Taking charge of finances: Christian Services program helps Pine Belters THRIVE


Avoiding a cycle of debt. Trying to build savings. Managing day-to-day spending. Paying for college. Planning for retirement. At all stages of life, people are making financial decisions. 

Problem is, they are not always prepared. 

Regions Bank works year-round to connect people with free financial education to help them manage their money. And nonprofit organizations across communities share that goal. Throughout April, Financial Literacy Month, Regions is highlighting the work of nonprofits that are helping people take charge of their financial futures. 

Locally, Christian Services Inc. is one of those nonprofits. A multi-faceted ministry, the nonprofit manages several programs to help those in need. 

THRIVE is one of the ministries supported by the nonprofit, and the program provides financial education for people who are living in poverty.  

THRIVE teaches participants about money management, debt payment, budgeting and credit repair through its Money Workout Course. It also helps individuals learn to set financial goals, which leads to a better quality of life. 

Regions is using its web and social media channels to spotlight the THRIVE program at Christian Services and other nonprofits with similar services.  

The public can help, too. 

As part of Regions’ “What a Difference a Day Makes” program, Christian Services Inc. and other nonprofits are currently highlighted in the What a Difference a Day Makes section of Regions’ news website. During the next couple of weeks, people can read about the work of these nonprofits. Readers ages 16 and over can vote once each day for their favorite organization.  

Those votes, when tallied, will translate into financial and volunteer contributions for the nonprofits from Regions. 

“Financial education leads to financial empowerment, and Christian Services Inc. is making a powerful difference by connecting people with financial education skills they need for a brighter future,” said Greg Garraway, Hattiesburg area market executive for Regions. “Through What a Difference a Day Makes, we’re raising awareness of these services while encouraging public support and volunteerism. By simply reading their stories and voting for their favorites, people can help these nonprofits further their mission and serve more people.” 

In addition to the profiles at www.doingmoretoday.com/what-a-difference/, each participating nonprofit will be the focus of messages shared via @RegionsNews on Twitter. A video further illustrating the initiative is available on Regions’ YouTube channel. 

Voting is under way now and continues through April 30. After voting concludes, the nonprofit with the greatest number of votes will receive a $5,000 grant from Regions. All other contestants will receive grants of $500 or $1,000 based on their ranking. Further, Regions associates will provide a day of volunteer service to each participating organization. 

Voters should live in any of the 15 states across the Southeast, Midwest and Texas, where Regions Bank operates branch offices. Top nonprofits will be announced in early May. 

Financial education is one of Regions’ top priorities in terms of community engagement. Over the last five years, Regions has taught more than 300,000 Next Step financial wellness classes and helped more than 4 million people better understand financial topics. 

Further, volunteer support is ingrained within the culture of Regions Bank. Each year, Regions associates company-wide provide tens of thousands of volunteer service hours to a variety of nonprofits. Also, part of “What a Difference a Day Makes” includes Regions providing each of its associates a paid day off every year to offer volunteer support for nonprofits.

Christian Services plans to use the financial investment to purchase supplies, including binders, personal calculators, pencils, receipt holders, envelopes and more for each participant in the THRIVE program. The nonprofit will use volunteer service from Regions associates to support a community financial education workshop for area schools and low-income housing areas in the Hattiesburg area.