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Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteer Day of Service

January 19, 2015

Jacksonville, Fla.  – Celebrating a day on instead of a day off, more than 500 Wells Fargo team members and community volunteers joined together to live Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream Monday. HandsOn Jacksonville, Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) and United Way of Northeast Florida organized more than 20 Wells Fargo-sponsored beautification projects while also informing residents about free tax preparation and financial education services provided by United Way’s RealSense initiative.

“Today we celebrate Dr. King’s vision of togetherness as one community. One community embodies the idea that there are no dividing lines between banks, customers, neighbors, and community organizations when it comes to making our city a better place to live, work, play, raise our families, and plan our futures,” said Kelly Smith, North Florida regional president of Wells Fargo, during an opening rally held in the Adams-Jenkins Sports & Music Center at Edward Waters College.

Committed to promoting the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone, Wells Fargo and its team members volunteered time today to beautify communities supported by the Financial Capability Network, a national partnership between Wells Fargo and United Way to help stabilize neighborhoods.

“Because of Wells Fargo’s commitment to strengthening the financial stability of families, we were able to open Prosperity Place at the Wells Fargo Historic Springfield Community Learning Center,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida. “We are delighted to have the opportunity today to tell our neighbors about the free financial education and tax preparation services offered at Prosperity Place and various locations throughout Northeast Florida. Our collective volunteer efforts today demonstrate that great things happen when we Live United.”

Jeff Winkler, director of United Way's RealSense, rallies volunteers prior to neighborhood canvassing to educate residents about financial resources.
Jeff Winkler, director of United Way’s RealSense, rallies volunteers prior to neighborhood canvassing to educate residents about financial resources.

Focused on the Springfield, East Jacksonville, New Town and Northwest Jacksonville neighborhoods, the beautification projects and canvassing efforts align with the City of Jacksonville’s recent launch of Renew Jax, a collection of public-private partnerships to improve and expand housing opportunities, promote economic development and job creation, and bolster families.

“Jacksonville is blessed with a tremendous spirit of service and volunteerism, with so many people who care about our community,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “We know it takes all of us working together as partners to make Jacksonville an even better community. That’s the spirit behind Renew Jax.”

Through Renew Jax, the City, LISC, and community development partners are reducing crime and blight while developing healthier and safer neighborhoods. Today’s efforts contribute to the economic and community development strategy.

Volunteers work on painting "peace tiles" to help beautify a community center.
Volunteers work on painting “peace tiles” to help beautify a community center.

“The change we accomplish together is far more powerful than change that any one of us can achieve on our own,” said Janet Owens, executive director of LISC. “Today is all about asking Dr. King’s most important question—‘What are we doing to help others?’ When we give selflessly as members of businesses, communities, nonprofits and government to improve our city, we make his dream come true.”

Together, the 500 plus volunteers logged more than 2,000 hours of giving back. “We sincerely thank the dedicated volunteers who commemorated Dr. King’s dream of unity among all faiths and ethnicities,” said Judy Smith, president and CEO of HandsOn Jacksonville. “The people who came out today are changing the world one good deed at a time.”

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About Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

About HandsOn Jacksonville

HandsOn Jacksonville – the First Coast’s ON-RAMP to Volunteering – inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The organization delivers quality volunteer experiences and develops volunteer leaders. For more information visit: www.handsonjacksonville.org.

About LISC
As the Jacksonville community works to revitalize neighborhoods with both vibrant residential and commercial development, LISC Jacksonville adds valued resources, skilled practitioners and knowledgeable advocates to the community development initiatives of our nonprofit partners.

About United Way of Northeast Florida
United Way focuses on education, income and health – the building blocks for a quality life. The organization supports measurable solutions to ensure children enter school ready to learn, students stay on track to graduation, families achieve financial stability and people have the tools to lead healthy, productive lives. More information can be found at unitedwaynefl.org.