HOUSTON, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The BBVA Compass Foundation donated toys to nearly 350 students today at Eliot Elementary School as part of its new program, Project Blue Elf, which provides toys to children in need across the bank's footprint.
The program is one component of a seasonal initiative that integrates donations from the BBVA Compass Foundation with local bank volunteer activities. During the event at the East End school, 60 bank volunteers decorated holiday cookies and handed out age-appropriate toys to students in grades pre-K through second. The toys included dolls, puzzles and games.
"Project Blue Elf brings cheer to children during the holiday season and goodwill to the public schools that work so hard to educate them," said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sanchez. "The program is centered around the holidays, but our work in Houston stretches throughout the entire year to meet the needs of many, whether it is teaching financial education or enriching the community through the arts."
Houston was the final stop of the Project Blue Elf tour across the bank's footprint. The program kicked off on Nov. 20 in Laredo, Texas, and events continued in Birmingham, Ala., Dallas, Mesa, Ariz., and New York in December."The moment we unveil the toys is always a special moment — for the kids, of course, but also for our employees," said BBVA Compass Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Director Reymundo Ocanas. "We know we're doing something meaningful to make the communities in which we work and live better, and that's a pillar of our corporate culture." To join in the Project Blue Elf initiative, people can share the online version of the bank's holiday card at bbvacompass.com/happyholidays. The program follows the bank's 2012 holiday initiative, Mission to Feed a Million, which benefited food banks. Project Blue Elf extends the bank's commitment to Eliot Elementary School. During an NBA Cares initiative in February, the BBVA Compass Foundation donated 238 new books, along with 30 tablet computers and a laptop, directly to students at Eliot through the bank's Reading Counts literacy program. In May, the bank participated in a Junior Achievement event at the school and donated 15 computers and IKEA furniture to Eliot's Parent Center, the school's new computer lab.