HOUSTON, Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For half a decade, the BBVA Compass Foundation has created opportunities for a total of more than 20,000 students across the country during its existence, filling them with holiday joy and handing out toys during a time of giving.
Project Blue Elf, the foundation's signature holiday initiative, wrapped up its fifth anniversary last week and reached more than 5,500 students in 30 markets across the bank's footprint. The campaign brought toys, cookies and smiles to kids in 32 different elementary schools, with most students coming from low- to moderate-income backgrounds.
"It's been an impactful five years of Project Blue Elf, in both number of students we've reached and the emotional responses we've seen," said BBVA Compass Foundation President Reymundo Ocañas. "The holidays are a special time for these kids, and for some of them, these are the only toys they will get this season. This initiative started out as one of the multiple ways we invest in the communities we serve, and it has grown substantially into one of the most powerful undertakings we do each year."
For the project's 2017 campaign, each assembly-style event at selected schools consisted of layer after layer of surprises. To start each event, students were told they would receive $25 Young Savers account vouchers to start their own savings account.
After a reading of "The Gingerbread Man Story", students were then given cookies to decorate and eat for a sweet treat that was disguised as the pinnacle of the event. However, after building up the holiday spirit with each gift, BBVA Compass volunteers, as in years past, surprised students with a special toy unveiling. Students were given one toy each to take home, which included board games, figurines, and colorful clay dough sets.
Always expanding, Project Blue Elf reached markets across the bank's footprint for the first time this year, including South Florida.
In years past, Project Blue Elf has incorporated a variety of activities, including financial education lessons for students, but has always ended with the surprise toy donation. Notable figures have also participated in select events, including bank brand ambassadors James Harden and Bruce Bowen, and basketball legend Robert Horry who also participated in this year's festivities in Houston.
Five Years of Project Blue Elf – By the numbers:
- 20,547 – students served in low- to moderate-income communities
- 2,665 – BBVA Compass volunteers who have participated in Project Blue Elf
- 112 – Schools visited
Project Blue Elf 2017 – By the numbers:
- 5,510 – toys given to the same amount of students
- 798 – BBVA Compass volunteers serving as "Blue Elves"
- 32 – Project Blue Elf events held
- 30 – Markets served
About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 649 branches, including 336 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 37 in Colorado and 18 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 5th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2016. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com. For more BBVA Compass news, follow @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visit newsroom.bbvacompass.com.
SOURCE BBVA Compass