(January 25, 2021) As a perennial La Casa de Don Pedro partner, the Bank of America Giving Tree (which includes the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement (HOLA) Employee Resource Group and several Merrill Lynch branches) has consistently answered our call for help. A trusted partner, Bank of America has jumped at almost every opportunity to give back with La Casa, including volunteering at community cleanups and at our annual community festival, Festival de la Familia.. Giving Tuesday 2020 was no different, despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a mission to build strong ties with the communities they serve, Bank of America’s HOLA group saw La Casa as an ideal partner organization,, especially with La Casa’s Latinx roots. Bank of America has made it a point to level the playing field for disenfranchised people such as the Hispanic/Latinx communities that La Casa serves, so it was a great fit for both sides and the relationship has been fruitful over the years.
Led by Assistant Vice President of Strategy Execution Dorca Gilbertson and Senior Specialist Charlene Copeland, the Bank of America Giving Tree reached out to roughly 10,000 employees in their network throughout the state of New Jersey to collect toys for La Casa’s 2020 Giving Tuesday toy drive. Using an Amazon wish list, the network purchased several hundred gifts and toys for La Casa’s children. While they were unable to do their annual visits to our early childhood centers to read to the children and hand out toys, their impact was felt throughout the organization. We caught up with Dorca Gilbertson who had this to say, “While we missed seeing all those smiling faces, we felt an obligation to this resilient community of Newark to offer our labor of love. We look forward to hopefully getting back to normal once this pandemic is over.”
La Casa is extremely thankful to the Bank of America Giving Tree for their unwavering commitment to give joy, spread love, and inspire hope each holiday season. We also want to acknowledge Gary Meyer of the Paramus Merrill Lynch branch; Jossue Bonilla of the BOA Fairview branch (and La Casa board member); and Fernando Nuñez (North NJ Regional Market Leader).