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Press Release


July 23, 2020


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

The First and FHLB Dallas Award $18K in Grants­­ to Three
Mississippi Nonprofits

Charities Located in Pass Christian, Gulfport and Hattiesburg Receive Funding

HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI, July 23, 2020 – The First, A National Banking Association (The First) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) awarded Partnership Grant Program (PGP) funds of $6,000 each to three Mississippi nonprofits – Armorbearers in Pass Christian, Mercy Housing and Human Development in Gulfport and Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi (R3SM) in Hattiesburg.

PGP grants help qualified nonprofit organizations fund a variety of operational and administrative activities that are critical to serving their communities.

Armorbearers, an organization of Mississippi National Guard members, will use the grant for project and administrative costs to aid homeless veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization currently is building a house near Hattiesburg for a disabled veteran of the Iraq War.

Mercy Housing and Human Development offers financial literacy training to low- to moderate-income adults with the goal of helping them achieve prosperity. It will use the grant to offer rental assistance during the pandemic, to build program capacity and to seek additional assistance to keep its programs at capacity. The organization served about 7,500 clients in fiscal 2019.

R3SM is a long-term recovery agency offering restoration, rebuilding and disaster recovery services to victims of natural disasters. It will use the grant for administrative expenses. Over the years, R3SM has renovated hundreds of homes and built dozens of new homes among other services it offers to help people recover from natural disasters.

"These three community nonprofits offer different kinds of services, but they are alike in the significant impact they have made in Mississippi," said Ellen Cole, community development coordinator for The First. "By assisting them with their administrative expenses, we hope to help keep them actively benefiting our state for many years to come."

Funding of the PGP was increased by $2 million this year under FHLB Dallas' COVID-19 Relief Program to support community-based organizations (CBOs) involved in affordable housing activities, stimulating small business development or providing small businesses with technical assistance. For 2020, program parameters also were expanded to include COVID-19 relief.

Through this unique grant program, FHLB Dallas member institutions contribute from $500 to $6,000 to a CBO, which FHLB Dallas matches at a new, higher 5:1 ratio (compared to the previous 3:1 ratio) resulting in a match of up to $30,000. If multiple member institutions contribute to the same CBO in one year, the maximum FHLB Dallas match for those member contributions is $60,000 per year. In both cases, the total grant to the CBO would be the sum of the member contribution(s) plus the FHLB Dallas match. Grants are awarded annually through FHLB Dallas and its member institutions.

"Armorbearers, Mercy Housing and R3SM offer an array of critical services to their home state of Mississippi," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "By joining with The First to provide these PGP grants, we hope to reduce the worry that these nonprofits face in covering their operating costs while meeting the most urgent needs of their community members." 

See the complete list of the 2020 PGP grant recipients. For more information about the 2020 PGP grants and other FHLB Dallas community investment products and programs, please visit

About The First Bancshares Inc.

The First Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Miss., is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. Founded in 1996 near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, The First has grown rapidly through South Mississippi, South Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia providing services competitive to those found at larger regional banks. The Company's stock is traded on Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol FBMS. Information is available on the Company's website

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $83.8 billion as of March 31, 2020 is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 805 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit for more information.