"Sojourner Center couldn't operate without the kind of corporate citizenship BBVA Compass is showing," says Colleen Pyra, the shelter's director of development. She says the grant will defray the cost of services in several areas:
"Sojourner Center is the largest domestic violence shelter in the U.S., providing safety and support for nearly 3,000 women and children each year. And 'support' means more than just a place to stay. It means meals, bedding, health care, personal care items, and all the labor, adminstration, and supplies for keeping our facilites clean and operating. Support also includes the classes and training we offer the women to empower them to rebuild their lives after domestic violence.
"Sojourner Center is actually a small community within the community of Phoenix," Pyra says, "and with this grant, BBVA Compass is supporting both of them."
Community support is the focus of BBVA Compass' department of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation. In announcing the grant to Sojourner Center, department Director J. Reymundo Ocañas said, "Our mission at BBVA Compass is to work for a better future for people. As part of our commitment to the community, we want to help build strong and vibrant neighborhoods, improve the quality of life, and make a positive difference where we work and live. Sojourner Center is vital to accomplishing these goals and many others." Ocañas joined Lynne Herndon, BBVA city president for Phoenix in congratulating Sojourner Center on behalf of BBVA Compass' employees.
BBVA Compass has 716 branches throughout the Sunbelt Region, and its market share ranks among the top 20 largest U.S. commercial banks. BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the nation's leading Small Business Administration lenders, and was named "Lender of the Year" in 2009 and 2010.