updated 1/24/2011 1:46:25 PM ET 2011-01-24T18:46:25

MAGNOLIA, Ark., Jan. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Peoples Bank of Arkansas (Peoples Bank) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) awarded a $20,000 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award to Compassion's Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Magnolia, Arkansas, that assists victims of domestic violence. The funds will assist with operating costs and enable the organization to hire a weekend staff member.

Partnership grants are offered through FHLB Dallas's member institutions, such as Peoples Bank, and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants provide funding for operational needs of community-based organizations involved in affordable housing and community development.  FHLB Dallas matches a member's cash contributions to a community-based organization of $500 up to $5,000 at a 3:1 ratio.  Through its member institutions, FHLB Dallas awarded $225,000 in partnership grants in 2010, and will again offer $225,000 in PGP funds through its member institutions in 2011.

Compassion's Foundation was established in 2007 to provide needed services to the underprivileged population in Columbia County. One of the programs established was the Living Water Domestic Violence Shelter, which provides domestic violence services such as safe shelter, food, clothing, job training, counseling and referrals for medical care to vulnerable populations of the community. In 2009, the organization purchased its building, and in January 2010 opened a certified 24-hour shelter. Within the past year, the Living Water Domestic Violence Shelter has provided care for 27 women and 43 children. 

Compassion's Foundation operates primarily through volunteers and donations. The additional staff member will alleviate weekend work hours for volunteers.

"We are very thankful that the grant funds will allow us to hire an additional staff person to fulfill the weekend duties," said Sondra Atkinson, volunteer and client services coordinator at Compassion's Foundation. "Our volunteers dedicate a lot of personal time to this organization, and the new staff person will help give the volunteers a break while still fulfilling the needs of our community. As a young organization, we are learning as we go, and this is a huge step in the right direction for us."

Peoples Bank Chief Finance Officer Jonathan Baird approached Compassion's Foundation and introduced them to the program. He said he felt they were the perfect candidate for the funding.

"Compassion's Foundation protects a very vulnerable group within our community," said Mr. Baird. "By providing social services and a place to stay, victims of domestic violence are able to escape a threatening environment and start a new and stable life. Compassion's Foundation is a great organization, and we wanted to support them in their efforts."

Ms. Atkinson added that the partnership grant is the largest contribution Compassion's Foundation has received since its inception.

 "People's Bank has been a tremendous partner of ours, and we are so grateful that they provided us with this opportunity," said Ms. Atkinson.

In addition to operating a shelter, Compassion's Foundation also provides a variety of services such as food through the Feeding America program, which is donated by the local Walmart, Rice Depot and is also a host site for Angel Food Ministries, which provides low cost prepackaged food. It also provides on-site Certified Nurse Assistance instruction and is a certified test site. Living Water Domestic Violence Shelter is a member of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence and networks with other shelters throughout the area in order to provide the best care for its clients.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932.  FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $51.6 billion as of September 30, 2010, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to more than 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.  For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3013


CONTACT:  Corporate Communications
          Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
          (214) 441-8445

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