Daily Point of Light # 3115 Jan 12, 2006

From its humble beginnings in 1893, Banco Popular North America (BPNA) has committed to the social well being of the communities they serve. For 112 years, the core of their institutional values, Social Commitment, is the compass that guides their mission and community philosophy as they serve those who need it most. Community service is part of their corporate DNA, a key pillar of their identity as an institution.

BPNA is committed to “Make Dreams Happen” for their Communities. That’s one of the reasons they call their employees “DreamMakers.” Not only is the bank like a family to their customers, communities, and DreamMakers, but the families of the DreamMakers join in supporting their contributions and commitment to community service.

The best examples of this joint commitment occurred when DreamMakers and their families joined hands to celebrate Make A Difference Day on Saturday, October 23, 2004, and completed 64 community projects, involved 571 employees and their families, totaling approximately 2,400 hours and reaching in excess of 5,000 people. This past October 2005, Banco Popular employees and family members came together again and executed a tremendous effort during their second bank-wide Make a Difference Day: Over 500 DreamMakers and their families volunteered at 40 Sites and contributed 2344 service hours.

BPNA’s company wide volunteer and community service initiative is called, It’s in Your Hands. This powerful call to action to make a difference in people’s lives reflects the flexibility offered to DreamMakers and their families, drawing them together to respond to an array of projects that address many pressing community needs. Employees and their families selected the cause or project most meaningful to them and made their contributions of time and talent. They reached out to create strong partnerships with local organizations as they donated hundreds of service hours to strengthen local communities and bring needed relief and support to those at risk: Children, the elderly, mentally and physically challenged individuals, families in extreme poverty, community schools, the homeless, terminally ill patients, teenage moms and many more.

With each project, volunteers grew stronger in their commitment to improve the overall quality of the communities they serve. All around the country, DreamMakers and their families continued and expanded their efforts with chosen service projects, many of which represent an ongoing commitment from BPNA and its staff.

Among the initiatives was Northern Illinois-based Clearbrook. Clearbrook is a nonprofit human services agency and advocate leader creating opportunities for developmentally disabled children. BPNA enjoys an ongoing relationship with Clearbrook, with a member of their senior management team serving on the Board of Directors. On Make a Difference Day, thirty-six DreamMakers, friends and family members volunteered more than 216 hours of service sprucing up their space. Moved by the volunteers’ initiative, local retailers (i.e. Home Depot) donated paint, rollers, brushes and pans to support the project.

For three consecutive years, BPNA DreamMakers and families in the Orlando region partnered with Seniors First to provide an array of services and support for the elderly. On Make a Difference Day, “It’s in Your Hands” teams worked on two senior citizens’ homes by painting and remodeling their facades.

Throughout the year, BPNA DreamMakers volunteer with community organizations in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, Texas and California. Banco Popular North America is about community, neighborhoods and people. We believe in the dreams that rise from our communities and aspire to partner in order to help those dreams pass into the reality of action.