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Carter Bank & Trust Invests in area’s Bridges out of Poverty initiative

Updated: May 17, 2018

MARTINSVILLE – Carter Bank & Trust is investing $14,500 in the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville’s “Bridges Out of Poverty”, an initiative that addresses intergenerational poverty in Martinsville, Henry County, and Patrick County.  The funding will enable the United Way to work with community partners to expand awareness, resources and services committed to impacting poverty in our communities. Bridges out of Poverty aims to break the cycle of poverty in the community by engaging community partners and fostering a better understanding of the causes of intergenerational poverty and potential barriers for advancement out of poverty. Official poverty definitions look solely at the income level of an individual.  Bridges out of Poverty examines the idea that poverty is the extent to which a person lacks resources leading to a life of instability.  Bridges out of Poverty is a research-based framework of concepts, tools, and resources that enables individuals to reconsider how they approach their clients, their constituents, their neighbors and their community. It depends on strong communication and linkages between available services, ensuring individuals are able to access programs that provide benefits.  Philip Wenkstern, Executive Director of the United Way, remarked, “We are very excited about this funding and the impact that it will have on the community.  We are truly appreciative of Carter Bank & Trust’s investment in Bridges out of Poverty.  Carter Bank & Trust is an incredible supporter of the United Way and the community as a whole.  We are extremely fortunate to have such strong corporate partners that truly care about the communities they serve.” “It is moving to see how our community is coming together around this new way of thinking ready to, together, build relationships and fight back against instability, to fight back against poverty,” According to Julia Hollandsworth, United Way Community Engagement Coordinator, “That truly is the United Way. Together we fight and together we win.” “The United Way has spent the last two years on research, strategy, collaboration and consensus building around the Bridges Out of Poverty framework; therefore, we believe this provides fertile ground for Martinsville, Henry County and Patrick County to create and realize the benefits of this innovative approach to stopping intergenerational financial instability,” said Beverly Pitzer, Carter Bank’s Vice President & Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Fair Lending Officer. Improving community awareness surrounding the causes and contributing factors to intergenerational poverty is incredibly important.  To that end, the United Way will be hosting a Bridges out of Poverty training session on May 15th.  This training provides participants with an improved understanding of poverty and the Triple Lens approach of individual, institutional, and community required to comprehensively address the issue of poverty so that services can be structured to improve access and utilization for their intended recipients.  For individuals that attend the May 15th training, or attended the Bridges out of Poverty training funded by the Harvest Foundation last year at New College Institute, a second training will be held on June 25th.  The second program will provide facilitator certification training for the Bridges out of Poverty focused program titled, “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World”.  The training equips participants with the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide facilitation of the Getting Ahead program for those in our community bridging their way out of poverty to a life of stability. The “Getting Ahead” training will be offered on June 25th.  Anyone interested in participating in either of these training programs or learning more about them should contact Julia Hollandsworth at 276-638-3946. About United Way of Henry County & Martinsville: With more than 100 volunteers and nearly 3,200 donors in Martinsville-Henry County each year, United Way is the area’s largest privately-funded nonprofit, addressing the community’s immediate and long-term needs in the focus areas of education, financial stability and healthy living, which are the building blocks for a good quality of life. About Carter Bank & Trust: Headquartered in Martinsville, Va., Carter Bank & Trust is a state-chartered community bank in Virginia with 109 branches and 1,000 employees in Virginia and North Carolina.

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