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Trinity Community Ministries Receives the 2019 Lighting The Way Award from the Suntrust Foundation

Last month, our Executive Director Derek D. Duncan and Development Director Lauren Thomas Priest were invited to represent Trinity Community Ministries at the SunTrust Foundation 2019 Lighting the Way Awards, alongside 35 other nonprofits from across the Southeast and Midwest United States. Trinity Community Ministries was recognized for its generous contributions to the city of Atlanta under the Financial Counseling category.

Trinity Community Ministries has long provided life skills to its residents, homeless men with substance abuse disorders, with an ultimate goal of helping them to achieve sobriety, stability, and self-sufficiency. This year, through our Board Chair Will Buchly, who serves as a Vice President at SunTrust Bank, several SunTrust employees began providing financial literacy education and counseling to our residents. Through our program and in partnership with SunTrust Foundation, residents addressed outstanding bills and credit issues, maintained sufficient savings accounts, and gained budgeting knowledge, skills, and income.

Pictured with the 2019 Lighting Way Award Board Chair Will Buchly, Executive Director Derek D. Duncan, Development Director Lauren Thomas Priest Jenna Kelly, President of SunTrust Bank Georgia Division.

Derek and Lauren, we're able to network with several other Executive Directors and Development Directors of the other 35 awardee nonprofit organizations and SunTrust employees. Several of the employees remarked that this was one of their favorite nights of the year because they got to really see the impact that they make in the community, which really highlighted the philanthropic culture of SunTrust.

Monica Kaufman Pearson and Stan Little emceed the awards during a wonderful dinner, and each nonprofit was invited to the stage individually to accept their award after a video highlighting the work of each nonprofit in each category. We were honored to be seated next to two other metro Atlanta nonprofits, Start: ME Atlanta and North Fulton Community Charities, so that we could learn about both organizations and the work that they do in Atlanta. The event was beautifully done, and we are very proud to have been honored with a 2019 Lighting the Way Award.

In addition, SunTrust provided a workshop the next day on how nonprofit organizations can use storytelling to tell the stories of their organizations, missions, and clients to the community. The workshop featured Lucy Hall, Founder, and CEO of Mary Hall Freedom House; Kate Atwood, Founder of Kate’s Club and former Executive Director of Arby’s Foundation and ChooseATL; David Eidson, President and CEO of Coxe Curry & Associates; and Grant Millsaps, Lead Consultant and Facilitator at The Frontier Project. As a surprise gift to all of the nonprofit awardees, SunTrust also provided each with a video about their services and missions.

We are extremely grateful and thankful for the Suntrust Foundation and those who help us continue to help homeless men reclaim their lives and return to their families and communities as mentors and leaders.

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