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Tuscaloosa Gives Back: Corporate Giving Spreads the Giving Throughout the Community

02 Apr 2018 Hanson Watkins
Bryant Bank Presents a check to Caring Days. Bryant Bank Presents a check to Caring Days. Bryant Bank

Some corporations headquartered in Tuscaloosa spread their giving throughout the community.  Many charities rely on the larger corporate donations, like the $250,000 donation from Mercedes Benz to the downtown Tuscaloosa YMCA.   

The largest employers in our area also have impact by working with both local and national groups by combining employee efforts, like the Charity Jeans Friday program at Brose.   

In addition, there are groups that are designed to support multiple charities, like the Community Service Programs of West Alabama and individual foundations.  Companies like The Westervelt Company use Community Service programs to administer their charity efforts. 

Bryant Bank 

Bryant Bank made a commitment to help Alabama build legendary communities through hard work, dedication, and pride.  Their bankers supporting local Tuscaloosa organizations by volunteering their time in a classroom, on a board, or out in the community.  Additionally, Bryant Bank invests in several local organizations financially. 

A new initiative this [past holiday season was to “Turn Banking Into Thanking.” Bryant bankers to submitted local charity ideas that had impacted them or a family member, or one that they felt had make a difference in Tuscaloosa.  After reviewing all the submissions, Bryant Bank ended up choosing to give them all a donation. In addition, Bryant Bank has worked to promote these charities in Tuscaloosa.  This year, they supported:

·         American Cancer Society – specifically the local Relay for Life 

·         American Heart Association 

·         Caring Days 

·         Easter Seals 

·         Junior Achievement of Tuscaloosa County 

·         YMCA 

·         Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama 

·         Mind Changers 

·         Holiday Food Drive to support the local community (food donations) with Greater Faith Tabernacle Church 

Six additional charities benefited from this effort in other markets as well. 

The Community Foundation of West Alabama 

The mission of the CFWA is to promote charitable giving for present and future generations.  They do this by administering and managing charitable giving for foundations, individuals, and companies, like The Westervelt Company.   

Supporting education and the arts is one of the top areas for CFWA.  Each year, they distribute grants to teachers and educators in Tuscaloosa.  Over time, CFWA has worked with a wide variety of charities.   

Grant cycle awardees have included:  Child Abuse Prevention Services, Tuscaloosa Children’s Center, IMPACT Alabama, KidOne Transport, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Druid City Garden Project, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Mt Vernon Community Club, Strings in Schools, and the Newbern Library, Inc. 

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International has donated more than $12 million to our local community since coming to Alabama in 1993.  Their support has helped so many groups in the area that they can’t all be listed here. Here are few examples,  

In 2017, MBUSI sponsored Lean On: Alabama’s inaugural Women's Lifestyle and Leadership Conference in Tuscaloosa. Lean On: Alabama provides opportunities for the women of Alabama to build relationships while learning from others who have forged the path to success as leaders in their families, communities, churches, government, and business. 

50 MBUSI Team Members participated in a Tuscaloosa Habitat for Humanity building project in the Foster Ferry Road area.  Other initiatives have included building projects for a disabled Tuscaloosa resident and builds in other areas, such as Birmingham. 

In 2015, Mercedes donated $250,000 to sponsor The Child Development Room at the YMCA’s new facility in downtown Tuscaloosa. 

The company has supported the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, a nonprofit clean water advocacy organization, through lead sponsorships of Earthbound’s Earthfest.  The Black Warrior River basin includes parts of 17 Alabama counties and provides approximately half of Birmingham’s drinking water, as well as all the water for Tuscaloosa and many other cities in Tuscaloosa County. 

Other prominent charitable projects include: 

·         JDRF Wine for the Walk and the organization’s annual gala 

·         Donating two vehicles to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Birmingham.  

·         Purchasing a 3D Pain Distraction System Children’s of Alabama Burn Unit 

·         Sponsoring two Family Units at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham and the DCH Family Room in Tuscaloosa. 

·         Red Mountain Theatre sponsorships 

·         Raising more than $20,000 as part of the Tuscaloosa area’s “Making Strides” walk to support breast cancer  

Michelin/BF Goodrich Tire Manufacturing 

Michelin has donated $175,000 to charitable causes in the area and supporting local school programs. It was one of the first businesses to become an Adopt-A-School partner in Tuscaloosa and continues its commitment to workforce development through sponsorships and involvement in programs like the West Alabama Worlds of Work Career Expo. 

Brose provides consistent support to charities throughout the year, such as: 

·         Adopt a Family 

·         Susan G Komen Race 

·         Habitat for Humanity 

·         Red Nose Day 

Through Charity Jeans Friday, Brose’s own company; wide charity initiative, Brose employees have made donations to a variety of charities, including Ozone House, SmileTrain, Gleaners Food bank and disaster relief funds. 

In addition, they work to build skills for future generations through education programs such as FIRST Robotics school competition and Square One. 

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