have been and continue to be a very beneficial asset to HOPE, its clients, and our community as a whole. We very much appreciate being a part of the Austin Bank family over the years.”

Renovations of the newly purchased building will allow for the expansion of HOPE’s services. Plans are in place to expand the Manna Pantry; provide space for additional case management, dental care and medical services; create a computer lab to aid clients in seeking employment, continuing education and locating resources; give additional space to support groups and job placement programs; and will allow for additional storage space for food, supplies and operating files.

“It is an honor to serve on the Board of HOPE. Being able to expand HOPE’s services and meet the needs of more people in Cherokee County is an absolute blessing,” shares Craig Scheler, Austin Bank CRA Assistant.