Gulfport, Mississippi’s Coalition of African American Communities Receives $12K Grant

Community Bank and The First, A National Banking Association Partner
with FHLB Dallas

GULFPORT, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Coalition of African American Communities (COAAC) is proof that good
can arise from a bad situation. The nonprofit, founded as The Amos
Network following Hurricane Katrina, changed its name and focus in 2014
to offer financial literacy and small business training to low-income
residents of Gulfport, Mississippi. Today, COAAC was awarded $12,200 in
Partnership Grant Program (PGP) funds from Community Bank, The First, A
National Banking Association (The First) and the Federal Home Loan Bank
of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

COAAC will use the PGP grant to cover costs of new equipment, computer
software, technical assistance and staff training.

“We have partnered with Community Bank and The First for many years,”
said Anthony Thompson, COAAC executive director. “They have always
worked with us on different projects. We really appreciate this grant
and their many contributions over the years.”

PGP awards provide grants up to $12,000 to community-based organizations
(CBOs). The funds may be used for research, organizational
capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance, or
contractual services. Through PGP awards, FHLB Dallas matches a member’s
contribution to a CBO of $500 up to $4,000 at a 3:1 ratio. PGP grants
are offered once a year through FHLB Dallas’ member institutions via a
lottery system.

“FHLB Dallas’ PGP program helps to leverage the member bank’s dollars to
make a more significant impact on the recipient,” said Harry Piascik,
vice president and commercial lender at Community Bank. “These funds
will allow COAAC to provide more services more often than could have
been provided with only the member bank’s contribution.”

C. Jerome Brown, senior vice president and director of Community
Development at The First, said COAAC’s community focus can reach
Gulfport citizens who are underserved.

“Even today, 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, North Gulfport is
recovering from the storm’s impact,” Mr. Brown said. “The First supports
the life-changing work of COAAC in moving these citizens toward greater
autonomy and self-sufficiency. With the help of our partners at
Community Bank and FHLB Dallas, COAAC will be able to do even more for
the area.”

Abra Taylor, founder of Gulf Coast Outreach and Leadership, is one of
several local organizations to benefit from COAAC.

“Our organizations share common goals,” Mr. Taylor said. “And the
connections we have been able to make, thanks to Anthony and COAAC, have
helped us tremendously. We now work with a grant writer, and we are
putting together formal training for our board of directors, thanks to

In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $300,000 in Partnership Grant Program (PGP)
funds through 31 member institutions to assist 30 community-based
organizations. Combined with the $104,550 contributed by FHLB Dallas
members, a total of $404,550 was awarded to the organizations.

“Community investment takes place at the local level,” said Greg
Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at
FHLB Dallas. “This foundational aspect really drives the success of the
PGP program. Through our member institutions, FHLB Dallas is able to add
financial resources in areas of need, as determined by those closest to
the situation.”

To learn more about the PGP or other Community Investment programs from
FHLB Dallas, visit

About The First, A National Banking Association

The First, headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, began as a dream
on a back porch in South Mississippi. A group of local businessmen
talked about creating a bank that would take care of business by taking
care of people one customer at a time… and The First was born. Now,
that dream has grown from a back porch to cities and towns all over
South Mississippi, South Alabama, and Louisiana. The First is more than
a bank… because it is still a group of friends building relationships
and taking care of business one customer at a time! The First currently
has 50 locations and assets exceeding $1.5 billion.

About Community Bank

Community Bank, a $2.9 billion-dollar bank, headquartered right here in
Mississippi, has 47 offices in 4 states – Mississippi, Alabama,
Tennessee, and Florida, with 8 of those being here on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast. With over 730 staff-owners, Community Bank takes pride in
offering cutting-edge products and services from checking accounts and
an in-house mortgage department to a full suite of business products.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the
FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total
assets of $62.9 billion as of June 30, 2017, is a member-owned
cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing
competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately
850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit


Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
Corporate Communications,