When most people think of banking, they think of numbers, statements, and money. At Wells Fargo in Mint Hill, they think first of people. Josh Dunn, Wells Fargo Corporate Communications Advisor, and Brandon Burton, Personal Banker at the Mint Hill branch, recently sat down to speak on September’s Community Support Campaign and share how Wells Fargo is changing the face of banking.
Wells Fargo believes that knowledge is power and that that knowledge is best gleaned from experience. To that end, Wells encourages team members to give back to the community by allotting 16 paid hours per year for staff members for volunteering. Last year in North Carolina, 35,000 team members logged over 237,000 volunteer hours with local non-profit organizations. One such member was Brandon Burton.
As part of his community outreach coordination efforts, Brandon works with local businesses to foster financial education within the community. Building on the premise that knowledge is the power we need to succeed, Brandon is at the forefront helping to build a stronger more successful community. Through symbiotic relationships with schools like Independence and Butler High School, Brandon works with students by offering personal finance classes to teach budgeting strategies and awareness of savings and credit opportunities. Through Wells, Brandon also partners with teachers during their free blocks to add information to curriculum that will enhance their teaching opportunities with students regarding finances. At Lebanon Elementary, Brandon works with staff offering financial health seminars, strengthening Wells’ commitment on all levels to students and staff.
Wells Fargo partners with Novant Medical to offer Financial Health Benefit Fairs that offer individuals information and strategies for retirement, 401k, college planning, and budget tool kits for individuals in Mint Hill and Matthews locations.
Wells Fargo continues to work with our most vulnerable populations such as HomeCare for the Carolinas and Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency. In working with Carolina Refugee Resettlement agency, Brandon works one on one to provide a sound financial education to refugees and asylees seeking to begin their new lives in the United States. The goal of the program is to set these individuals up for success right from the start. Brandon provides participants with a financial education on the basics of the US banking system and helps them to open direct deposit accounts, as well as explaining debit cards and ATMs, to make the transition to working and establishing a living even easier. Wells provides several interpreters who help to bridge the language gaps helping individuals to truly understand what they are being taught and participate fully in the program. The work is time-consuming but incredibly rewarding. Individuals within the program tend to become very emotional over being thankful for the opportunity to better their lives.
Gladys Escamilla, a mortgage consultant with Wells Fargo, also works with the Matthews Interfaith Community to help answer questions and educate people on affordable housing. The Interfaith leaders are a call to action group whose aim is to fight poverty and improve wellness in the most vulnerable populations. Ms. Escamilla also helps participants to understand affordable housing and mortgage requirements, as well as providing information on grants such as those offered by the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT (™) program. The NeighborhoodLIFT(™) program is beneficial to local communities in that it aims to support a viable option for homeownership that enriches the community and helps promote neighborhood stability. This is done by offering downpayment assistance and financial education for homebuyers in partnership with NeighborWorks(™) America and local non-profits.
In order for a bank to succeed, a community must also succeed, and that’s where the foundation for Wells Fargo’s outreach programs begins. For more information on community outreach opportunities or banking opportunities, please contact the Wells Fargo Mint Hill Branch at 9125 Lawyers Road or call 704-545-3239.