In just five short years of existence, Delta Grace of Sunflower has touched the lives of hundreds of Delta residents by helping to restore, renovate and repair nearly 140 homes in the Delta.
In that time, there have been more than 1,600 missioners, from as many as 20 states, who have come into the area to assist in the organization’s efforts, said the Rev. Veronica Pritchard, executive director.
Now, in light of a generous $8,000 donation from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Planters Bank and Trust of Indianola, they will be able to continue their efforts
“There is a huge need here. Most of the homes we work on are owned by widowed ladies,” Pritchard said. The missioners, who come to help, pay a small fee for lodging, which helps with the necessary material, however Pritchard affirms that what the missioners bring in is not nearly enough to cover the work that is being done. “We do anything from roofs to toilets to replacing receptacle covers, whatever is needed. So we really appreciate this grant,” said Pritchard.
Representatives from the FHLB of Dallas and Planters Bank along with local public figures and some of the organization’s volunteers were present on Dec. 16 to witness the donation.
District 4 Supervisor Anthony Clark was one of the local officials who came out for the presentation and pronounced it an honor to be a part of the conveyance.
“Sunflower County is blessed to have Delta Grace,” he said.
Clark talked about how the organization was there when his constituents called seeking help with some of the much-needed repairs to their homes. And he pledged to urge the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors to provide assistance to the group.
“I see the work that they do and when you can see where your money is going, the people that they are helping and see the value of this organization, I am indebted to help support them,” he said.
The FHLBank of Dallas operates in five states including Mississippi and each year they set aside 10 percent of their earnings and make grants available within those states to support community development and affordable housing initiatives, said Eric Haar, vice president, director of government and industry relations.
Local partner, Planters Bank and Trust Chairman and CEO Jimmy Clayton said Planters Bank has partnered with the FHLBank of Dallas for more than 20 years.
“It’s great to have an organization like this to improve the housing for all of our citizens,” he said.
Melanie Dill, community and economic development product manager for community investments provided information on how the FHLBank of Dallas works and how they partner with other banks. Planters Bank provided a $2,000 donation that FHLB of Dallas matched at a 3:1 ratio.
The Rev. Pritchard noted that they still have over 350 applications for assistance on file.
“We are working two years behind,” she said.
The houses they are repairing now made application in 2016, and according to Pritchard, they are continually receiving applications daily.