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Residential Department: Helping Hands: SunTrust Mortgage: November 2007


Helping Hands: SunTrust Mortgage

Each month, Helping Hands features a mortgage professional or group that has volunteered to lend a hand to others in need

Name SunTrust Mortgage1107_helpinghands_res

Project Charity partnership with First Book 

Site Nationwide 

How Since 2005, SunTrust has aided First Book, a nonprofit that distributes new books to  preschools, community centers and other programs serving children from low-income families. More than 270 local advisory boards across the country help alert the First Book to programs that need books.

Several-hundred SunTrust employees have created or served on First Book advisory boards, volunteered to help with book distribution or read to children who receive the books.

On the corporate side, the company is promoting First Book by hosting community meet-and-greet sessions to recruit board members in cities where First Book is expanding, such as Memphis, Tenn., and Atlanta. SunTrust also will provide meeting space for First Book University advisory-board training classes in December in Atlanta.

SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO Sterling Edmunds Jr. also joined the First Book international board of directors this past May.

Why When SunTrust decided to focus its corporate-giving efforts on one charity partner in 2005, an employee task force selected First Book from nearly 70 candidates, says Nancy Harmon, SunTrust’s director of service quality.

First Book stood out because of its mission to promote literacy and commitment on a local level, Harmon says. Although First Book is a national organization, individual donations stay in the community where they are collected.

Impact Through payroll deductions and donations at a loan-officer convention this past spring, SunTrust employees raised $140,000 for the nonprofit.

The company itself has pledged to donate another $250,000 to First Book.

Try it


Kirsten Terry is a Seattle-based freelance writer. For questions on this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail

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