The Alabama-based Regions Foundation, a nonprofit initiative of Regions Bank supporting a wide range of community investments, on Wednesday announced a donation of $150,000 to Canopy Children’s Solutions – a nonprofit dedicated to providing innovative mental health, social service and educational solutions to Mississippi’s most vulnerable children and youth.

The Regions Foundation’s commitment will support two programs:

  • Canopy’s Autism Solutions, which offers early intervention and day school programs for children on the autism spectrum
  • Canopy’s CARES Schools in Jackson and Hattiesburg, which offer individual educational services and specialized resources to children in 31 public school districts

“Part of our work in the communities we serve is helping children confront challenges they face and become better positioned for long-term success,” said Marta Self, Executive Director of the Regions Foundation. “Canopy Children’s Solutions is a place where skilled professionals help children discover their abilities and gain access to opportunities they otherwise would not have. Canopy is making a measurable, long-term difference for people across Mississippi, and we are proud to make this investment to support these essential services.”

Marta Self, Executive Director of the Regions Foundation, speaking at presentation ceremony held at the Canopy Center of Excellence in Jackson, Miss.

Nearly 11,000 Mississippi children are affected by autism, according to Canopy. In 2010, Canopy started offering Autism Solutions to address the needs of these children and their families. Further, in 2018, Canopy opened its Center of Excellence in Jackson, which offers Applied Behavior Analysis therapy in a state-of-the-art facility that is safe, sensory-friendly and on the leading edge of autism technologies.

“We are immeasurably grateful for this catalytic gift from the Regions Foundation. The shared values and vision of Canopy and the Regions Foundation create a powerful synergy aimed at two of the most critical needs in our state – autism and educational solutions,” said John D.  Damon, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Canopy Children’s Solutions. “This transformational gift will open new doors of possibility to our state’s most precious assets – our children. We are thrilled to partner with the Regions Foundation to bring hope and healing to Mississippi’s next generation of leaders.”

In recent years, Regions Bank has evolved and enhanced its services for individuals on the spectrum as well as support for their caregivers. Through a company-wide initiative, Regions offers autism-friendly bank branches that include various accommodations to serve those with the neuro-developmental disability.

“Regions and its Foundation have a long history of making meaningful differences in the lives of others and supporting people in the communities we call home,” said Robert Leard, Metro Jackson Market Executive for Regions Bank. “The children of Mississippi are the future of our state. Through the Foundation’s support of organizations like Canopy, we can build on our support of those living with autism while helping give them additional resources and the encouragement they need to be successful.”

Damon said funds from the Regions Foundation will specifically be used to support autism therapies at Canopy’s Center for Excellence location in Jackson, provide education services at the two CARES Schools in Jackson and Hattiesburg, and expand education opportunities for schools across Mississippi.

Canopy Autism Solutions Staff during Regions Foundation Check presentation.

In 2018, the Hattiesburg CARES School served students from 18 school districts, while the Jackson CARES School served students from 13 school districts. Approximately 95% of children who attend Canopy CARES Schools are placed by the school districts, which have identified these children as needing specialized resources to help them succeed in educational settings.

Educators at the CARES Schools specialize in trauma-informed care and customize education plans for each child. Classrooms are self-contained, featuring a one-to-five teacher-to-student ratio. CARES Schools’ services are provided at no cost to parents.

“The Regions Foundation is excited to partner with organizations like Canopy that are working every day to connect children with the resources they need to help them address life’s challenges,” said Greg Garraway, Hattiesburg Area Market Executive for Regions Bank. “I know Canopy’s presence in Hattiesburg is of vital importance to families who need the CARES School. We are proud to have the school in Hattiesburg, and I look forward to its continued growth and service to the community.”

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $128 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services.  Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,500 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at regions.com.

About Regions Foundation

Regions Foundation is committed to making a positive, meaningful difference in the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation’s approach to community engagement involves the investment of time, talents and resources in causes and partnerships that support its strategic priorities: economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. Regions Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, and is funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.

About Canopy Children’s Solutions

Canopy Children’s Solutions’ mission is to help children thrive and families overcome extraordinary challenges. Canopy serves over 5,000 children and their families annually through an array of behavioral health, educational and social service throughout Mississippi. For more than 100 years, Canopy has provided innovative solutions to many of Mississippi’s most vulnerable youth. Learn more at mycanopy.org or call 800-388-6247.