(WICHITA, Kan.)—The United Way of the Plains starts the year with a large donation. CoBank announced Tuesday it would donate $1 million to the Wichita non-profit over the next three years.
CoBank is a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States. The donation to the United Way marks the close of its merger with Wichita-based U.S. AgBank.
The three-year gift will be primarily focused on three areas. They include health care and rural health care, hunger relief and housing assistance for the poor. The United Way of the Plains will serve as administrator of the gift on CoBank's behalf. "We're deeply grateful for this generous contribution, which will have an enormous positive impact in our community," said Patrick Hanrahan, president of United Way of the Plains. "Health care, hunger and housing are three of the most pressing problems faced by the poor in any urban area, including Wichita, and we are so pleased that CoBank has stepped forward to make such a significant investment."
Of the $1 million total, $375,000 will be designated for health care and rural health care programs run by Project Access, a United Way agency serving Wichita and surrounding Sedgwick County, and Via Christi Health, the region's largest medical center. Another $300,000 will be allocated for hunger relief and housing assistance programs managed by Kansas Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity. The balance - $325,000 - will go to United Way of the Plains as well as 10 other local charities recommended for support by former U.S. AgBank employees.
Other charities receiving support through the CoBank contribution include: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sedgwick County; Wichita Children's Home; Carpenter Place; Dress for Success; Union Rescue Mission; Heartspring; Children's Miracle Network Hospital; Interfaith Ministries; YMCA of Greater Wichita; and YWCA Women's Crisis Center.
CoBank's merger with U.S. AgBank closed on January 1, 2012. Both banks are members of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and lending associations serving farmers, ranchers, cooperatives and other rural borrowers around the country. CoBank and U.S. AgBank each have had long histories in Wichita, and the combined bank's Wichita office will number more than 80 people from both organizations. The combined bank will do business under the CoBank name and remain headquartered outside Denver, Colorado.