BBVA grants

BBVA USA Bryan-College Station City President Amos McDonald congratulates the 2019 volunteer of the year, College Station branch employee Juan Davila, during Thursday morning’s BBVA USA award ceremony.

Six area organizations were recognized Thursday morning as they received a total of $22,500 in grants distributed by the national BBVA USA Foundation.

Those six recipients are among the community partners that received grants totalling $44,538 over the past year.

The six organizations receiving checks Thursday were Blinn College Foundation; Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corporation and Brazos Valley CDC; Brenham ISD Education Foundation; Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity; Voices for Children; and Walker Montgomery CDC. The grants ranged from $2,500 to $7,500.

“It’s a wide array of things that we invest in,” BBVA USA Bryan-College Station City President Amos McDonald said. “It’s not just one thing.”

For Voices for Children, the $5,000 grant will cover the cost of training 75 new volunteers to serve as a court-appointed special advocate, or CASA, in the Brazos Valley.

Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity received a $2,500 grant that will fund the construction of a single-family home for one of 18 families who already have been approved for a Habitat for Humanity home. The organization is close to completing its 295th home, and since its founding has served 1,259 people, 452 adults and 807 children.

The expected outcome for the grant money is to provide a better future for the family who receives the home by helping them put down roots, live healthier lives, focus on education and improve their finances.

The Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corporation and Brazos Valley CDC received the largest grant of $7,500 for the Brazos Valley Financial Fitness Center to help people and families improve their finances through household budgeting, responsible banking habits, credit building, income tax return assistance and pre-planning.

The Blinn College Foundation’s $2,500 grant will fund a pilot program that will help at least 10 low-risk, non-violent offenders re-enter society by receiving vocational training at the Hodde Tech Center at Blinn College’s Brenham campus.

The Walker Montgomery CDC received a $2,500 grant to support adjudicated youth at the Gulf Coast Trades Center and will allow them to receive a $7.25 hourly wage for projects they work on in the program.

With 76 million customers in more than 30 countries across the world, McDonald said, BBVA has the ability to “do local things, but with a global presence,” saying a BBVA leader coined the phrase “glocal” to describe it.

McDonald encouraged those hoping to partner with BBVA to talk with him about what their organization does and how BBVA can help with their mission and goals of helping in the community.

In addition to awarding checks, McDonald also recognized Juan Davila, sales and service adviser at the College Station branch of BBVA Compass Bank, as the 2019 volunteer of the year.

McDonald noted Davila was proactive when he began working for the company to ask where he could volunteer, ultimately choosing the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. He ended 2019 leading the company in volunteer hours.

“It was very much a surprise — a well-received surprise,” Davila said. “I do this volunteer to make an impact. I do it to create an impact in my community. I enjoy what I do as a volunteer and found some really good relationships there, good connections, good people that I talk to, good friends. It’s not a chore. It’s something fun.”

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